Tag Archives: pull-ups

Take 5

Today is officially Monday number two, but I’m not letting that stop me. I headed to the box for an 8:30 workout. Coach Drea had a few of us ready to run in the cold… Logan, Nicole, Carrie, Sarah, Matt & Abigail.

This was a good one by the way. I’ll share my observations at the end. 🙂

2059emSo we started with the same warm-up as yesterday, just with a running clock. And I have to say that a minute of single-unders and a minute of jumping jacks still wasn’t fantastic. 🙂 But we managed.

When that was done, we did a little chat about dumbbell push jerks and squat cleans, figuring out what weights we wanted to use for the workout. And from there we moved to the rig to play with pull-ups and ring rows. I wasn’t quite sure how long my pull-ups would hold up, but was ready to give them a shot.

We did the workout in two “heats” that started 5 minutes apart. Essentially the second heat was going while the first heat was in their 5 minute rest.

five-minutesThe workout was:

  • A set of three 5-minute rounds, with a 5 minute rest between them. Count reps.
  • From minutes 0-2, run 400m (performance) or 200m (fitness) and do as many double-unders (performance) or single-unders (fitness) as possible.
  • From minute 2-3, do dumbbell push jerks, 25/20# (performance), 20/15# (fitness)
  • From minute 3-4, do pull-ups (performance) or ring rows (fitness)
  • From minute 4-5, do dumbbell hang squat cleans, 25/20# (performance, 20/15# (fitness)

Nicole & Sarah both did the assault bike instead of running. The rest of us ran either 300m or 400m.

20-lbs-dumbbell1I did the workout with:

  • 300m run
  • single-unders
  • 20# dumbbell push jerks
  • pull-ups
  • 20# hang squat cleans

My runs were pretty consistent between 1:25 and 1:30, and here’s how the rest shook out:

  • 7TaonKRbc300m run (to second set of dumpsters in 400m route)
  • 50 single-unders
  • 11 dumbbell push-jerks
  • 10 pull-ups (a set of 8, then 2 more)
  • 8 dumbbell hang squat cleans
  • 5-minute rest
  • 300m run
  • 38 single-unders (had to take my shoes off because one came untied during the run and I didn’t want to stop to tie it)
  • 13 dumbbell push-jerks
  • 12 pull-ups (a set of 8, two sets of 2)
  • 8 dumbbell hang squat cleans
  • 5-minute rest (put shoes back on)
  • 300m run
  • 21 single-unders (couldn’t get my feet out of the way)
  • 13 dumbbell push-jerks
  • 8 pull-ups (a set of 5, then a set of 2, and a set of 1)
  • 9 dumbbell hang squat cleans
  • DONE
  • 79 reps, 71 reps, 51 reps = 201 reps total

So for me, I think I did ok. I kept moving, I ran all three 300m stretches (except for a few steps where I turned around to come back). And my first two rounds were pretty consistent even if the last one fell apart a bit.

Let’s get to my weird observations.

  1. 2059ohThe 300m route was just about right for me. I hate the hill on the way up our 400m route, but that keeps me from the worst of it. And I was able to actually jog each of the 300m stretches, though it wasn’t comfortable, without killing myself. It made me wonder if I could do a mile in 200m lengths (less hill) more easily. Or go jog on a track somewhere that’s flat and see how that works. Told you it was weird.
  2. A 5-minute rest is awesome. I felt like it was enough time for me to collect myself, slow my breathing, and shake off the previous round. That said, I think a shorter rest might have been better (we had a workout a few weeks ago where we had a 2-3 minute break between each round and that was enough to give rest but not enough to make you not want to go again).
  3. Many of my “push jerks” were really “push presses” because the press is more natural than the jerk for me.
  4. My “hang squat cleans” were a mix of “hang squat cleans” and “hang power cleans” because I couldn’t consistently get my butt down into the squat. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t But there would have been a whole lot of no-reps if it was in a competition (or the Open).

I’m pleased with my work today. I didn’t think I’d hit 200 reps across three rounds and did so despite myself. 🙂

Great work 8:30 class!


