Tag Archives: pull-ups

Regionals Workout #1, Scaled

Hello Thursday. Apparently it was the day to bolt everything together as best I could and attempt another CrossFit Games Regional Workout… This one was 2017 Regional Workout #1. The one that we watched Games-level athletes complete in less than 15 minutes.

games-2017-logo-1600x630I wasn’t looking forward to this one, but that’s part of what makes CrossFit interesting every day. It changes daily and challenges all the aspects of your movement capabilities. This was no difference.

Ev, Mickey, and I arrived this morning for Coach Larry’s class. We were joined by Bri, Sarah, and Caleb. Danielle joined us too but was doing the Lurong workout today, but we started with several minutes of mobility work (foam roller and then banded shoulder work on the rig) before running a 200m light jog.

When we came in we did three rounds of:

  • 10 air squats with a med ball (20/14#)
  • 20-30 second hollow body hold on the rig
  • 20-30 second handstand hold on the wall

I helped Ev get up into a handstand a few times on the wall, but otherwise it wasn’t too bad.

Josh-B
Josh Bridges crushed this workout in 14:16.35

Once we were all done, we talked about the workout:

  • Score Type:: Total Time
  • parker-igRx/Level II
    • For time, wearing a weight vest:
    • 1,200-m run
    • Then, 12 rounds of:
    • 4 strict handstand push-ups
    • 8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    • 12 squats
    • Men wear a 20-lb. vest
    • Women wear a 14-lb. vest
  • Level I
    • For time, wearing a weight vest:
    • 800-m run
    • Then, 9 rounds of:
    • 4 pike push-ups
    • 8 chest-to-bar ring rows
    • 12 squats

Some of us (Bri & Caleb) wore a weight vest for the run and then dropped it for the rest. The rest of us skipped the weight vest entirely.

I ended up with:

  • 1200m jog (900m actual jog, 300m walk — doing the 200m flat path to avoid the hill in the hopes to not stress my knees as much) – took around 9:30
  • 4 strict HSPUs (25# weight plus abmat)
  • first round, 3 C2B (slight jump) and 5 pull-ups, all other rounds 8 pull-ups as high as I could pull to my chest
  • 12 air squats
  • I did that for 9 rounds and finished at 35:36

time-371226_640How’d other folks do?

  • Bree finished in 29:49
  • Ev 30:30
  • Mickey 29:52 (ring rows)
  • Caleb 30:08

Not sure how Sarah did, but I’m sure she crushed it.

I actually feel guilty about not finishing the last 3 rounds, but I had a few things working against me: time (I was out of time and couldn’t just keep going, needed to get back to work), my right hand (even with wrist and hand wraps) was starting to rub open a blister, and I was having a harder and harder time pulling on the rig to do pull-ups.

I should have finished. But oh well.

dfl-dnf-dns

Thanks for the encouragement today Larry! I appreciated it. 🙂

And great work everybody!

 

Cindy Wants Revenge and Creatine Issues

My question: What did I ever do to Cindy? Why is she so angry?

I missed the Lurong workout last week. Honestly it just wasn’t a good week for me, but we’ll get to the reason behind that after I talk about today.

Mickey and I hit the 8:30 workout with Coach Drea this morning. We had a good crew along with us — Sarah, Brent, Shannon, Todd, and Lisa.

silly-walkBut Coach Drea was in “evil trainer” mode this morning with our warm-up… She led us outside and up the hill to the west, then told us what we’d be doing:

  • 2 minutes of jogging the 100-150m back and forth
  • then 15 seconds of sprints and 45 seconds of recovery for 5 rounds

Yes, I said “sprints.” And though I jogged the 2 minutes back and forth, my “recovery” was a walk. 🙂

But it didn’t stop there.

Once back inside, we did a long stretch of hip and shoulder mobility with a band on the rig. I swear I was sweating buckets during mobility, which is always entertaining. And then we did a few rounds (maybe 3) of:

  • 5 kips on the rig
  • 4 alternating one-arm planks (like the yoga move where you pivot to one side and then the other)
  • 5 wall-facing air squats, slow and steady as close as you can get to the wall without touching

cindyThat all took a long time. I think the mobility part of the workout was probably 35 minutes of our hour at least. And then we tackled the Lurong Challenge workout #3: Cindy Wants Revenge. Cindy plus rowing!

