Tag Archives: push-ups

Squat Cleans Are Not My Fave

After yesterday’s 250 reps, I was hoping for something a bit more “enjoyable” as far as the day’s WOD. Apparently I should get used to disappointment this week.

Coach Larry was finishing up today’s WOD when I got there and looking pretty miserable, but chugging through it. But before 8:30 we had a handful of folks… Melissa and her daughter, Lara, and Sarah. We began with a 400m jog and came back in for a little three round warm-up of:

  • 10 med-ball cleans (20/14#)
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 banded good mornings

ring-dipWith that out of the way, we went through a squat clean refresher and some ring dip essentials.

Today’s workout was a doozy:

  • 27-21-15-9 reps for time
  • squat cleans
  • ring dips
  • Rx/Level II weight – 95/65#, Level I weight – 55/35#
  • Ring dips, leg-assisted ring dips, and push-ups

Quite honestly I knew I was in trouble even during our squat clean warm-up. Between knees and hips it was going to be a challenge to get through 72 of them. But it turned out to be a combination of shoulders and low back that really slowed me down. It took nearly 9 minutes to get through the first round with a combination of actual ring dips and “leg-assisted” ones.

By the time I got through the round of 21 squat cleans, I decided I’d just do push-ups instead of ring dips. But even so, it took me 23:48 to get through the whole thing.

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Let me qualify a few things for this one though… I really wanted to quit. My head already knew what my body would figure out pretty quickly – squat cleans still suck. And honestly it wasn’t the weight. I would have struggled with an empty bar just as much as I did the 95# bar.

My cleans looked like crap. Many followed this pattern – straight leg, bend down, snag bar, clean and drop into a squat, then drop it. It’s no wonder my back was bugging me. And if I had done all the ring dips I’d still have been going at least another 10 minutes. The few ring dips I did do were not pretty.

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There’s something about combination push and pull workouts. Squat cleans were a pull. Ring dips were a push. And neither movement worked well. It was like my burpees yesterday. Every one looked uglier than the one before.

Meanwhile I watched Lara and Sarah essentially drop far enough and fast enough into their squat that their butts might as well have hit the floor. Ass to grass. They did great.

It was not a good workout for me. I nearly quit at least three times. The door was open. I could have just walked out. Instead I wandered, shook it out, and tried to reset. I never openly said “I quit,” but damn I came close.

Would it have been any different if it was just 21-15-9 instead of 27-21-15-9? I don’t know. That extra round was definitely a mental game.

Larry was always circling, giving encouragement. And I heard some of the other nice folks in the class encouraging me as well. So thank you to all of you. It did help.

Great work folks! Y’all killed it.

A Little Burner

We looked at the workout last night and I think we all moaned “not more snatches” pretty much simultaneously at my house. But Mickey, AJ, and I went at noon anyway to take this little burner on.

We weren’t alone at the noon class with Coach Drea… We had Brent (the Beast) and Shannon (the Rower) along for the ride.

rowboatAnd we started with a sprint drill… on the rower (or assault bike if you were AJ).

  • 1 minute of slow and steady
  • Then five rounds of
    • 17 second sprint
    • 43 second recovery

It was as super fast way of getting through 1350 meters in a handful of minutes. I think 5 1/2 minutes.

Once we were done there we did some PVC passthrus, PVC OHS, and some hollow body rocks. And then three rounds of:

  • 12 strict pull-ups (or 3 solid attempts)
  • 12 ring push-ups
  • 12 hip extensions on the GHD

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the GHD, so that was kind of interesting. Not horrible anyway. πŸ™‚

baby-raised-eyebrows-hmmm-why-do-i-feel-like-this-is-going-to-kick-my-butt-laterThen a bit of snatch skill work, some push-up skill work, rowing skill work and… yeah, time to get to actual work.

  • Total Time
  • 3 rounds for time of:
    • Row 250 meters
    • 65/45-lb. squat snatches, 12 reps
    • 21 push-ups

The row, though a sprint, was the easier part of this workout. 250m is quick – about 54 seconds, 59 seconds, and 1:03 respectively. So not bad there. But the squat snatches are always a challenge. I stayed with the empty bar, trying to work on form as much as possible.

So here’s the thing with my squat snatches. My feet are way wider than normal. It’s almost like a Sumo squat snatch with the distance between them. But if I go shorter, I end up hopping out like a cheerleader doing a cheer. It ain’t pretty. So Drea had me just stay wide so that my feet wouldn’t get any wider.