Running in the Rain

Thank goodness for keeping to a schedule for my workouts or I would have definitely cherry picked today and stayed home. I didn’t even swear all that much last night about it, just decided I’d do what I could and prepare for it as best I could. Weird, huh?

1yyndkHow did I prepare? Running shoes. Two layers of shirts. Shorts and sweats. And a mindset that I’d just keep chugging. Very different than last week when I didn’t prepare at all and rowed. As I told Melissa, it was a case of “dress for the part” today. And I think it helped… a little anyway.

So I arrived this morning in the drizzle for the 8:30 class with Coach Drea. We had Dallen (sp?), Melissa, Sarah, and Logan today. Started with Nicole’s warm-up and then went through a lot of skill review for cleans, push jerks, clean & jerks, kips, and kipping pull-ups. Some with a PVC pipe. Some with an unloaded barbell. Some at the rig.

While doing some of the push jerks, I noticed that my right shoulder (not my left, which is more normal) was clicking a bit on the push out overhead, so I decided to go a bit lighter on the weight when we started adding it. By the time we added some weight, I had done two sets of 3 reps at 95# and 105# and decided to stay at 105# rather than push to 115#.

Goofy is way happier here than I was in this run. 🙂

The workout was a doozy of a metcon for 15 minutes. Interesting way to stress the system for sure.

  • On a 15-minute clock, for max reps each round:
  • From 0:00-3:00, run (400m performance/200m fitness) then do pull-ups, Rest 1 minute
  • From 4:00-7:00, run then do clean and jerks (115/75# performance, probably 95/55# fitness), Rest 1 minute
  • From 8:00-11:00, run then do pull-ups, Rest 1 minute
  • From 12:00-15:00, run then do clean and jerks

I did a slightly modified Fitness level:

  • 300m runs (not to the first dumpster, which is 200m, but to the second, which I guessed was roughly 300m)
  • kipping pull-ups on the rig
  • 105# clean & jerks from the floor

20171107_093239So how’d I do? Well, I finished. And I pushed. To the point where I definitely suffered from “crossfit cough” for the better part of an hour or more after the workout.

  • 300m (1:21) – ran whole thing
  • 17 pull-ups
  • 300m (1:35) – ran all but about 50m
  • 5 clean & jerks
  • 300m (2:11) – ran 150m, walked 150m
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 300m (1:55) – ran 200m, walked 100m
  • 7 clean & jerks
  • Total reps: 39

Anybody who knows me knows I’m not a runner, but I did what I could. Breathing was a huge problem as we ran in the drizzle and cold. I think it was right around 32 degrees F outside, so it was a shock to the system moving in and out. Those 1 minute rests between rounds were not my friend either. Maybe 2 or 3 minutes would have helped, but I don’t recover that quickly.

“Crossfit cough” is definitely a thing on this one. Between the headache immediately following (likely due to the temperature) and the cough (due to the running), I was a mess for about 30 minutes afterwards. But I got it together. 🙂

Great work, 8:30 class. This was an interesting metcon today.

Scale Away, Scale Away, Scale Away…

Apologies to Enya for the subject line, but that’s kind of how I felt today during the workout. 🙂 Yesterday I bonked myself in the nose with a bar and kept going. Today I have no injuries to report, so I guess that’s a good thing. 🙂

1y6ddlI arrived for Coach Drea’s 8:30 class with Vivien, Logan, Melissa & Todd, and Jonathan. And we got started pretty quickly with the same warm-up as yesterday, putting a bit more focus on the lat roll-out and doing the hamstring stretches on the floor. I have to say my low back was a bit fired up from yesterday’s workout — all those deadlifts — but I didn’t notice my hammies until we started stretching. 🙂

After that we did some dumbbell snatch skill work with a lighter weight than we would use during the workout. I warmed up with a 25# and moved to a 30# for the actual workout. And we did some work at the rig, similar to what we’ve been covering in Nicole’s gymnastics class as far as better kipping mechanics.