  • 12-Minute AMRAP
  • Opens with a 30 Calorie Row
  • Then 2 Rounds of:
    • 5 Pull Ups
    • 10 Hand Release Push Ups
    • 15 Air Squats
  • The next round starts back at the 30 Calorie Row

Apparently some early classes made it as far as 3 rounds, plus. So though I was shooting for 3, I knew the row was going to slow me down, as would the push-ups. Anything over 2 rounds would be good. 🙂

I made it through 2 rounds plus 3 reps. That boils down to about 183 “reps” in the 12 minute time cap. I did regular pull-ups and push-ups, and the regular air squats. My first 30 calorie row was about 2 minutes. Second was about 3 minutes. The killer for me was push-ups though. My first set of 10 was unbroken, but after that I was breaking it into 5 and 5 or 5-3-2 or whatever I could do.

Mickey made it through 1 full round plus 58 reps (she almost completed the third round of 5-10-15). She had to do a mix of pull-ups and ring rows, but she kept on chugging. Not bad for her second crossfit workout in a while (considering her first workout back was Murph!).

So we didn’t do too bad. Todd made it through 3 rounds plus a bit. Not sure how other folks did. But everybody was chugging right along!

Thanks Drea for a great workout!

Creatine and Me

So I mentioned that last week was bad for me. We started the Lurong challenge on my birthday, so this is the 4th week. And about the time we started, I also went back on adding some creatine into my diet.

now-creatineBack in October 2016, Jimmy suggested adding it to help with energy. So I bought Now Sports’ Creatine Monohydrate and added 1 heaping teaspoon to my Spark drink in the morning to help kick things off.

And that lasted until sometime in April when it ran out. I never had any issues and I do think it may have helped somewhat, but couldn’t put my finger on any particular energy boost from the stuff.

ON-micronized-creatineAt that point, I ordered a new type of creatine from Optimum Nutrition – Micronized Creatine Powder. I honestly didn’t think anything would happen negatively – I hadn’t had any issues on the other one and this one was well reviewed. So when the Lurong Challenge started and we shifted over to a Macro-based plan for meals, I just added this into the mix.

And holy cow, I started having some serious issues.

Mood swings from hell. Deep, dark depression in the afternoons. Anger. And I did my best to work through them, thinking they were a side effect of the diet change and lowering my carbohydrates (sugar crash, etc). But after a particularly bad bout last week, Ev and I decided we should just stop taking the stuff and see if it helped.

And honestly after not taking it for several days, I feel a lot happier. No mood swings. No anger or depression beyond my usual self-doubt, regret, and guilt (I’m human, it happens). So I think we’ll be not taking any creatine for a while.

I’m not saying that EVERYBODY has this kind of reaction – but damn. Not high on my list of things to try again for a while. I prefer normal me to depressed and angry me, 100%.

Memorial Day Murph 2017

Since 2013, we have done some form of Murph every year with the crew at CrossFit Continuum over Memorial Day weekend. I won’t say it goes well every year, but it’s always a good struggle for a good cause – to remember the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform in the service of our country. (Want to know more about Murph? Check out the great website dedicated to the workout and his memory.)

This year we weren’t sure we would be able to attend, but events transpired such that it became a possibility. So we went.

murphI have to say I wasn’t all that enthused by the prospect this year. I’m tired. The last few weeks have been a challenge with nutrition changes, soccer schedules, and the end of the school year for our girls. I honestly wasn’t sure I wanted to do the workout.

But here’s the thing. Whether I wanted to do it or not, it deserved to be done. And when time opened up for us to do the workout as a family, we did it.

This year it was me, Ev, and Mickey taking it on. AJ played three soccer games over two days and was more than a little beaten up as a result. She chose to bow out this year and I don’t blame her.

Mickey and I talked about it yesterday and decided that if we got to do it, we’d team up. She would run a mile and I would row a mile and we’d split up the reps 50/50.

Ev did the whole thing herself, with banded pull-ups and the run.

IMAG2078
Our crew before the workout. We looked much more tired afterwards!!

So how’d we do?

Ev finished the whole thing in under an hour – around 57 minutes I think she said. First time she’s ever done it in under an hour — so she did AWESOME.

Mickey and I split it up as planned. I rowed 2,000m in under 9 minutes and Mickey ran about a 9 minute mile to kick us off. We then split up the workout with a consistent rep scheme:

  • 10 rounds
  • 5 pull-ups (or ring rows, which Mickey shifted to after a few rounds)
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 air squats

That meant each of us did 50 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, and 150 air squats. And honestly I felt pretty good through the first 5 rounds. My push-ups started to fatigue pretty quickly, but I just broke them into two or three chunks and got them done.

