Tag Archives: pistols

Pistol-ish workout

So Wednesdays are always hit and miss… some weeks I make it for the 4:45 class and some weeks I don’t. Last week I didn’t. This week I did. πŸ™‚

Coach Nicole had a little group of us — Ryan, KB, and a new gal whose name I didn’t catch — and we had a bunch of first timers at the 5:45 class after ours, so it’s great to see so many new faces!

I felt a bit like this frog during some of the stretches. πŸ™‚

We started with a warm-up… but of course Nicole likes to add her own flair to the one on the board… We did 2 rounds of:

  • 400m run or 500m row or 2 minutes on the assault bike (KB and I ran)
  • PVC pass-thrus
  • A few plank to squats
  • Some hip opening leg raises and hip stretches
  • PVC good mornings
  • Some seated chairs
  • and some squat to stands

All of this was quite welcome because honestly my hamstrings and hips were pretty tight when we started. And, like with most of Nicole’s pre- and post-workout routines, I was sweating by the end. So we were plenty warmed up.

With all that done, we did some work with pistol progressions, figured out GHD sit-up and hip extensions options, and came up with a plan. Ryan, who is a good 6-10 inches taller than me, and I would be on one GHD machine and KB and the other gal would share the other. We all had slightly different scaling options and really didn’t slow one another down much I don’t think.

Evil Contraption

I have never done a ton of GHD work — usually I leave that to the more advanced (or eager) athletes who want the challenge. But Nicole wouldn’t have that. πŸ™‚ We all did some GHD work today!

The Rx workout was 2 rounds for time of:

  • 50 GHD sit-ups
  • 60 hip extensions
  • 70 single-leg squats (pistols)

I went with the Performance level, which lowered the numbers to 40-50-60 and broke it up like this:

Mine looked nothing like this!
  • 20 abmat GHD sit-ups
  • 20 GHD hip extensions
  • 30 banded good mornings
  • 60 pistols, using the variation with the opposite leg behind the one doing the squatting, which helps me with stability while continuing to improve mobility and strength in that movement
  • 20 GHD sit-ups
  • 20 abmat GHD sit-ups
  • 25 GHD hip extensions (5 more than 1st round)
  • 25 banded good mornings
  • 60 pistols (same variation, though a lot slower)
  • Time: 19:35

Honestly, I’m quite happy with that… and still somewhat able to move afterwards. But I have to say — my ass cheeks and hip muscles were still vibrating after the fact. Definitely a struggle to get through all of those reps in movements that aren’t necessarily my strong suit (though banded good mornings and abmat GHD sit-ups were pretty good).

I survived and so did everybody else! So huzzah! Thanks Nicole!



You’re walking on your hands down a tunnel…

Yesterday was not a great day and it led to a not great night of sleep, so today has been a struggle. Momentum has been difficult to come by. Thus the desperate need for a workout to fire me up a little.

Made it in for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea, Melissa, Logan, and Brent. Nice small class to work through the interesting assortment of movements for the day.

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1Started with the same warm-up as yesterday and then talked about the workout.

  • Score Type:: Rounds and Reps,Β Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes
  • Performance:
    • 3 attempts max distance handstand walk or 50-ft.
    • 15 burpees
    • 20 single-leg squats, alternating
  • Fitness:
    • 5 arounds-the-worlds
    • 12 burpees
    • 20 single-leg squats, alternating

Two movements I struggle with mightily and burpees, which don’t like me either.

But we went through a whole range of options for the handstand walk and pistols. With pistols, we did a almost a Russian dance on a stack of plates at one point. It was interesting to compare our figure four warm-up pistols, which seem to give me additional stability with the crossed leg, with the other variations we tried.


And for handstand walks, it was even more interesting. We did “around the world” on a stack of weights, with toes on the plates and using arms to move us around the stack in a pike position. We did shoulder and hip touches on the wall, but walking ourselves up backwards from a plank. And then we did the most interesting variation of all… the box tunnel.


This lovely contraption had us in a pike position, head and hands down between the boxes, with our feet up on the boxes. And then we moved down it, rocking slightly side to side. Inevitably my feet would work their way backwards as my arms would pull me forward and my pike position was more like laying my thighs on the box and trying to do a very awkward bear crawl — but it was entertaining nonetheless.

i-survivedSo we had 15 minutes to get as many rounds in as we could..

