Tag Archives: pull-ups

A Few Nights (and one Day)

Some weeks are calm and collected. Others are frenetic. This one has been exhausting for some reason, but I’ve fallen behind on sharing my progress (or lack thereof) — so it’s time to catch up.

Monday was rough with the 18-15-12…

Tuesday – Snatch Balance

Let’s move to Tuesday, which due to some morning meetings saw me join the 4:45 class with Marino (and Deana), Carmen, Logan, Karen, and my wife! Coach Nicole had her hands full as we worked on snatch balance.

  • 7 x 1 – Snatch Balance

Not one of my better movements, like most of the wide grip overhead variety. And definitely not one that we work on frequently. But, working with Marino and Coach Nicole, we had a good time even if my shoulders were unhappy by the end.

  • 85#
  • 95#
  • 105#
  • 115# (no bueno), dropped to 105#
  • 105#
  • 105#
  • 105#
  • 115# (much better)

I think Marino hit 170# at one point, so he was rocking these out.

Wednesday – Squat Snatches

Lately I’ve been dropping into Wednesday night (4:45) classes with some regularity, so I popped in though my shoulders were still a little upset from the previous day’s snatch balance work.

Coach Nicole had a fun mix – Marino, Karen, Carmen, and Steve – and we did our best to work through the day. πŸ™‚

  • Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
    • 7 squat snatches
    • 14 strict ring dips

Weights for men were a bit insane on this one… 165# for competitor, 135# for performance, and 95# for fitness. I tried 85# during the warm up on the way to 95# and ended up sticking to 75#. Not my best movement (unless I’m working with a PVC pipe).

This was definitely not my cup of tea. We were supposed to shoot for 4-6 rounds. I made it through 3 rounds + 12 reps.

  • 75# squat snatches (quickly turned into a mix of squat and power)
  • 14 ring dips for 1 round, then a mix of strict and banded, then push-ups because my shoulders and biceps just gave up
  • Made it through 7 snatches and 5 push-ups of the 4th round

I won’t lie – I was feeling pretty lousy by the time this one was done. I did great for the first round and then fell apart. Not sure if it was the lack of calories yesterday or what, but it was not a fun one for me.

Thursday – Eva WOD

I don’t remember ever doing this one of the “girls” of crossfit WODs, but I hope it doesn’t come up again soon. My grip disappeared so fast I wondered if I ever had it at all…

Made it to the 8:30 workout with Coach Lara, Lisa, KB, Ev, and Janiece. We were all grumbling a bit at the beginning. πŸ™‚

Pretty simple triplet:

  • 5 rounds for time of:
    • Run 800 meters
    • 30 kettlebell swings
    • 30 pull-ups
  • Competitor: 70/53#, Performance 53/35#, Fitness 35/24# Kettlebell

We discussed plans for this one as we warmed up, but… my plan didn’t last. I adapted as I went. We were supposed to finish in under 40 mins or so.

My initial plan was 600m, 53# kettlebell swings, and pull-ups.

My actual workout looked like this:

  • Round 1
    • 800m run (4:16 time, one of my fastest — which was a poor choice)
    • 30 kettlebell swings (three sets of 10 at 53#)
    • 30 ring rows (I noticed I was starting to tear during our warm-up and decided I ‘d rather avoid it if possible, did a set of 10 and then multiple sets of 5)
    • Done at 8:30
  • Round 2
    • 800m walk
    • 30 kettlebell swings (set of 20 and 10)
    • 30 ring rows (sets of 5)
    • Done at 20:19 (much slower)
  • Round 3
    • 400m run/walk
    • 30 kettlebell swings (mix of sets of 10s and 5s)
    • 30 ring rows (sets of 5)
    • Done at 29:17 (more reasonable)
  • Round 4
    • 400m run/walk
    • 30 kettlebell swings (mix of sets of 10 and 5 mostly)
    • 30 ring rows (sets of 5)
  • Final time: 37:30

This was not one of my favorite workouts ever. And I was the last one done, but I finished.