It worked ok. I think I actually did the first 12 reps unbroken. And after that I broke it up 6 and 6.

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Between the squat snatches and the push-ups, that was where I got slowed down. Push-ups were sets of 10, 5, 7, 3, 2, and 1… Whatever I could do.

In the end, I was just trying to beat Mickey, silly enough. Down to my last handful of push-ups the race was on. But I prevailed by a few seconds:

Here are our times:

  • AJ – 13:30
  • Me – 13:54
  • Mickey – 14:03

It was a close thing — those last few push-ups. πŸ™‚

thumbs-up-right-800pxBrent was done super fast. He ran 200m instead of rowing 250m and just kept flying through all the rest of it. And Shannon was done before AJ I think. So everybody was really flying.

Great work!

When we were all said and done, it was time for some banded shoulder mobility. And now it’s time for some ice on my left knee. But we still survived. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea and great work 12pm class!

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. πŸ™‚

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 aΒ 30 Calorie Row
  • ThenΒ 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. πŸ™‚

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.Β 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 rememberΒ 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

Saturday Team WOD

Between the CrossFit Open and then soccer, we’ve been no-shows at the Saturday Team workouts at CrossFit Continuum for a while. It’s been a challenge to fit it in on weekends already jam packed with soccer madness. But today we made it happen.

Ev is working. Mickey is up north with her soccer team for a game. And AJ has a game later today, but she went with me to today’s Team WOD. Coach Clare set up a good one with a couple of couplets. And we had a pretty good turnout of 20 or so folks — Kelli & Trey, Marino & Deana, Shaun, Caleb, Dan & Monica, Larry, Brent, Jonathan & Sarah, Nic & Nichole, Lisa & Nick, and a mess of other folks. πŸ™‚

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We warmed up together with some knee hugs, Spider-man lunges, Samson lunges, and shoulder mobility before breaking into teams of 2. Apparently some of us can’t count and we had a few teams of 3. πŸ™‚ I joined Jonathan and Sarah and we decided we’d add more reps so that it was fair.

The workout was just for time in teams of 2 (or 3), dividing work however we wanted:

  • 50 T2B (75)
  • 40 push ups (60)
  • 30 T2B (45)
  • 20 push ups (30)
  • 10 T2B (15)
  • Run 800m together
  • 10 box jumps (15)
  • 20 KBS (53/35) (30)
  • 30 box jumps (45)
  • 40 KBS (60)
  • 50 box jumps (75)

Toes-to-bars took a while, but we worked through it. By the end of the round of 45 I fell to knees-to-elbows. We did the full 800m route for the run, down and around by the gas station and Sonic. I’ve not done it before, so it was interesting, though I have to say that running along Academy Blvd. really wasn’t my cup of tea. (Neither was running. I think I ran chunks of 200m or so in a few places, but we walked some and ran some. I was happy for the leisurely pace!)

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We did 20″ box jumps so that I could convince myself to do jumps instead of step-ups, per Clare’s instruction. And Jonathan did some 70# kettle bell swings, though I stuck to 53#, Sarah did 35# in the first round and 53# for the second.

It was a good workout. We never really stopped moving at all. And I’m tired now. Life is good. πŸ™‚

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Took us a bit more than 25 minutes to complete the whole thing with the extra reps, which was pretty good I thought.

Thanks for letting me be the third wheel, guys!

Next up… Nap time! πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend!

(Thanks to AJ for the pics!)

 

Some Days YOU Are the Barbell

Now that the CrossFit Open is over, I suspect we’re going to get back to the staples of crossfit workouts… metcons and strength days jumbled together to keep our minds and our bodies guessing as to what’s next. And honestly I’m good with that.

question-mark-clip-art-7599This week we’ve had some issues with the box software and though it’s been frustrating on one hand not to have easy access to scheduling and the rest of it, it’s been kind of a nice change of pace to not know what the workout is until you walk through the doors. Don’t tell my coaches I said that… (too late) But the surprise factor makes it even more interesting for me in some respects.

I walked in this morning for the 8:30 class with Coach Larry. We had Bri, Nic & Nicole, JJ, and Jake today. A great mix of folks, as per usual.