  • Round 1: 5 around the worlds on a three-plate stack, 15 burpees, and 15 Cossack pistol kicks on a three-plate stack
  • Round 2: Did the tunnel once, 15 burpees, and 15 Cossack pistol kicks
  • Round 3: 5 reps of angled shoulder-shoulder-hip-hip on the wall, 15 burpees, 15 Cossack pistol kicks
  • Round 4:Β 5 reps of angled shoulder-shoulder-hip-hip on the wall, 10 burpees
  • Total: 3 rounds plus 15 reps

This was hellish on shoulders, but also on quads. Surprisingly so. I was a sweaty mess at the end.

Brent did a few actual handstand walks, which was awesome. And Brent & Melissa did awesome with pistols. Logan and I were chugging through our pistols and variations as best we could. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class! Thanks Drea for a fun one! Back at it on Thursday morning!

Challenging Chipper

There are a bunch of terms and acronyms in Crossfit that get thrown around… Metcon. AMRAP. Chipper. Today was the last one. (For some good definitions, check out this page from Iron Hero Crossfit.) And we definitely chipped away at it a few reps at a time…


It was another crazy day at my house with half my family heading out on a trip, but I made it in for the 8:30 workout with Coach Bill today. And we had a fun group – Logan, Todd & Melissa, Carrie, and Lara. So we started off with Nicole’s warm-up before doing a bit of box, barbell, and medicine ball work to get ready for the movements in today’s WOD.

We did quite a bit of work on pistols off the box today — and I have to say I definitely still struggle with them, but I’m starting to get a bit better — maybe. πŸ™‚ Beyond that, we did some work with deadlifts, cleans, and front squats — with a medicine ball at first, then an empty barbell eventually adding a bit more weight.

For some reason, I really struggled today with simply shrugging with the bar. Worked fine with a medicine ball, but as soon as I got a barbell in hand it went wonky. Pulling too soon most of the time. So though the workout called for 135# at the performance level, I tried 115# and didn’t look all that hot, so Bill had me shift back to 95#. No arguments from me.

1z3bh1So what was the workout? It was a chipper for time:

  • 40 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 35 wall balls (20/14# performance, 14/10# fitness)
  • 30 box jumps (24/20″ box performance, 16/12″ box fitness)
  • 20 deadlifts (135/95# performance, 95/65# fitness)
  • 15 power cleans
  • 5 front squats

I ended up doing somewhere between performance and fitness, so let’s just call it “fitness.”

  • 40 pistols off the box, starting with a 20″ box for the first 20 and shifting to a 24″ box to emphasize control of the leg on the downward path
  • 35 wall balls (20# medicine ball)
  • 30 box jumps on a 20″ box (combination of a handful of box jumps and mostly step-ups)
  • 205 deadlifts @ 95#
  • 15 power cleans @ 95#
  • 5 front squats @ 95#
  • Time– 11:05

This particular combination of movements — pistols and wall balls — really creamed my knees to the point where box jumps were awkward and dangerous. I nearly fell on my first one and really only did about 5 before I shifted back to step-ups. Deadlifts weren’t bad, but power cleans were a struggle with the shrug again, and the front squats weren’t awful.


I did break up the wall balls more than i wanted, though had a couple of sets of 10 mixed in with some sets of 3-5. I’m a little gun shy of having the ball smack me in the face again, so I was way too far away from the wall. But other than that I kept moving pretty well. I did break most of it up, but in decent sets without a ton of rest between them.

Long story short, my knees are ticked, but I did ok. πŸ™‚

We’ll see what tomorrow’s workout is before I determine whether I’m going or not. πŸ™‚ But I will be there Saturday for the gymnastics class ahead of doing an online event for an online gaming convention I’m participating in.

Great work today folks – you all moved right along! And thanks for the encouragement Bill!

Darn that Devil’s Tricycle

Yesterday was running, which is not one of my favorite movements of all time. Today hit another of my least favorites — the assault bike. Or, as Jonathan and I have termed it, “The Devil’s Tricycle or Bicycle.”

Witness the Artistry of Jonathan!

On this foggy start to a Tuesday, we had Coach Drea at 8:30 and I was joined by Todd & Melissa, Logan, and another fellow. (Caleb came in later and was the lone member of the 9:30 class.) We started with the same warm-up as yesterday (minus the running bits) and then got going on setting up for the WOD…

  • Setting up an assault bike (I shared one with Logan and water-falled into the workout)
  • Working on push-up mechanics
  • Working on many, many varieties of pistol (one legged squat) progressions

Ultimately the workout shaped up like this:

  • 12 minute AMRAP
    • 10/7-cal. bike
    • 10 push-ups (performance) or 10 knee push-ups (fitness)
    • 12 single-leg squats, alternating (performance) or pistols to a box (fitness)

We were supposed to shoot for 5-6 rounds. I kind of suspected that was a bit aggressive, but did my best.