Great work 8:30 class! Not my cup of tea, but tomorrow is DEFINITELY a rest day. Geez. πŸ™‚


Grip as Weakness

We all have strengths and weaknesses to work on in the gym. Nothing blows me out of the water during a workout faster than movements involving a single arm or leg. One-arm dumbbell or kettlebell movements or single-leg squats (i.e. pistols) or Turkish get-ups are among them.

Today we had one (Turkish get-ups) in the warm-up and one (single-arm kettlebell snatches) during the workout — and very quickly my forearms grew to Popeye-levels of “swole,” complete with the fading grip that usually accompanies that condition!

At any rate, there were three members of the Fitz clan at the 8:30 workout with Coach Lara — myself, Ev, and AJ made it in. And there were many others — Todd, Melissa, and their daughter, Dave, KB, Larry, and Alicia. The holiday break is still in full swing for some folks — and when coupled with first of the year resolutions to work out more, we all have a little more motivation this time of year. πŸ™‚

We started with two rounds of a warm-up:

  • 1 minute row, bike, or jump rope (I did 1 minute of single-unders and worked on getting my jump a bit higher and more consistent in preparation for doing more double-under work ahead of the CrossFit Open)
  • 3 Turkish get-ups, each arm (I used a 25# dumbbell) – I think I did 5 of these instead of 3, but I did well on the first round and hit balance issues in the second round
  • 5 windmills, each arm
  • 10 kettlebell halos (I used a 35# kettlebell and cranked that puppy around my head pretty good after I got started)
  • 10 ring rows with a 1 second pause at the top

From there, we dove into some kettlebell snatch work, breaking down the movement; and then did the same with pull-ups. I aimed for 35# kettlebell snatches but attempted a few at 45# before settling on the 35#. For as long as took me with the lighter weight, I can’t imagine I would have done well with the heavier one.

The workout was:

  • 21-15-9 reps for time of:
    • left-arm kettlebell snatches
    • right-arm kettlebell snatches
    • pull-ups
  • Competitor: 53/35# kettlebell
  • Performance: 35/25# kettlebell (I stayed here at 35#)

Now, I’m not going to bullshit you here and say that every rep was solid. That would be a bald face lie. πŸ™‚ But I did my best to realize when my form went to hell and focused on the shoulder shrug again. By the last 9 reps, I kind of felt like I was just throwing the damn kettlebell up over and over again.

Pull-ups became a challenge pretty quickly, though I broke them up into small sets right from the beginning. I had a few where I struggled to get my chin above the bar, but managed to keep swinging for the most part. Funny enough I felt like my hand position was too narrow for many of them. πŸ™‚

My time? 11:39 at Performance level. We were supposed to shoot for 5-10 minutes, so I was a little over that. Based on several conversations with Coach Nicole, I suspect I should have scaled somewhere — but I did complete the workout and wasn’t the last one done today, so I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

Great work to everybody in the 8:30 class and thanks Lara!

12 Days of Xmas 2018

For the last few years, we’ve done the 12 Days of Christmas workout at CrossFit Continuum in the days before Xmas. Sometimes it’s on Christmas Eve. Sometimes it’s a day or two before that. But since at least 2015 it’s been part of the tradition.

This year it was just me from our clan heading to the box to do the deed a few days before Xmas, but I went in — just like we did in 2015, 2016, and 2017… My girls were sleeping in to recover from crazy weeks at the end of their respective semesters. My wife was working. And I was definitely not alone in the madness. Much of our CrossFit family was there with me. πŸ™‚

Drea & Jimmy, Nick & Lisa, Lara & Jordan, Larry, Caleb & Megan, Megan F, Clara, Heather, John, Marino, Aileen, Emily, Shaun & Stacy, and more… we had people all over the place. πŸ™‚ As Jimmy put it, it was a bit of “controlled chaos” — emphasis on the chaos! Plus — we started with sunshine and ended with a snowstorm. It was definitely one of the first days of winter!

We did a little warm-up and divvied up into halves… one half of the gym was mostly the “Naughty” workout and the other was “Nice.” We both got our butts kicked. πŸ™‚

Caleb and I sort of shared an area. This wasn’t a team workout, but we shared equipment and space due to the crazy number of bodies. We had some space on the wall for wall balls, two bars (one 135# and one 95#), and just kind of went for it.