We started with a 400m jog and then came back for 3 rounds of:

  • 10 sit-ups
  • 10 air squats
  • 30 second plank hold

And from that point on, it was all the “Deck of Cards” workout:

  • Each suit in a standard 52-card deck is assigned a different movement. Draw a card. The suit dictates the movement and the number on the card (or fixed # for face cards) indicates the # of reps. Lather-rinse-repeat until you get through the deck.
  • Oh and Jokers = 800m run

In our case, we had air squats (diamonds), sit-ups (hearts), push-ups (clubs), and burpees (spades). If it was a face card, it was 10 reps. And the number of reps for some movements (squats & sit-ups) were doubled. We had a 2 minute break after every 14 cards or so.

cards

We got through about 2/3 of the deck by the end of the class and only hit one Joker, thankfully. But we hit a good mix of movements, which meant Larry shuffled pretty well. πŸ™‚

The killer combination was push-ups and burpees. I have to say I’m still sore from 17.5. My quads, knees, and calves are still annoyed. I had a couple of sequences where I had to drop to knees for push-ups and I had quite a few burpees that were slow as molasses. Even my air squats were compromised. We had a few sets where I was leaning way forward trying to get more depth as opposed to keeping my torso upright and Larry caught me.

Sit-ups weren’t too bad, but I’ll feel them in another couple of days. That was a solid 30+ minute workout and I’m sure I’ll feel it all much sooner than I want to. πŸ™‚

The run was entertaining. I ran half of the first 400 and half of the last 400, and walked the rest. I’m not sure if it was the pace I set or my brain getting in the way, but the whole “running” thing is still not one of my favorites. πŸ™‚

Unless you are built like a light, flexible gymnast, body-weight exercises simply means that you’re using your body weight as a barbell. For me these days it varies between 225 and 230 pounds. That’s a good chunk of weight.

Then I think about some of the folks I was working out with. Jake is about 6’5″ and another 50+ pounds of muscle, so things like burpees where you’re throwing your body to the floor and then getting up and jumping must be even tougher for him.

I’ll take my body weight, thanks. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class and thanks Larry!

A Bunch of Jerks

I did a bunch of push jerks today. I didn’t push a bunch of jerks today. Isn’t English fun?

That said, I was in a very low spot this morning before I made my way to the 8:30 class. After putting down our old pup over the weekend, it’s been rough few days. I knew that my routine, especially the endorphins that would come as a result of working out, would probably be my best bet at getting through my day.

I arrived and worked with Coach Drea, Stacie, Brent, Sarah, Tionne, and the nice military guy whose name I still can’t remember. (Good guy though.) And we even saw Bill.

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We got going with a bang. Our warm-up was our eval workout…

  • for time
  • 500m row
  • 40 air squats
  • 30 sit-ups
  • 20 push-ups
  • 10 pull-ups

We had to waterfall in (4 rowers), so I started at 3:10 on the clock. And I finished at 9 minutes. That’s 5:50. My previous fastest time wasΒ 5:53 on 8-NOV-2016, so I’ll take 5:50. Definitely.

From there we did some warm-up with an empty bar for our behind-the-neck jerks and our push jerks. We could do our behind-the-neck reps as either a split jerk or a push jerk, so I opted for the push jerk. I’m more controlled there.

jerks-3

And once we were through that, we started going through the first part of the workout:

  • Behind the neck jerk —Β 1-1-1-1-1-1

We were supposed to start at 80-85% of our 1RM, which turns out I don’t have a push jerk PR, so wasn’t sure. I was a little sore even after working with the empty bar however, so I started slow.

  • 95#
  • 115#
  • 125#
  • 135#
  • 145#
  • 155#

Not awful. From there we moved to the second part of the workout. These were from a front rack however, not from behind the neck:

  • Push Jerk —Β 10-8-6-4-2

2528d6_ed3615fc7a2f482b923ca3913ed2ce07We were supposed to start around 50% of what we did for our behind-the-neck, but I did a very similar progression:

  • 95# x10
  • 115# x8
  • 135# x6
  • 145# x4
  • 155# x2

And then I was done. The last rep on my x6, x4, and x2 were a bit rough but I did ok. Good thing I didn’t have to squat much underneath it however. πŸ™‚

I definitely felt better when I was done. Thank goodness for brain chemistry and exercise.

Thanks Drea & Bill and good work 8:30 class!