Tag Archives: pull-ups

Three Rounds of Pull Pull PULL!

Yesterday was another rest day, but I’m not sure even another day would have prepared me for today’s pull-fest workout! Made it in for the 8:30 WOD with Coach Drea, Dave, Janiece & Greg, Melissa S, Larry, Maria, and a nice new gal whose name I didn’t catch.

We started out by skipping the run (it was more than a little slick out in the building parking lot) and did:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 PVC good mornings
  • 20 single-unders
  • 30-60 seconds of double-under attempts (or 20 doubles) — no doubles were harmed during this time (I achieved exactly zero!)
  • 30 seconds per side with a wall-based pectoral stretch
  • and then 10 wall pectoral circles

After that we did some sumo deadlift high pull and pull-up practice. Though the SDHPs were light (only 75#), I was a little concerned about the high rep count we were doing, with the bar and at the rig. The rowing — not so much. I can usually do 1000m in 4-5 minutes so I wasn’t too worried about that. 

The workout?

  • 3 rounds for time
    • 1000m row (500m for Fitness)
    • 50 SDHPs (or 40 for Performance, 20 for Fitness) (75/55#, 45/35# for Fitness)
    • 25 pull-ups (or 20 for Performance, 10 ring rows for Fitness)

And yeah, it was every bit as rough as I thought. I finished the first round in about 9 minutes. As you might imagine, I slowed down after that. 🙂

Took me 35:15 to finish Performance level with the following tweaks. Due to the number of folks in the class (there were 8 of us) a few of us changed the order of the workout and then I scaled a bit in round 2…

  • 3 rounds for time
    • 20 pull-ups (10 pull-ups and 10 ring rows in rounds 2 & 3)
    • 40 SDHPs @ 75#
    • 1000m row
  • Total time: 35:15

Yowza. My pull was shot after the first round — and it got worse from there. But I finished. That was the main thing.

Mentally I wasn’t quite in the right mood when I went in. Out of sorts after a rough night of sleep I guess, but I pushed through that and did what I could.

Thanks Drea! And great work everybody!


Two workouts to start the week

Some weeks don’t go according to plan. This week started with a snow day, which led to a late workout on Monday with Coach Nicole, and then I hit the 8:30 workout this morning with Coach Lara. I’ll do a similar night/day workout combination Thurs & Fri as well, so we’ll see how recovery is over the next 24 hours. 🙂

But due to distractions at home last night, I didn’t get that workout written up — so this post will be longer than normal.

Pull-ups and wall balls

So last night at 4:45 I jumped into Coach Nicole’s class with a bunch of other folks. We had Ryan, Drew, Karen, Melissa S, Logan, and Cassie – a newcomer checking out our box. Not sure if it was the snow or the phase of the moon, but we were all a little goofy. 🙂

jumping-jacks-5JBrue-clipartIt made the warm-up more entertaining:

  • Two rounds of
    • 1 minute of jumping jacks
    • 1 minute of high knees
    • 10 squats with a shoulder reach from the bottom of the squat
    • 5 scapular push-ups
  • Then we grabbed some medicine balls and did what felt like basketball drills for a minute each in pairs… I worked with Logan and we used a 14# ball.
    • Chest passes (standard basketball pass)
    • Rotational tosses (pass across the body, right to left, turn, then left to right)
    • Overhead passes (hands directly overhead – another solid b-ball pass)
    • Squat + chest pass to partner (squat to the bottom, then do a chest pass)

When all of that was done, we did a fair amount of warm-up with squat therapy and wall ball warm-ups before doing a bunch of pull-up warm-ups as well. And it’s a good thing because this workout was a doozy…

  • t-rex-hates-wall-ballsFor time:
    • Competitor
      • 50 wall-ball shots, 50 pull-ups
      • 35/35
      • 20/20
      • Men: 20-lb. ball to 10 ft.
      • Women: 14-lb. ball to 9 ft
    • Performance
      • 35/35
      • 20/20
      • 10/10

I’m not out of line when I say that 50 pull-ups in a row is insane. I already had it in my head that I might try splitting those reps between ring rows and pull-ups to try and keep from tearing. But that plan didn’t last long. We were shooting for 15 minutes or less. HA!