My version of the Naughty workout (scaled) went like this:

  • 12 Days of Christmas
    • 1 Deadlift 135#
    • 2 Pike Push-ups
    • 3 Front Squats 95#
    • 4 Pull-ups (kipping)
    • 5 Shoulder-to-overhead 95#
    • 6 Wall Balls 20#
    • 7 Back Squats 95#
    • 8 Sit-ups
    • 9 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls 95#
    • 10 Push-ups
    • 11 Thrusters 95# (I dropped to 11 Front Squats during “Day 12” because I couldn’t get my arms over my head at this point)
    • 12 1200m “run” (really I walked all but about 200m of the whole thing)

It took me 49 minutes to complete this year. And I really debated just giving up after the run (in the snow that was just starting to fall at that point) — I was struggling with both shoulders by then. But after I did the front squats, things started to loosen up again and I was able to get my shoulders moving again.

We had a fun time as always and my time was about the same as always for this workout (though it changes every year):

  • 2018 – 49:00 (scaled to 95#)
  • 2017 – 44:00 (scaled to 95#)
  • 2016 – 58:34 (went heavier with 115#)
  • 2015 – DNF (over an hour)

I think figuring out I should scale in 2017 made this workout much more fun in the long run. And I kept moving much better this year than I have some years — so maybe this old Grinch is learning something. πŸ™‚

Great work everybody! Y’all “sleighed” it. πŸ˜€

4x Tabata

Let’s start with a story of the last few days. Sure, I made it in for the Thanksgiving WOD — but I have done nothing since. I was going to go to the Team WOD on Saturday, got as far as the edge of my neighborhood, and turned around to go home – I wasn’t feeling it. We even talked about doing strong man or yoga yesterday — that didn’t happen either.Β 

Ate like crap. Slept like crap. Behaved like sloths. Yeah, not the best few days.Β Even today, though I was signed up, I debated whether I wanted to go or not. Motivation is lacking… big time.Β 

That said, I went anyway. Made it for the 8:30 class with Coach Drea. We had Melissa S, Melissa, Dave, Nick & Lisa, and Alicia. And I did my best to shake off whatever holiday malaise has set over me like a warm blanket.

We started with a little 3 round warm-up:

  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of butt kickers
  • 10 seconds of rest

From there we did a ton of skill work on the push jerk (first with no bar, then with an empty bar) and hang snatches (empty bar). None of it felt particularly easy. When we were done, we added some weight — first a few reps at 75# and then at 95#. I decided push jerks would be ok at 95#, but snatches would be better at 75# and I am glad I did.Β We also did a little work at the rig on pull-ups (including some chest-to-bar) and push ups.

From there we just kind of… started.

  • Tabata Push Jerk (Competitor 95/65#, Performance 75/55#, Fitness 45/35#)
  • 3 minute rest
  • Tabata chest-to-bar pull-ups (competitor), pull-ups (performance), jumping pull-ups (fitness)
  • 3 minute rest
  • Tabata push-ups
  • 3 minutes of rest
  • Tabata hang power snatch (same weights as push jerk)
  • Tabata is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8Β  rounds

We were shooting for 150-200 reps for the workout. Ha.

  • Tabata Push Jerk (95#) – 46 reps
  • Tabata pull-ups – 3 chest-to-bar, 28 normal pull-ups, 31 reps (I knew after the first round there were no more c2b in the tank today)
  • Tabata push-ups – 46 reps
  • Tabata power snatch (75#) – 37 reps
  • Total: 160 (I mistakenly calculated it to 139 earlier)

So I guess I wasn’t as far off as I thought. Nick blew through a ton of push-ups and was up over 200 reps for the workout. Most folks were in the 130-180 range, so I was right in the hunt there.Β 

I’ll take it. I’m still in a foul unmotivated mood, but we’ll just blame that on Monday. πŸ™‚ Great work 8:30 class!Β 

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.Β 

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚


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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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!