I started 30 seconds after Logan and my first round was great. Fell apart quickly after that. πŸ™‚ He lapped me pretty fast.

  • 10 cals on bike
  • 10 push-ups (regular) until round 4 when I had to drop to knees
  • 12 single-leg squats stepping up to a 24″ box and back down again

fire-knee.jpgUltimately, my issue was the bike. My knees were burning at the end of the 2nd round and by the time I hit the 3rd there might have been actual flames shooting out of my knee sleeves.Β I finished 3 rounds plus 10 calories and 10 push-ups. And my knees were on fire for another 10 minutes after we were done.

Tomorrow is definitely a rest day (too many things going on) but Thursday morning I plan on being back at it. Great work this morning folks!

Happy Halloween!

They Call it a Chipper

The “Chipper” is one of those workouts that has a ton of movements and reps and you just have to “chip” your way through a bit at a time. Things like “Angie” where you do 100 reps each of pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. Or even things like “Karen” which is 150 wall balls for time. Crazy numbers of reps that you have to push through in a quick amount of time.

Athletes go in, chips come out…

Some people love chippers because it’s a good test of fitness. I’m still not quite sure where I stand on chippers as a concept, but there are some workouts like Karen which are just killer for me every time. I prefer smaller sets of reps that you just repeat over and over, rather than tackling huge sets of reps in order.

Well, I got there for the 8:30 class today with Coach Bill and we started with a warm-up that didn’t seem too bad:

  • 3 rounds
  • 90 seconds on the rower or assault bike
  • a round of Cindy – 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats

I was far from alone today — we had Jonathan & Sarah, Austen, Jenny, and Melissa in the class.

crossfit-games-2017-Individual-events-fridayFrom there we discussed the movement standards for our workout. And today’s chipper comes to us directly from the 2017 CrossFit Games, so you know it’s a doozy.

  • Rx for time:
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 80 GHD sit-ups
  • 60 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 40/30-cal. row
  • 20 push presses, 100 / 70-lb. dumbbell
  • Level II – 70/60/50/40/20 @ 70/55#
  • Level I – 50 jumping pull-ups/40 abmat sit-ups, 30 pistols to a box, 20-calorie row, 10 push presses 35/20# dumbbell, 5 per arm

Um. 100? Really? We all kind of looked at one another to see if anybody was going to take this on at Rx — and nobody was jumping at that. πŸ™‚

Jonathan was going to shoot for the Level I movements and my goal was to do the Level I rep scheme with the Level II movements. So that’s what we started with. And then Bill got involved at the end. πŸ™‚

  • 1uvig350 pull-ups (ended up doing 25 kipping pull-ups and 25 jumping pull-ups)
  • 40 abmat sit-ups
  • 30 pistols to a 20″ box
  • 20-calorie row
  • 10 push-presses with 55# kettle bells
  • (12:45 to get to this point and Bill said “20 more reps of everything!”)
  • 20 jumping pull-ups
  • 10 GHD sit-ups from parallel
  • 10 abmat sit-ups
  • 20 pistols to a 20″ box
  • 20-calorie row
  • 10 push-presses with 55# kettle bells
  • (finished in 20:45)

So Jonathan called this Level 1.5 and I think that’s about right. My abs hurt.

Considering that he wanted us to shoot for 15-30 minutes, I’ll take my under 21 minute time. πŸ™‚

Good work everybody!

We all attempted one-armed handstands on the wall as well — and I am not too proud to say that I can’t convince my body yet to put all my weight on one arm. πŸ™‚

Have a great day!

Resisting Gravity

Today is another day. Amazing how that happens. Sun came up and everything! πŸ™‚

And it’s a Tuesday, so it must be a day for CrossFit. Though it seems like most days are good for CF, sometimes things just don’t work out and life gets in the way. Tuesdays seem to continue to be good days for CF in my schedule.
Made it in for an 8:30 workout today with Coach Drea, Todd, Melissa, Jenny, Carrie, and Jonathan. We started with a 400m jog and then came in to continue the warm-up with some ankle & wrist mobility on the floor before tackling this fun little 3 round starter:

  • Candlestick5 pike holds (straight legs, weight shifted to shoulders and palms)
  • 5 handstand shifts from r to l on wall
  • 5 deep lunges per side (essentially a lunge to a stand)
  • 5 candlestick rolls

As you might expect, this was a bit awkward for yours truly. Certain movements just don’t work well for me yet. Sometimes I feel like I’m improving, but it’s definitely a struggle to get my head out of the way long enough to accomplish some movementsΒ or body positions. But I did my best.Β {Candlestick rolls are essentially butt bruisers for me, so awkward doesn’t even cut it.)