3-2-1-go… Suddenly I discovered I was using a 14# wall ball and when I tried shifting to ring rows, Nicole directed me back to the bar… so my workout looked like this:

  • survived-didnt-die50 wall balls with a 14# ball
  • 35 kipping pull-ups (longest set 10, shortest set 3-5) plus 2 ring rows
  • 35 wall balls
  • 20 kipping pull-ups
  • 20 wall balls
  • 10 kipping pull-ups (longest set 4, shortest set 1)
  • total time: 15:28

I was definitely the last one to finish, but I did finish — so I’ll take that. Plus, Nicole made it a point to compliment my pull-ups. I did ok. 🙂


Deadlifts – Heavy and plentiful

Then this morning I made it in for the 8:30 workout with Coach Lara. It was just me and Dave, but that was fine – it gave us lots of time to work on form.

We started with the warm-up:

  • sportsrow-800px2 rounds of…
    • 500m row (250m for 2nd round)
    • 10 inchworm to side plank, alternating sides
    • 10 single leg deadlift
    • 10 banded good mornings
    • 10 Cossack squats

And then we dove into a good deal of deadlift refresher, focusing on tightening the core at the bottom and making sure we pull our shoulders back. The latter is always a challenge for me, but I’m starting to feel it when I exaggerate the outer shoulder rotation — so that’s good. 🙂

Barbell_DeadliftThe workout was 6 rounds of increasing weight: 10-10-5-5-3-3. Start at 50-60% of our one rep max and end at 80-85% of our one rep max. These days my one rep is 315#, so I had some math to do…

  • 135# x5 (warm-up) (43%)
  • 155# x5 (warm-up) (49%)
  • 165# x5 (warm-up) (52%)
  • 175# x10 (56%)
  • 195# x10 (62%)
  • 225# x5 (71%)
  • 245# x5 (78%)
  • 255# x3 (81%)
  • 265# x3 (84%)
  • Total lifted: 9885# (nearly 10,000# or roughly 5 tons)

Not bad for less than 30 minutes of work. 🙂 I won’t say that some reps weren’t better than others, but I felt like I was able to tell when my shoulders were in the right place better today than I have in the past – so that’s progress.

Great work Dave and thanks Lara for all the good tips and encouragement. 🙂

Now we’ll see how well we do with a bit more than 24 hours of rest between workouts. 🙂

Halloween Squat Snatches?

Made it to Wednesday this week, so we’ll call it good so far. Wasn’t sure we’d get that far after Monday! But headed in for a Halloween 5:45 evening class with Coach Nicole. We had a bunch of folks – KB & Zac, Evan, Jimmy & Drea, Aileen, and Rebecca. Looked like the 4:45 class was also quite full, which is awesome.

supermanWe started with a little warm-up:

  • 2 rounds
    • 90 second row/bike
    • 10 slow, controlled OHS with PVC
    • 10 ring rows
    • 10 hollow body with PVC raises
    • 10 superman with PVC raises

And then we talked quite a bit about scaling options at the rig for the muscle-ups and went over squat snatches in detail with an empty bar before adding some weight.

The workout? 2018 Team Series Event #5…

  • For time
    • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
      • Bar muscle-ups (or pull-ups or other scaling options)
      • Squat snatches (95/65#, 65/45#)

Yeah, I can’t quite do this yet. 🙂

Time domain? 15-20 minutes? It’s 110 reps, so a good number of reps regardless of what options you picked on the menu.

My workout was:

  • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
    • Banded strict chest-to-bar (three bands) and strict ring-to-sternum ring rows
    • 65# squat snatches

How’d it go? Well, Nicole wanted me to focus on my head position in the snatches, so I attempted to “relax” my neck so it wasn’t thrust forward as far. And it does make a huge difference. If my neck is more vertical, my torso is too, which means my shoulders are as well — everything sits better when the whole chain is stacked vertically instead of diagonally… Go figure. 🙂

I struggled with that a bit, but I struggled with the banded C2B more. I don’t quite have the range of motion to pull my elbows down, even with the bands, where our trainers want them. I did manage a few, but they fell apart pretty quickly. When that happened, I dropped to the ring pull to sternum and did that as best I could.

My final time was 17:11, which was right in the time domain they were looking for — so I think I scaled appropriately. 🙂

Plus, it was fun to cheer on the folks (Zac & Evan) actually able to do the dang bar muscle-ups. Everybody did awesome. Thanks Nicole for a fun workout and great work class!