But my 5 pull-ups and 15 air squats felt pretty good through the whole thing.

And when we were done, we walked a mile. Two laps around the 800m course.

We finished in under 55 minutes. I’ll take it. Mickey and I were done with all the reps about minute 33 and it took a while to leisurely walk the mile afterwards. We were less than a lap ahead of Ev and she did the whole thing herself!

Here are some pictures that AJ took:

So another Murph in the books. Great work to everybody who completed it. Quite a few folks tried it this year for the first time with a weight vest. My goal next year is to try it with rowing the front and back side of the WOD and do all the reps. It’s going to take a while, but I think if I pace myself like I did today I can pull it off.

On this Memorial Day, let’s remember why we have this national holiday. It’s to remember all those sacrificing their lives to the duty of protecting the United States — past, present, and future. We honor your sacrifices and embrace the suck each year doing Murph. It’s nowhere close to what you endure.

Memorial-Day-Images

Scaling for miles

Today I’m going to start by talking about the day’s WOD and then I’m going to flip over and talk about some mental/physical battles I’m going through currently.

Stretching-Ballerina-Silhouette-800pxSo first… the WOD. I went in with Ev for an 8:30 workout with Coach Jimmy. We had a fun group — Larry, Todd & Melissa, Tionne, Caleb, Jenny, and Carrie. We started with some foam rolling while everybody got in and then we did:

  • 500m row or 2 mins on the assault bike
  • some back and forth across the gym with things like:
    • high knees
    • knee hugs
    • “ballerina” stretches on each side (the ballerina to the right is definitely not ME!)
    • spider-man lunges
    • reverse lunges
    • arm swings
    • arm hugs

Once all that was done, we did some clean practice with a medicine ball. And then we got out dumbbells, kettle bells, and all the other bits and pieces we’d need for today’s WOD:

  • 20 minute AMRAP:
  • 45/30# dumbbell squat cleans, 10 reps (35/20# Level II) (20/10# Level I)
  • 15 pull-ups (12 pull-ups Level II) (10 banded pull-ups Level I)
  • 20 box jumps (24/20″) (Level II, same) (15 box jumps, Level I)

From what we’d seen from earlier classes, folks pushed to get through 4, maybe 5 rounds.

kettlebells

So how’d it go?

Ev did four rounds + 3 reps of:

  • 25# dumbbell squat cleans, 10 reps
  • banded pull-ups, 15 reps
  • 20″ step-ups, 20 reps

I did 3 rounds + 10 reps of a weird mix:

  • 35# kettlebell squat cleans, 10 reps (round 1 & 2)
  • 35# kettlebell squat cleans, 10 reps (right arm only, round 3 & 4)
  • kipping pull-ups, 15 reps (round 1)
  • kipping pull-ups, (6 reps), ring rows (9 reps) (round 2)
  • ring rows (15 reps) (round 3)
  • 20″ step-ups (rounds 1 through 3)

This was not pretty. My knees were not happy. My shoulders were not happy. But I kept moving.

Thanks go to Jimmy for making some suggestions for those first two rounds of kettlebell squat cleans. We’ll see how many bruises I end up with anyway. 🙂

The Second Part

First, weight gain.

In the last few months, I’ve taken a pretty considerable nosedive on my weight. I’m back to nearly 240#, which is about what I was at when I started crossfit in February 2013. I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I was back then and can do things now that I couldn’t then, but considering that at one point I got all the way down to 201#, it’s been a long slow trip back up the weight train.

I suspect that many of my knee and ankle issues are from the additional weight. I also suspect that my issues with pull-ups stem from having even more weight to pull up on the rig.

So that’s a problem.

7509f17571697095d947c0c79d083001_fat-thin-cartoon-fat-slim-public-domain-clipart-woman-fat-thin_1300-1174

Second, scaling.

I’ve recently decided that scaling is ok. I’m not a world class athlete, nor do I ever hope to be. But what I aim for is to keep moving through workouts.

If I have to row instead of run to do that, fine. If I have to drop a barbell and go with air squats in the middle of a workout, that’s fine. If I have to shift to ring rows because I can no longer hang onto the rig for pull-ups, that’s fine.

Whatever I have to do to keep moving, that’s fine. And it is. I’m not just saying “it’s fine” and secretly not believing that it is.

During this year’s Open, I figured this out. And it’s saved me a ton of mental grief ever since.

look-at-scaling-feat

Third, getting older, not deader.

This next week I turn 47. Woo hoo. And as I get older, I want to stay healthy, mobile, and strong. I need to learn more about what it will take to do that and get off my ass to do so.