Today’s workout seems to be a single-athlete version of Event 6 of the 2017 Team Series

  • 21-15-9 for time
  • Single-arm dumbbell snatches (50/35# challenger, 40/25# performance, 25/15# fitness)
  • Bar muscle-ups (challenger), Chest-to-bar pull-ups (performance), Jumping C2B (fitness)


Dumbbell-Single-Arm-SnatchC2B are not one of my strengths these days. Neither are heavy dumbbell snatches. So I did somewhere between the combination of fitness & performance levels:

  • 21-15-9 for time
  • 30# single-arm dumbbell snatches
  • jumping C2Bs, then kipping pull-ups, and finally ring rows

I finished in 9:24, but it definitely wasn’t pretty.

Positive take-aways: I hit several jumping C2Bs before they went away completely. And my snatches didn’t feel awful or out of control, so I probably should have gone with more weight.

Negative take-aways: Though I would have thought that it was the grip and forearm on my left side that would have been the issue, it ended up being higher today. It was a problem with the pull, where my bicep and forearms simply got really fired up in that first set of 21 (which took FOREVER).


That was the whole “scale, then scale again” methodology. When my pull-ups got down to just singles and doubles instead of three or four, I had to drop. But I kept moving and I think that was a bigger push.

Meanwhile I watched Todd kill this workout with a combination of muscle-ups and C2B and a 50# dumbbell. He finished right after I did. Jonathan was right there with him with a 50# dumbbell and C2Bs, finishing two minutes before us.

As always, I’m happy to cheer them on and just pleased that I finished in under 10 minutes with my  various scaling options. 🙂

Great work 8:30 class!

Definitely Losing My Grip

Wasn’t sure I was going to make it in today, to be honest. This week has not exactly gone according to plan. But since I’ll miss the next two days and probably miss Saturday as well, I wanted to get one more in before things got crazier.

1xub9eSo at noon I sauntered in for a workout with Coach Drea, Sarah, Lara, Lorna, Ana, and Joe. And Bill was there chatting as well (and performed admirably as a demonstrator of movements on the rig when pressed into service!).

We started with the week’s warm-up, then did some active warm-ups on the rig, hanging with active shoulders, as well as some double-under practice. Someday I’ll figure those darn things out, but today was not the day. We did quite a few variations of pulls and pushes and pull-ups and C2B on the rig as well. From there we did some work with hanging power snatches, warming up to our working weight for the workout.

As per usual, the warm-ups showed me the limitations of what I’d be able to do today. Single-unders instead of doubles (no shock there). Jumping C2B (I think I may have touched on less than 5) and kipping pull-ups, though I eventually fell to ring rows. And only 65# on the bar for the hang power snatches.

We had a 15 minute time cap today, so it was whatever you could finish in that time. We had a number of folks finish under 15, which was awesome. I wasn’t one of them. 🙂

PullupBut we did:

  • Performance:
    • For time:
    • 90 double-unders
    • 45 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    • 45 hang power snatches #95/65
    • 90 double-unders
  • Fitness:
    • For time:
    • 150 single unders
    • 45 banded pull-ups
    • 45 hang power snatches #55/35
    • 150 single unders

So my workout was somewhere between Fitness & Performance, which was fine.

  • 150 single unders went great initially. Done in a little over a minute.
  • 45 pull-ups became 2 or 3 jumping C2B attempts and then 7 or 8 kipping pull-ups to round out a set of 10, or on the last set of 10-15, kipping pull-ups until I couldn’t pull any longer and then 10 ring rows.
  • 45 hang power snatches @ 65# was in sets of 5 and my issue was my left hand. Forearm swelled up like a balloon like it does, preventing me from getting a grip on the bar after a few reps. I’d do 2 or 3 ok and barely hang on for the next 2. Did all 45 in sets of 5 that way.
  • Picked up the jump rope and got through 60 singles (50 non-stop until I tripped and did 10 more).

I did not finish in the 15 minute time cap, but that was fine. Some days the box kicks your butt for no other reason than “it’s there.” 🙂


Anyway… Great work everyone! Some really good efforts!

Thanks Drea & Bill for the support/positivity!

