Tag Archives: pull-ups

Pushing More 50s

What have I done? I’m thinking the answer is “too much” as I learn a few things about myself getting a little older. But we’ll put that aside for now.

Today was workout #4 in a row for me this week. That’s unusual. Usually I try to do two on, one off, or one on-one off. Four in a row may be a bit much. Yesterday’s Fran just about killed me. I didn’t feel back to “normal” until a few hours afterwards with some ibuprofen and a 30 minute “nap”.

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So what did today hold? Like Monday, this was another of the 50s. And it was Joe and I facing it under the watchful eye of Coach Bill today. Was good to see Bill — he’s been busy of late, so was good to have him back. I like the variety of coaching we have at Continuum and we’ve had a good mix in recent weeks with Drea, Larry, and Bill picking up the morning and noon classes.

We started with a 1000m row. Bill gave us a 5 minute max on this one, but I decided I’d try and use my more efficient rowing approach to see how I’d do at speed. Turned out I finished 1000m in just under 4 minutes, which was awesome. And Joe wasn’t far behind me.

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From there we did some tabatas involving wall balls, push-ups, and sit-ups.

  • 4 rounds of 20 seconds of wall balls and 10 seconds of holding a front squat with the medicine ball at the bottom
  • then 4 rounds of 20 seconds of push-ups, 10 second transition, and 20 seconds of sit-ups

I have to say I struggled more than a little with all of the tabata. My lats, quads, shoulders, and just about everything else was unhappy with me. I honestly wasn’t sure how much of some of the movements today I was going to be able to do and planned to scale in a few places.

1tjdsfThe workout itself was another set of 50s… for time:

  • 50 jumping alternating lunges, 50 steps
  • 50 pull-ups
  • 50 push presses, 95/65 lb.
  • 50 hip extensions
  • 50 burpees

For me, this became:

  • 50 walking lunges (scaled)
  • 50 jumping or regular pull-ups (scaled)
  • 50 push presses, 95/65 lb.
  • 50 hip extensions
  • 50 burpees

Joe did a round of all movements (walking lunges and jumping/regular pull-ups) and did the 40s variation (level 2).

This one was rough. My body was really telling me off in a few places. The walking lunges were rough, but not terrible. The push presses were ok. The hip extensions were ok. But the pull-ups and burpees… ugh.

I originally set out to do three sets – 20/20/10 – but after doing the first set of 20, I decided I’d just suffer through a set of 30 to be done. My pull-ups started as jumping but I did about 15 kipping pull-ups in the round of 30 so tried to mix it up a bit. The burpees were a slog. 5 at a time.

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Joe no-repped me at one point, jokingly, but he was right. My burpees are not legit burpees. I don’t raise my arms over my head. I do jump, but find that the whole full extension thing doesn’t do me any favors. Throwing my arms over my head for no good reason is a good way to not only make me slow way the heck down but also really want to stop… a lot.

Ultimately I was happy with the results. Took me 22:51. We had a 30 minute time cap and I was closer to 20 than 30, which was good. 🙂

Considering how sore I was when i went in today, I’ll take it. Now I’m done for a bit.

Great work Joe! And thanks Bill (and Joe & Logan) for the encouragement. 🙂 Hope everybody has a great day!

Oh “L” – Strict Pull-ups

First workout of the week and it’s a crazy week with the kids, so I knew I needed to make every effort to get into the box or I might lose my mind. Made it today.

1sn13rAJ and I arrived for a full 9:30 class with Coach Drea. Mickey had her first 8a soccer practice today and chose to do some yoga while we warmed up and did the workout, which was understandable. We had lots of folks to play with – Sara, Elyse, Brent, Nick and Lisa, Austen, Mia, Evie, and a few others.

Started with 5 minutes of cardio – row, bike, or run at a warm-up pace. I chose to *gasp* row (shocking, I know) and made it through 1100m in the 5 mins, so not bad. Still working on the mechanics of tucking elbows in more like a push-up when I pull back, so it was a good opportunity to feel that out for a bit.

Once that was done, we did some banded shoulder abstraction on the rig. Lots of bands going every direction when we got the whole class going.

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Um. Why are these folks smiling? These things are tough!!!

And then we talked about the movements for the workout:

  • L pull-ups or strict pull-ups (Rx/Level II), or leg-assisted ring pull-ups (Level I)
  • Handstand push-ups (Rx) or seated dumbbell presses (Level I) or something in-between
  • Hip extensions on the GHD (Rx/Level II) or Good mornings with a barbell or PVC pipe (Level I)

Essentially the workout was a 20 minute AMRAP of:

  • 10 L pull-ups
  • 10 HSPUs
  • 20 hip extensions

Like always, I did a bit of scaling:

  • 10 strict pull-ups, attempting to tuck knees or hold one leg up when possible
  • 10 HSPUs – half kipping and half strict
  • 20 Good Mornings with a PVC pipe

Strict pull-ups are SLOOOOOOOW. HSPUs are inconsistent. When I get my hand position right, I can kip for about 5 and then have to kick off the wall.

I made it through 3 rounds plus 6 with my variations. Not too awful.

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AJ worked on kicking up to the wall and was able to kick up to touch with one foot by the end, which was awesome. She did hip extensions on the GHD and did the ring pull-ups. She got through 4 rounds plus 17. I heard Sarah got through 5 rounds. Looks like Austin did too.

Because this was mostly skill work that I’m not good at yet, it was slow. And that’s all fine. I was cheering on Mia and one of the other gals who were getting frustrated I think — gravity makes it hard. Just focus on one. Then the next one. And the next one. It’ll come. And they did awesome. Really everybody was moving right along.

So great work 9:30 class! And thanks Drea!

 

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.

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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…