Fourth, the Lurong Sumertime Challenge.

Yes, we’re doing the Lurong thing again. And this year the diet portion involves Macros.

The name of the thing has the word “Challenge” in it — and it’s going to be. Old habits die hard. But I’m going to try. I want to see if eating more protein, less fat, and less carbs, is sustainable as a lifestyle shift more than a 5 or 6 week diet change.

So we’ll see how all of this goes.

I’m feeling OLD. My knees are ticked. My shoulders are ticked. And I don’t want to stop crossfit because I worry that if I do, I’m done with the whole moving thing again.

Long story short…

  • Keep moving
  • Lose some weight
  • Find my mojo again

Let’s see how the next few weeks go.

Monday, that Old Chestnut

Last night as I looked at the workout for today, I was wondering how I would be able to do two parts of the workout and it ended up being the third that killed me. Good thing I’m not a fortune teller.

reading-the-wod-memeSo it’s Monday. Ev’s working. AJ’s at school. Mickey’s taking an AP test. But I made it in. And during the warm-up I was wondering what I got myself into. 🙂

Coach Bill had a fun group… Nic & Nichole, Jonathan, Shauna, Jenny, and Carrie. I think I was the negative Nellie this morning, which was entertaining.

We started with a group 400m run and then came back to do 3 rounds of:

  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 dumbbell thrusters (5 each side, 35# for me)
  • 15 good mornings (empty 45# barbell)
  • 150m row

Pull-ups felt ok today. Row was ok. Good mornings were ok. Dumbbell thrusters felt fine on the right for a while and awful on the left, then awful on both. You know, the usual.

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1The workout itself was one of the online qualifiers for the regional games (#4):

  • 2 rounds for time:
  • 10 deadlifts, 315/225# (225/155# Level II, 155/105# Level I)
  • 20 deficit handstand push-ups, 4.5-in. deficit (or just 20 HSPUs level II, or pike push-ups level I)
  • 30 front squats, 95/65# (75/55# LII, 45/35 LI)

The way my body was feeling (left knee is NOT happy), I decided Level II would be the way to go. 225# deadlifts (not touch and go) and regular HSPUs, but 95# front squats.

My deadlifts were straight legged the whole way. Bending the left knee… um… Yeah, it didn’t wanna. Bill called me out on it, but with only two sets of 10 it wasn’t worth it. Apparently I wasn’t the only one rounding my back.

My HSPUs were like Mickey’s HSPUs – more of shoulder dips where I’d break tension with my elbows, maybe brush the top of my head on a couple of abmats, and straighten back out again. Even kicking up on the wall took a few tries.

I got through the first round in under 8 minutes. And by the end of the second round, my shoulders were screaming bloody murder over those HSPUs to the point where I couldn’t hang on to a front racked bar. However, rather than just stop cold — I ended up doing 12 front squats and 18 air squats.

Time: 16:31. So a heavily modified Level II. I think everybody scaled to some level or another, though Jonathan did do 315# deadlifts.

Great work 8:30 class! Thanks Bill for the push!

Now it’s time for some ice…

Push Me, Pull Me

Morning folks. I slept hard for a good 5 hours last night and woke up feeling a bit exhausted as a result. Don’t ask me how that works, but I definitely had multiple body parts (knees & ankles) that were popping and snapping at me as I moved around. It was fantastic.

After a meeting at work, it was time to head in for the 8:30 class with Ev. Thursdays are always a bit more entertaining when I get to work out with my wife. 🙂 We had Coach Bill today, plus Jonathan, Brent, Joe, Jenny, and Melissa. Caleb came in early to do some mobility work before the 9:30 class as well.

2013-01-29-a-TRex-Downward-Dog-1024x462
Kind of Felt like this doing mobility before and after the workout

We started with some foam rolling, which was good. And then we did a 3 round warm-up:

  • 200m run
  • 5 wall balls (20/14#)
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 sit-ups

By the last 200m run, my body was complaining enough that I decided to turn it into a 100m, but the rest worked ok.

Then we went through some work with a PVC pipe:

  • pass-thrus
  • strict press
  • round-the-worlds
  • push press
  • elbow mobility
  • split jerks

Shoulder-Pass-Through

And then worked through a few movements with an empty barbell:

  • strict press
  • back squat
  • straight-leg deadlifts
  • push-press
  • front squats
  • push jerks

After that, we added some weight and did a few reps. I did:

  • 95# push press
  • and upped it to 115# push press

My issue however was C2B pull-ups. I had no pull today. Even my normal pull-ups were awful, but that’s what I scaled it down to. Regular kipping pull-ups.