Hero WOD — Emily

Some days, the workout of the day manages to surprise me. Last night it was one thing on the app. Today it was something else. Just one more way that crossfit keeps us guessing.

7ef48039a5228f1efa37cc2bfd148471After a rough start to my work day, it was time to head in for a workout. So I arrived for the 8:30 class with Coach Drea, Jonathan & Sarah, Melissa, Carrie, Jenny, and Logan. While sitting in the car, waiting for everybody to get there, Jonathan prompted me to actually look at the Triib app to see what the workout was for the day.

Instead of 10×1 front squats, which I was somewhat prepared for, we ended up doing a Hero WOD, which I wasn’t. Yes, crossfit is full of surprises. I only swore a little in the car when I saw the workout had sprints and double-unders in it. Just a little.

So we start to warm up and we did an interesting series of movements:

  • shoulder smash, back and front on both sides with a Lacrosse ball
  • Cossack squats, staying low
  • Hamstring flosses
  • PVC passthrus
  • Scap push-ups (like cat-cow, but without bending elbows)
  • a pec/shoulder stretch
  • and some foot/ankle work at the rig

When that was done, we grabbed our jumpropes and did:

  • 30 seconds of regular single-unders
  • 30 seconds of “running” single-unders (otherwise known as “Brian fights his lack of physical skill for 30 seconds)
  • and then double-under practice, where we “counted” our number of successes

jumpropeI can do single-unders for a very long time. I did not do well with the rest of it. In fact, when she told us we’d declare how many we accomplished, I declared zero right off the bat. And you know what? I was correct in my prediction when I was done. 🙂

We then moved to the rig where we did a few pull-ups to warm-up that movement. I banged out five pretty easily and called it good, but made sure that I could shift to ring rows when my pull-ups gave up.

So what is “Emily”? It was created to honor Second Lt. Emily Jazmin Tatum Perez, 23, who was killed Sept. 12, 2006, when her Humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device as she was leading a convoy through Al Kifl, Iraq. She served in the 204th Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army.

You can read more about this remarkable young lady here at the CrossFit main site.

  • “Emily”
  • Competitor: 10 rounds
    • 30 double-unders
    • 15 pull-ups
    • 30 squats
    • 100-m sprint
    • Rest 2 minutes
  • Performance: 8 rounds, same movements
  • Fitness: 8 rounds, 30 single-unders, 10 ring rows, 20 squats, rest same

We were supposed to shoot for 2:30 per round and folks were getting 31-38 minute time scores.

Amazing woman taken too soon in the line of duty. Read here.

So how’d I do? I changed the workout slightly to do 60 single-unders and a mix of pull-ups and ring-rows.

  1. 60 singles; 10 pull-ups, 5 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 2:46
  2. 2 minute rest (4:46)
  3. 60 singles; 8 pull-ups, 7 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 8:09 (3:23)
  4. 2 minute rest (10:09)
  5. 60 singles; 8 pull-ups, 7 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 13:32 (3:23)
  6. 2 minute rest (15:32)
  7. 60 singles; 6 pull-ups, 9 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 19:09 (3:37)
  8. 2 minute rest (21:09)
  9. 60 singles; 5 pull-ups, 10 ring rows; 30 air squats: 100m “sprint”: 25:20 (4:11)
  10. 2 minute rest (27:20)
  11. 60 singles; 6 pull-ups, 9 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 30:53 (3:33)

And I stopped there. I for some reason believed that the “fitness” side was actually 6 rounds, or I might have attempted to struggle on — but I was already bumping up against the 9:30 time cap for the class, so maybe not.

As soon as I know there’s a time cap, that enters my brain as a hard stop and I think that’s what happened today.

My average time was 3:29 or so, which is a full minute off the mark Drea set for us, but I kept moving so I’ll take it.


To try and shift this to a positive point of view, here’s what I have:

  • I showed up
  • I did 3/4 of the workout
  • DNF > DNS

That’s it today really. 🙂 Everybody did awesome. Jonathan really nailed the double unders today, which was fantastic. And everybody was really pushing.

Great work! And thanks Drea!