DNF and Head Not in the Game

Some days it seems it’s not worth getting out of bed. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that there’s a ton of uncertainty in my life, out of the blue, after yesterday afternoon and I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I’m sort of stuck in this cycle:

Uncertainty => Doubt => Fear => Anxiety => Back to Uncertainty

fear-uncertainty-doubtDespite the uncertainty, I chose to head in for a workout this morning at Continuum, though a bit later than usual. I arrived as the 8:30 class was finishing up with Coach Drea. At 9:30 it was me, Andrew & Ashley, and Janiece. I did my best to keep a positive outlook, but it was hard even during the warm-up…

  • 2 rounds
  • 400m jog
  • 10 banded good mornings
  • 10 squat to stands
  • 10 ring rows
  • 10 banded kips (standing on the floor, band overhead, mostly working on body position between hollow body and Superman)

If I look back, I was even half-assing the warm-up and that should have been my first clue.

After that, we worked a bit on pull-ups, focusing on control and shifting between kipping and full pull-ups. And lastly we did a bit of deadlift work with a light bar (75# for me) and then warming up to our working weight. We did three sets of 3 pull-ups and 5 deadlifts, increasing weight as we went. I shifted to 135#, then 165#, then 185# and stuck there.

Barbell_DeadliftThe workout was:

  • 21-15-9 reps for time of:
    • Pull-ups
    • Deadlifts (225/155# Competitor, 135/95# Scaled)

I did kipping pull-ups and 185# touch and go deadlifts. And it started ok.

  • pull-ups — 21 broken up all over the place –12 in a row, then a mix of 1s, 2s, and 3s to get to 21
  • deadlifts — 21 in sets of 7
  • pull-ups — 15 broken up in 3s and 4s
  • deadlifts – got through 5 reps and then stopped

And then I couldn’t get going again. I realized later that I tore my hand during the pull-ups, but that wasn’t it. I just honestly couldn’t convince myself to pick the bar up again.

dead-lastOur time domain was around 8 minutes and I was stuck at the deadlift bar for over a minute trying to get those next 10 reps and just couldn’t.

This was a case where my mind and my body were not anywhere in the same zip code. I couldn’t leave the crap in my head outside and it crowded out any thoughts of just powering through and completing the workout.

I know “Did Not Finish” beats “Did Not Start,” but honestly I was done with 62 reps and only had 28 left to go. I should have just gotten off my ass and finished, so I am disappointed in that.

And I just cleaned up my bar and walked out. I didn’t stay for the cool-down. I didn’t congratulate my classmates on a job well done. I just removed myself from the equation.

you-lack-disciplineSome days are like that I guess, but it’s a discipline thing and I failed that today. I could pin it on a lack of sleep (I was restless and moved to the couch about 11:30, staying there until almost 6am). I could pin it on the uncertainty of the events going on with work. But it falls down to not having the discipline to set all that aside for the hour I was in the gym.

Sorry Drea. Good work 8:30 – y’all killed that workout!

Forearms are swole!

Made it for the 8:30 workout this morning with Coach Drea, Melissa S, Melissa, Emily, Rebecca, and Bri. We were ready to get “swole” on a Monday morning apparently. 🙂

yoga-down-dog-2We started with two rounds of:

  • 1 minute of single-unders or double-under practice (no double-unders were harmed during my double-under practice in the second round)
  • 30 second straight-arm plank hold
  • 30 seconds of banded pull-aparts (green band)
  • 30 seconds of hands-on-box shoulder stretch (like child’s pose, but arms are raised so your head can dip below parallel with the shoulders)

After that we moved to talk about push presses (empty barbell warm-up and then added weight to get to our starting weight). I warmed up with 95# and set up at 115# with the ability to strip off 20# when it got to be too much.

And then we moved to the rig… Strict pull-ups are not really my jam. I tend to do them with a grip like chin-ups rather than an over-hand pull-up grip. And weighted ones? Well, that’s definitely a challenge. But with the chain belt on, I tested with some 25# weighted pull-ups and then got ready for the performance weights (30/20/10#)…

PullupThe workout itself was simple:

  • 5 minute AMRAP
  • 3 minute rounds with 2 minute rest
    • Performance
      • 20 push presses (115/5#)
      • and max effort weighted pull-ups (30/20/10# weighted, then strict, then kipping or 15/10/5# weighted, then strict, then kipping)
    • Fitness
      • 20 push presses (95/65#)
      • max-rep jumping pull-ups

So my workout went something like this:

  • Round 1 – 20 push presses @ 115#, 6 strict chin-up style pull-ups with 30# weight (one at a time) (push press I did 17 in a row, then dropped, then did last 3 – that was probably a poor choice)
  • Round 2 – 20 x 115#, 5 strict pull-ups with 20# weight (left forearm was blowing up at this point and causing all sorts of entertaining problems) (did 10 push-presses in a row, then 5, then 3, then 2)
  • Round 3 – stripped off 20# and moved to 20 x 95#, did 6 weighted strict pull-ups at 10# (one at a time) – (same rep scheme as round 2 for push press)
  • Round 4 – 20 x 95#, 8 strict pull-ups one at a time
  • Round 5 – 20 x 95#, 15 kipping pull-ups
  • Total pull-ups: 40

We’ll see if I can move my left arm tomorrow. 🙂 But I was happy I was pretty consistent round to round. That’s the most weighted pull-ups I’ve ever done I think.