Once all that was done we started pulling together the equipment we needed for today’s skill work AMRAP, which was essentially just a lot of skill work for me.

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1Today’s workout was:

  • 5 rounds for time
  • 100-ft handstand walk or 15 handstand walk-ups or 10 elevated inchworms
  • 30 one-legged squats, alternating (or 20 one-legged squats to a box, alternating)

I attempted the “handstand walk-ups” today onto a 15# weight plate and did my pistols to a stack including a 45# and 15# plate, plus a 20# medicine ball.

To describe a “handstand walk-up,” essentially you put a weight plate on the floor in front of the wall and kick into a handstand on the wall with your hands to either side of the plate. You move both hands onto the plate, then off again.

To me, this is akin to trying to convince my feet not to touch the ground when I walk and makes about as much sense. We’ve done similar skill work with “shoulder touches” while in a handstand on the wall. For those you lift your hand and tap the shoulder with it, put it down, then do the same with the other hand, back and forth.

Convincing my hands to come off the ground is exhausting. And to think that only a few years ago I was so geeked up just to be able to kick up into a handstand on the wall.

Today I did actually manage to rock back and forth a few times and get one or both hands onto the weight plate before falling down. Carrie was very good at demonstrating the smooth shoulder movement in a very goofy way while standing upright and it we all got a good laugh about it — but pretty much she had it right. The trick was to rock from side to side less than pick up one hand or the other, using that momentum to pick up the “up” hand and move it.


Was it pretty? No. Effective? Definitely not. Consistent? Hell no. But I did manage a few of them, so I’ll take it.

And my pistols were equally ugly though I was eventually able to string a few of them together when I got comfortable sitting back on my little pile of stuff and rocking forward to stand up again.

I’m now tired and sweaty and don’t think I got all the way through 2 complete rounds. Close, but not quite. And that was in about 20 minutes.

Here’s the thing. I made some progress. Jerky, awkward, uncoordinated progress. But progress.Β I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

Meanwhile Todd was over on the other side doing pistols and handstand walks and making it look easy. πŸ™‚

Good work folks! Have a great day!

Working out with a cold

So we did the Friday Night Lights event on, you guessed it, Friday. By Saturday I was starting to feel the beginnings of a cold that I’ve resisted until now. By Sunday it was full bore in my head and we spent the day in Pueblo for a soccer tournament.

This morning I really didn’t want to get up. πŸ™‚ But oh well, adulting for the win.

Even so, I figured that maybe I could sweat out some of the crud in my head. And it worked, briefly, but I feel it collecting again as I sit here typing this. Oh well.

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-18:30 class was Coach Drea, myself, Sarah, Maria, and Brent. We got started with a 500m row or 2 minutes on the Devil’s Trike, then moved to a little 5 minute AMRAP:

  • 5 strict handstand push-ups or 1/2 HSPUs
  • 10 kettle bell sumo deadlift high pulls
  • 15 air squats

My strict HSPUs might as well have been elbow dips. I did my KB SDHPs with a 35# KB. And the air squats. I think I made it through 3 rounds in 5 mins or a little over.

Once that was done we started working on HSPU kipping mechanics and pistols. I’m ok at HSPUs if I can do them strict and not go down further than one abmat, but I’ve never really attempted deficit ones. But I got a few kipping HSPUs with 25# plates and an abmat (almost level, so not deficit but closer to the “ground”).

Pistol_SquatNow… pistols. Ugh.

She had us doing roll-to-candlestick to get the feel for how we should be hunched over our knees to roll down and get back up, with both legs and then each leg independently. I can’t get back on my feet from any of them, but I felt more comfortable going to the ground on each subsequent one than I have for a while.

Apparently falling on my ass is getting easier. πŸ™‚

And I came to realize that I am much more nimble going to a pistol (not a deep one, but getting there) with my right leg than my left. So it’s entertaining. Something to work on.Β We eventually went with a stack of plates and a medball… 45# plate + 15# plate + medball = weird stack.

The workout was a 10 minute AMRAP:

  • 10 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 20-calorie row
  • 30 single-legged squats, alternating

It took me a long time to get a weird mix of kipping and non-kipping HSPUs. The row wasn’t bad. And the alternating pistols took forever with me falling over a few times.


However, got through 1 round and 5 HSPUs into the next one before the 10 minutes was up. So 1+5. Not a great score, but I felt like I made a little pistol progress today anyway.

When all that was done we did some mobility work before heading out. I think I sweat just as much during the mobility work as I did with the workout.

Anyway… Good work everybody! Thanks Drea!

Now I’ll go back to blowing my nose and clearing my throat… Ugh.