Hero WOD: Kev

Now that “Hero WOD Fridays” are no longer a thing, they can slip in anywhere in the programming to keep us on our toes. And today was one of those days. There were six of us for Coach Drea – Nicole, Logan, Todd, Melissa, Jenny, and myself. And it was good there were an even number because — it was a partner WOD!

We started with a revised warm-up…

  • jumping jacks
  • superman holds with a “hang snatch”
  • inchworm to plank, lunge and press, sky reach, plank, inchworm back to standing with straight legs
  • air squat with knee presses (a “pressing frog”)
  • and “ATYT” with plates (like YMCA, but different)

From there we did some deadlift warm-ups with an empty barbell, focusing on proper form, and then adding weight through three sets until we hit our working weight as a team.

The workout was:

  • CrossFit_Hero_Kev_Afghanistan
    Operator Cpl. Kevin van de Rijdt, 26, of the Netherlands, died Sept. 6, 2009, during heavy combat in Afghanistan. He was a member of Special Forces (Korps Commando Troepen) Task Force 55 within the Netherlands Armed Forces.

    Kev (read more here at WODwell)

  • Score Type:: Rounds and Reps
  • Performance:
    • With a partner, complete as many rounds as possible in 26 minutes of:
    • 6 deadlifts, 245/155 lb., each
    • 9 bar-facing burpees, synchronized
    • 9 chest-to-bar pull-ups, each
    • 55-ft. partner barbell carry, 245/155 lb.
  • Fitness:
    • With a partner, complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
    • 6 deadlifts, 135/95 lb., each
    • 9 bar-facing burpees, synchronized
    • 9 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups, each
    • 55-ft. dumbbell farmers carry 35/25#

26 minutes is a solid length for a workout, and I think synchronized movements are difficult for those of us that aren’t all that skilled or dexterous to begin with. 🙂 But working with Todd, I knew I’d be pushed — and that was good.

We worked up to 225# on the bar to avoid tweaking his back and that was great. Good weight without being too crazy. And Drea wanted touch-and-go as much as possible, so a little lighter probably worked in our favor.

We tried a few synchronized burpees and I knew for me that was going to be my slow spot. But funny enough it turned out to be the c2b pull-ups. It seems that some days I have them and some days I don’t. I had a few jumping ones in me today, but that was all. I got a handful of reps where I actually touched chest to bar, but that was it.

garfield-mondaySo how’d we do? We managed to get through all the burpees of the 6th round. So we hit 5+15 with the following options:

  • 225# on the bar for our deadlifts and the 55′ barbell carry
  • synchronized bar-over burpees (slooooow in the last round or three)
  • Todd did 4 or 5 bar muscle-ups and then butterfly c2b
  • I couldn’t hit a regular c2b today (though I could last week) and struggled mightily with jumping c2b, but only hit a few now and then. last couple of rounds I finished out my 9 attempts with kipping pull-ups and even those were ugly

So Todd kicked ass I and I tried to keep up as best I could, which I’ll take. 🙂

And everybody else was moving right along — Jenny & Melissa teamed up and Nicole was pushing Logan pretty good. 🙂

Thanks Drea for the adjustments and encouragement! And thanks Todd for being a great partner and pushing the burpees in that last round!

Something + Burpees is a Burpee Workout

This must be the week to get my butt kicked in crossfit.

I arrived this morning after a work meeting and watched the 8:30 class finishing up the workout. It looked awful. 🙂 And as they were cleaning up, Carrie came over and commented on how much of a grump I was yesterday. As she put it “I just wasn’t having it yesterday” and she wasn’t wrong. I even felt guilty about my lack of enthusiasm, which was hilarious.

1sn13rUltimately I would liken yesterday’s workout a bit to doing Karen (150 wall balls for time). It’s deceptively simple and just kills you on the number of reps. The 75 thrusters at the beginning killed me.

So I was hopeful today would be a bit more in my wheelhouse to get my mojo back.

Um, no.

Even so, we had a good group led by Coach Nicole. We had Drea, Liz, Lara, Darcy, and Joe, plus me. We started with the Nicole warm-up for this week, which still makes me feel like I’m completely uncoordinated except for a couple of the movements. (And that’s just the warm-up.)