Not bad for a Monday! Thanks Drea and good work 8:30 class!

Twofer #2 of the week

Yes, life has thrown me more curve balls this week but though I haven’t been as on top of writing up workouts as I would like, I have been getting to them (and through them) so I’ll take that.

My week in a nutshell — Big Turd Keeps on Turnin’…

Wodding Wednesday

So Wednesday night I made it in for a 4:45 class with Coach Nicole, Steve, and Katie. And though I knew what the workout was, I am never sure of the warm-ups or cool-downs with Nicole. 🙂

I have to admit that (like many folks, it seems), Monday’s workout really kicked my butt. Literally and figuratively. My quads and hamstrings were royally ticked off. We started with a jog I think and did bits and pieces of the warm-up as designed, with some additional bits and pieces to help with shoulders and hips.

Shoulder-to-OverheadAnd let me say I wasn’t sure I was heading in on Wednesday or not. Last week it was also a running WOD and I didn’t make it.

From there we were off to the races with some push jerk and push press refresher before warming up to our working weight. 135# seemed pretty risky to me, so I warmed up to 115# and called it good there.

The workout?

  • 3 rounds for time
    • Run 400m
    • 10 shoulder-to-overhead (135/95# Performance, 95/65# Fitness)

Time domain? Somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes.

So how’d I do with 115#? Well… not as bad as I thought I might. 🙂

survived-didnt-dieMy time was 9:09 and I tied Katie. 🙂 Steve was faster by almost a minute I think. My runs were slow, but my S2OH weren’t too bad until that last round when I had to drop the bar at rep 8, then re-clean and do two more reps.

Honestly my first round felt good. The run was solid and all 10 reps were pretty good push jerks. After that, the wheels started coming off a little bit. Runs got slower and S2OH got sloppier.

And when we were done? Nicole had us do some post-workout work on our hips and quads. I was sweating more during the post-workout than I did during the workout itself. 🙂

Thanks Nicole and great work 4:45!

Chelsea Thursday

Um. Whoever came up with the Chelsea workout must really like Cindy.


Again, today I wasn’t sure I was going to make it in. A combination of lack of sleep (3 hours just isn’t going to cut it) and overall body soreness from the rest of the week (I blame Monday) really laid me a bit low this morning. And then… I felt like the dung beetle again at my desk.


So I found myself at the box at 8:30 with Coach Lara, Ev, Todd & Melissa, Dallen, Caleb, Bri, Carrie, and KB. Did it change the fact that I was sore as hell? No. But it did get me moving. 🙂

We did the warm-up as written for a couple of rounds:

  • 30 sec high knees
  • 30 sec butt kickers
  • 10 leg swings, each leg – forward/back and side to side
  • 200m jog
  • 10 walking lunge steps with PVC pass through
  • 10 push ups into a 30 sec downward dog hold

I’m not going to lie… I was hurting during the warm-up. The walking lunges became a single walking lunge and 5 PVC pass-thrus on each side the first time. And I skipped that step the second round so I could put on my knee sleeves. My left knee did not like touching the ground and was very cranky after that, so I didn’t repeat it. 🙂

PullupFrom there, we did a short pull-up skill sequence, talked about push-ups, grabbed some medicine balls to use as squat targets, and discussed scaling options.

  • Chelsea
  • Every minute on the minute for 30 minutes perform:
    • 5 pull-ups
    • 10 push-ups
    • 15 squats
  • If you fall behind the clock, keep going for 30 minutes and see how many rounds you can complete.

The scaling option for Fitness was 20 rounds of 3-6-9 with some combination of jumping pull-ups, knee push-ups, and air squats.


Many of us opted for 3-6-9 with full pull-ups, push-ups, and squats – to try and go for 20-30 rounds. And I kept up with that pace for a while. 🙂

I made it to 20 rounds of 3-6-9, but had to scale my full push-ups to knee push-ups after round 10. But I managed to keep that pace and finish in 30-45 seconds all the way through those 20 rounds.