The workout was:

  • 21-15-9 reps for time of:
  • Shoulder-to-overheads, 135/95# (or 115/75# or 95/55#)
  • Chest-to-bar pull-ups (banded or strict press or regular pull-ups)

push-press

How’d we do?

  • Evie finished in 8:31 with 75# and banded pull-ups
  • I finished in 12:04 with 115# and regular kipping pull-ups (11 & 10 reps, 6, 5, 5, 5 pull-ups, 5-5-5, and whatever sets I could do, then 9 reps and a mix of 3, 2, and 1 rep sets)

My shoulders were on fire. I had a tough time convincing my body to raise my arms over my head. Pushing was one thing, but pulling was completely different. Definitely a struggle and I was definitely the last person done.

But as we keep pointing out… DFL > DNF > DNS. So I’m good with that. And I need to set up an appointment with my good friend Caleb the Chiropractor to get some of my issues resolved. 🙂

dfl-dnf-dns

After all of that we did some mobility work and put our stuff away. To say that my shoulders were pissed off during that process would be an understatement, but I did what I could. And they’ve stopped burning since I got home, so that’s a good thing. 🙂

Great work 8:30 class! Impressive performances! Thanks Bill for the encouragement! And good luck 9:30 class!

Have a great day!

Isaac’s WOD of Death (aka Team WOD Saturday)

Though we had a Spring snowstorm cancel AJ’s soccer game today, we had a plethora of other options to choose from in Colorado Springs today:

And we decided to get our sweat on today with a Team WOD at CrossFit Continuum. Why? Because we’re all a little crazy and that’s where some of our friends would be. 🙂

I think, due to the snow and the plethora of activities going on around town, we had a smaller group of people attend today’s team WOD. Coach Isaac, Larry, and Brent were there when we arrived. Jonathan and Sarah, Robert, and Adi came in as well. So we had 9 athletes and 1 coach.

We started with a discussion of the WOD and then did a very brief warm-up – the PVC Game. (Below you can see another CrossFit box demonstrating…)

In Isaac’s version, if you dropped the PVC pipe, it was the people who dropped it and the people who handed it to them who had to do 4 burpees each. Not sure how good a warm-up it was, but it was fun! (I only had to do 4 burpees. 🙂 )

The workout itself was deceptively simple for teams of two (we had one team of three):

  • 20170429_10514027 minute AMRAP
  • For each movement, one team member would do the reps while the other waited in the “box.” When the first team member finished, they would tag the other to do the same movement.
  • Rep scheme was 10-9-8-7-6-5 — each athlete would do 10 reps of the movement, then 9, etc. When you finished 5 reps, shift to the next movement and repeat the rep scheme.
  • Essentially each athlete did 45 reps of each movement.
  • The movements were:
    • Wall balls (20/14# medicine ball)
    • Box jumps (24/20″ box)
    • Pull-ups
    • Burpees
    • Knees-to-elbows
  • If you finished the Knees-to-Elbows, start again on Wall balls

Jonathan and I teamed up. Sarah and Ev teamed up. AJ worked with Robert & Adi on the team of 3. And Larry & Brent worked together.

How’d it go?

  • 550_energizer-bunnyThe only thing I had to scale was the box jumps. I started with 20″ box jumps and shifted to step-ups to keep things moving. Jonathan did 24″ box jumps the whole time.
  • Wall balls actually felt pretty good.
  • Pull-ups, as always, slowed me down. I banged out the first 10 in two sets of 5 and started falling apart by the round of 8. Isaac tried to get me to really use the hip kip to get more momentum going — but I was feeling it my biceps and hamstrings pretty quickly. Though I appreciated the coaching, I’m not sure my technique improved any. 🙂
  • Burpees KILLED ME. I was already shot after all the pull-ups, but damn. Slowest, ugliest burpees on record.
  • And we barely had time to even get into the Knees-to-Elbows. I got in 10 reps before we ran out of time. I think if we had 30 minutes, we would have finished the K2E pretty easily. Another 3 minutes would have allowed us all the time we needed.

Jonathan did awesome — he just kept going like the Energizer Rabbit. I felt bad ’cause I slowed him down. But we did fine. Everybody was killing it. 🙂

Really a great workout that involved a little bit of everything, so great work Isaac! I was definitely sweaty and tired by the time we were done. 🙂

Great work everybody! I hope you all have a fantastic Saturday!