When we got into the movements for the workout, I knew it was going to be a challenge. And she wanted sub-12 minute times.

PullupWe spent a lot of time on pull-ups and chest-to-bar pull-ups. We talked about burpees. And we did some sumo deadlift high pull work with an empty barbell. It was all good. It’s been a while since I’ve actually attempted a C2B, so I was worried about that portion of the workout.

The workout was:

  • Metcon – 3 rounds for time of:
  • 10 chest-to-bar pull-ups (performance) or 15 jumping c2bs (fitness)
  • 20 burpees (performance) or 15 burpees (fitness)
  • 15 sumo deadlift high pulls, 75/55 lb. (performance) or 55/35 lb. (fitness)

Any time I see burpees in a workout, it becomes a burpee workout simply because breathing is such a big challenge for me. And I was already pondering scaling to the “fitness” levels.

However… I surprised myself. During the warm-up I actually got a few C2B on the 8 foot bar. I missed a few too, but the fact that I got a few solid C2Bs in was encouraging. And the SDHPs felt really awkward in slo-mo with an empty barbell but felt great with 65# and then 75# on the bar.

burpees-suck-white-e1415664950623Burpees though. Yuck.

So we got started and right out of the gate I banged out 4 c2bs, 1 more, then finished off with kipping pull-ups. 20 ugly burpees and 15 SDHPs. Second round, I couldn’t quite brush my chest on the bar, so I dropped to kipping pull-ups completely but had to do them in sets of 2-4 because my grip was starting to go. And the wheels came off on burpees about halfway through that round. SDHPs felt ok however. Last round, I was on the struggle bus to get 2 or 3 reps at a time on the rig and the burpees got slower and slower. SDHPs were a bit slower, but not awful.

Final time: 13:54. DFL, but not DNF. Nicole was right there for most of it and I heard several others cheering me on, which was nice.

I was laughing internally as Nicole was counting down from 15 or 10 to get me to move again and thinking about Bill starting at 3 when he tries that. I was trying to keep it to 5-10 seconds and no more, but breathing was a big issue. Even so, I tried to kick myself into gear before she was done counting. 🙂

So here are the wins for today:

  1. I finished the damn workout. That was paramount for me today to get back on the horse after yesterday’s DNF.
  2. I managed to get more than a few actual, honest chest-to-bar pull-ups on the rig.

And that’s a much better end to today than yesterday. I think I’m going to start counting the wins from each workout, because there has to be at least one from every workout even if it’s just a funny anecdote. I got down on myself yesterday and snapped at Coach Bill a bit, which I should not have done.


So the lesson this week is to look at the bright side. Focus on the fun and the wins. Identify the rough spots and try to work on them when it’s feasible to do so.

Thank you Nicole for the poking and prodding and keeping me moving. I do appreciate it even if I grumble a bit. 🙂

Odd Observation and Analogy for the Day

Nicole joined us as a coach just a few weeks ago and she’s already made a big impact on the coaching staff at Continuum. Don’t get me wrong — I love our coaching staff. The breadth of personal experience and caring from every coach, past or present, has been phenomenal. And they’ve all been working on different aspects, whether it means advancing through CF training (i.e. Drea’s now a Level 3 coach, which is phenomenal) or just their own hard work and learning (and training and competing).

thankyou4On the whole, that gives us, the athletes, a huge pool of experience to draw from on everything from recovery and nutrition to strength and conditioning. And if you’ve ever heard the phrase “A rising tide lifts all boats,” I feel like that pool just keeps getting bigger and better as we add more types of training and support.

Adding Nicole to the mix has added to that experience in a few ways. One, she just has a ton of experience to bring to the table. Everything from warm-ups to gymnastics training has been bumped up in a very short amount of time and it’s been fantastic. And two, she just fits right in with the crazy family of trainers of athletes we have at Continuum.

So I want to thank Drea & Jimmy for continuing to grow, adapt, and change for the betterment of their members. It’s been a fun ride!