Tag Archives: pull-ups

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.” ๐Ÿ™‚


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 honorย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.ย 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 hereย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

And everybody else was moving right along — Jenny & Melissa teamed up and Nicole was pushing Logan pretty good. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. Andย 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!

Catching up: Tabatas Are Evil

Yesterday really got out of hand and I never got back to my computer to write up the workout, so I wanted to remedy that today. Made it in for a Noon workout on Weds with Coach Drea and Lorna.

1w9tgkIt’s been a while since we’ve done tabatas in a workout.ย A “tabata” is a form of interval training. 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 intervals. 4 minutes total. You can do it with just about any kind of movement. Usually you track the lowest number of reps you got in any round, but apparently we were adding reps from all the rounds — which is good because I had some bombs.

We started with Nicole’s warm-up of the week and I showed once again how little flexibility I have in certain directions. ๐Ÿ™‚ And after that we did a little bit of squat work, working on not going too deep or too shallow, but “just right” as Crossfit Goldilocks might say.

The workout was:

  • Tabata pull-ups
  • Tabata push-ups
  • Tabata sit-ups
  • Tabata squats

Pretty simple. And I knew I was doomed from the beginning. ๐Ÿ™‚

So how’d I do:

  • Pull-ups: 10, 0, 4 (shifted to jumping pull-ups), 5, 6, 7, 6, 7 = 45
  • Push-ups: 12, 5, 5, (shifted to knee push-ups), 3, 6, 6, 5, 5 = 47
  • Sit-ups: 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 9, 9, 10 = 77
  • Air squats: 12, 12, 12, 6, 12, 10, 10, 10 = 84
  • Total: 253

Let’s talk about a few of the areas where I ran into issues:

  1. 1w9tpqPull-ups: I came out of the gate too hot. Doing 10 pull-ups in a row left me dead on arrival for round 2. I couldn’t convince myself to get back on the bar. Had to drop to jumping pull-ups.
  2. Push-ups: Same thing. Came out of the gate too hot. 12 push-ups in 20 seconds killed me and it got worse. But knee push-ups are no easier, so adjusting to those took a bit as well.
  3. Sit-ups: I felt pretty good here actually.
  4. Air Squats: I felt pretty good here as well. On the round of 6, Drea was coaching me a bit to ensure that I didn’t collapse forward and after that I stayed pretty consistent again.

The bench press workout earlier in the week left a mark and I was definitely sore. Pacing would have been better on the first two movements. Shooting for 5 or 6 and not going for big sets of 10 or 12 would have been smarter.

But I was glad I did it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Drea!

Row-Row-Row to Run-Run-Run

Remember how I was whining last week about Olympic snatches? Well, CrossFit always aims to change things up. We shifted to calorie rows on Saturday and Monday, which wiped me out more than I am willing to admit. And then I looked at today and saw pull-ups and running… Dang. Let’s keep hammering on the skills work. ๐Ÿ™‚

Flexy I Ain’t.

Went in this morning for an 8:30 class and had Coach Nicole! I’ve been waiting for things to line up so I could catch one of her classes, so I was happy it happened. I’ve been digging the variety of coaching at Continuum and Nicole is a great addition. Had a nice brief chat with her this morning as people started trickling in.

We had Jenny & Carrie, Nic & Nicole (and little Oakley!) so it was a fun little class. I haven’t seen Nic & Nicole since right after the little guy was born (at Reagan’s comp), so it was nice to see them come back to the box.

Today began with one of Nicole’s active stretching routines, which was great for hamstrings, core, and shoulders. And when we were done with body weight stuff we moved to the rig for more shoulder work, then ended with some leg swings.

From there we looked at ring rows and pull-up mechanics, which was nice. She explained (and demonstrated) a few things in a slightly different manner than some of our other coaches, which was great. Same mechanics, different presentation, offers more pieces to the puzzle that kind of fit into my mental picture of how different things work. Like all boxes (I suspect), ours is a tapestry of details forming a crazy quilt of crossfit knowledge. ๐Ÿ™‚

silly-walkAnd then she dropped the bomb on us. She wanted this workout to be in the 8-12 minute time domain. The key was intensity.

  • 3 rounds for time of:
  • 30 pull-ups
  • 400-meter run
  • Level II – 20 pull-ups
  • Level I – 20 ring rows

A few guidelines she threw out there:

  • No more than 2 sets for the pull-ups each round.
  • And the run should be in the 90 second range each round.

Um.ย Immediately I scaled to Level II and the 20 pull-ups. ย My 400m runs are normally right around 2 minutes, so she suggested 300m instead of 400m to keep the run in the right range as well.

So here’s how the workout went for me:

  • 10 pull-ups – 5 pull-ups – 5 pull-ups
  • 300m run (walked 50m)
  • 10 pull-ups – 10 ring rows
  • 300m run (walked 100m)
  • 10 ring rows – 5 ring rows – 3 ring rows – 2 ring rows
  • 300m run (walked 50m)

Time: 10:31.ย Let’s call it Level I.5

7TaonKRbcBreathing was the biggest challenge for me. Trying to do 10 pull-ups instead of breaking it into sets of 5 set me up for that. And when the breathing issues continued in the second round, it made pull-ups very iffy. My chin was hardly to the bar (and probably was not in some reps). And even my ring rows were falling apart towards the end.

So… yuck. But we all survived. ๐Ÿ™‚

Things I need to work on… Flexibility. Breathing. Strength and control all along the left side. All the usual suspects. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks Nicole — was a fun class! Great work everybody!!

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great day!