And when I was done — I walked out to do an 800m walk. Everybody else did another 10 rounds. My body was saying enough. I was happy to get that far. 🙂

Great work 8:30 class and thanks Lara!

Another Catch-up Post Twofer

Seems I’ve been writing a lot of these of late. Work and life are conspiring to keep me busy. Here’s the last couple of workouts, plus we did yoga with V on Friday night (thanks V!)!

Saturday Team WOD

Saturday morning, Ev and I headed in for Team WOD at 10am. And we weren’t alone. There were 8 teams all together – mostly teams of 2, maybe a team or two of 3 people. But the place was definitely hopping. Caleb & Megan, Heather, Brent, Jimmy, Nick & Lisa, and a whole bunch of other folks. 🙂 Coach Drea had her hands full!


After warming up a bit (400m jog, some other things) it was time to pick teams. It looked at first like I would be on a team of 3 with a couple of other guys, but Ev and I decided to work together and we took it slow and steady the whole way through.

  • 2 person teams
  • Cash in – Row 2000 meters
  • 25 push press #135/#95
  • 25 burpees over the bar
  • 25 deadlift #135/#95
  • 25 burpees over the bar
  • 25 thrusters#135/#95
  • 25 burpees over the bar
  • 25 front rack lunges #135/#95
  • 25 burpees over the bar
  • Cash out 2000 m bike

pablo (4)Ev and I started on the bike and ended with the row. She used a 65# bar for everything except for a few deadlifts she did with my bar. I used 95# for everything except for the front rack lunges – I dropped the bar on those.

Bar over burpees were awful. The bike to start was rough. But surprisingly it was the row at the end that smoked me.

We finished in 30:45 and I was happy to be done. 🙂

Monday’s Metcon – Shoulders and Knees

This morning it was me, the two Melissas, and Bill with Coach Drea at 8:30. And I have to say I was not excited about this one. The numbers and movements are not among my strongest and I knew my body was going to object. 🙂

kangaroo-warm-upWe started with two rounds of the warm-up:

  • 1:30 rowing
  • 10 walking lunges
  • 10 reverse grip PVC passthroughs
  • :30 plank walk up

90 minutes of rowing? No worries. I managed about 18 calories the first round and sprinted to 25 in the second. Walking lunges? Bah. Reverse grip pass-thrus – these were a challenge. I couldn’t get past my elbows – very awkward. And the 30 second plank walk-ups? Interesting – plank, then down to elbows, and back up again.

Good warm-up. Definitely tests flexibility and gets things moving.

body-weight-movementsBut then… we had to face the rest of the workout.

  • Metcon for Total Time
  • For time:
    • walking lunge
    • push-ups
    • medicine-ball cleans
    • pull-ups
    • walking lunge
  • Competitor: 100m, 100 reps, 100m, 20/14# medicine ball
  • Performance: 75m, 75 reps, 75m, 20/14# medicine ball
  • Fitness: 50m, 50 reps, 50m, 20/14# medicine ball

Walking lunges are never going to be one of my favorite movements. The fact that my knee has to touch the ground over and over again just tweaks everything from top to bottom. And then just the sheer volume of reps in-between with two shoulder-intense movements like push-ups and pull-ups, plus med-ball cleans.

bodyweight_walking_lungeYeah, this was not something I looked forward to attempting. I seem to recall trying to get through 100 push-ups for time with Isaac & Bill one day and struggling mightily. Add to that hundreds of reps of other movements and yeah… Ugh.

So how’d it go?

  • Performance reps:
    • 75m walking lunges outside
    • 75 push-ups (started with 10 and did sets of 5 mostly, happy to say I didn’t drop to knee push-ups)
    • 75 med-ball cleans (20# medicine ball – sets of 5-10)
    • 75 pull-ups (started with a set of 10, then a set of 5, then dropped to ring rows for the remainder – sets of 5 for the most part)
    • 75m walking lunges – more awful than the first set
  • Final time: 33:06 (or so)

The switch from pull-ups to ring rows was not unexpected. My knees were ticked after the first round of walking lunges and my shoulders were fried before the end of the push-ups. The med-ball cleans added insult to injury, and the pull-ups were bound to fall apart.

survived-didnt-dieI was more surprised I think that Melissa, Melissa, and Bill all crushed the walking lunges and left me in the dust. The final 75m, I started before any of them and was still the last one done. They are uncomfortable, slow, and still better than they were 5 years ago.

Ultimately, I’m just happy that I finished this one.

Thanks all!