Tag Archives: push-ups

Shoulders are on Fire

There are workouts where you know you’re going to come out of it stronger than before and there are those workouts that flirt with pushing you to failure. Today was the latter.

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Headed in for an 8:30am workout and we had a heck of a large class for Coach Drea. Bill & Amber, Sarah, Lara & Jordan, Carrie, Melissa, Caleb, Logan, and Matt & Abigail. There were people everywhere!

We started with the animals warm-up, moved on to push-up form, and then grabbed bars to practice push jerks and push press. And she did demos of bench press and ring dips. Plus we did some work on HSPUs and progressions.

Yes, this was going to be a doozy of a workout.

  • For time:
    • 40 push-ups (Performance) (or 30 knee push-ups Fitness)
    • 30 ring dips (Performance) (or 25 modified ring dips Fitness)
    • 20 handstand push-ups (Performance) or (20 pike push-ups Fitness)
    • 20 bench presses, 115/75# (Performance) (or 15 bench presses 75/55# Fitness)
    • 15 push jerks, same weight (Performance) (or 10 push jerks Fitness)
    • 10 push presses (Performance) (or 5 push presses Fitness)

jim-carrey-ace-ventura-arms

Early classes used the Ace Ventura scene to the right to describe how they felt afterwards. And I can definitely concur.

We went in two heats and I was in the second heat. I finished in 15:38, but damn this was awful and my shoulders were on fire.

  • 40 push-ups
  • 2 ring-dips, wondering what the heck just happened, 3 more ring-dips, then transitioning to jumping ring dips where I would jump into a locked-out position and lower myself to the floor as slowly as possible
  • 1 pike push-up on the floor, laughing because I almost smacked my head into the ground. 1 pike push-up attempt from a plyo box, continuing to laugh. Moved to 20 strict dumbbell presses with 25# dumbbells overhead.
  • 1 95# bench press. shifted to 75#. did sets of 5, then a bunch of 3s.
  • 15 ugly-ass push jerks at 75#. Nicole did her best to coach about foot position and knees, but my shoulders were so fired up I could barely hold on to it for more than 2 or 3 reps at a time.
  • 10 push presses — ugly, ugly push presses in small sets

That was an awful, awful 15+ minutes. By the end my right arm worked, but my left arm was barely able to go over my head with assistance. I scaled every single part of the workout after the push-ups.

my-shoulders-are-on-fireThat was by far the ugliest performance I’ve done in a long while in class, simply because my shoulders were on fire the whole time. The push-ups didn’t feel bad, but by that first ring dip I was wondering what the heck I’d gotten myself into.

Wow. Tomorrow is going to be a rest day because I may not be able to raise my arms over my head. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class! (And 9:30 class, since I stuck around for the nutrition seminar with Nicole at 10:30!)

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Darn that Devil’s Tricycle

Yesterday was running, which is not one of my favorite movements of all time. Today hit another of my least favorites — the assault bike. Or, as Jonathan and I have termed it, “The Devil’s Tricycle or Bicycle.”

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Witness the Artistry of Jonathan!

On this foggy start to a Tuesday, we had Coach Drea at 8:30 and I was joined by Todd & Melissa, Logan, and another fellow. (Caleb came in later and was the lone member of the 9:30 class.) We started with the same warm-up as yesterday (minus the running bits) and then got going on setting up for the WOD…

  • Setting up an assault bike (I shared one with Logan and water-falled into the workout)
  • Working on push-up mechanics
  • Working on many, many varieties of pistol (one legged squat) progressions

Ultimately the workout shaped up like this:

  • 12 minute AMRAP
    • 10/7-cal. bike
    • 10 push-ups (performance) or 10 knee push-ups (fitness)
    • 12 single-leg squats, alternating (performance) or pistols to a box (fitness)

We were supposed to shoot for 5-6 rounds. I kind of suspected that was a bit aggressive, but did my best.

I started 30 seconds after Logan and my first round was great. Fell apart quickly after that. πŸ™‚ He lapped me pretty fast.

  • 10 cals on bike
  • 10 push-ups (regular) until round 4 when I had to drop to knees
  • 12 single-leg squats stepping up to a 24″ box and back down again

fire-knee.jpgUltimately, my issue was the bike. My knees were burning at the end of the 2nd round and by the time I hit the 3rd there might have been actual flames shooting out of my knee sleeves.Β I finished 3 rounds plus 10 calories and 10 push-ups. And my knees were on fire for another 10 minutes after we were done.

Tomorrow is definitely a rest day (too many things going on) but Thursday morning I plan on being back at it. Great work this morning folks!

Happy Halloween!

Gymnastics plus Team WOD equals Tired

So this morning I had the opportunity not only to attend Coach Nicole’s gymnastics class (my core will be sore) but attend a Team WOD put together by Coach Clare. (And then I sat through the 2 hour 45 minute running time of Blade Runner 2049, but that’s a topic for a different blog.)

I was able to attend both with AJ today, which was cool. She’s had so much going on with soccer over the last few weeks that she hasn’t had many opportunities to WOD with us, so that was great. Plus it gave her an opportunity to meet Nicole!

Unfortunately she may have banged her head while at an all-day party for a friend’s birthday up at Great Wolf Lodge, so we think she may have a minor concussion — which came into play later.

Gymnastics Class

There were quite a few of us for Nicole’s class — Clare, Clara, Stacie, Deana & Marino, Carrie, Caleb & Megan, Jed, and Adi.

We started with some fun stuff. We started in two teams and did a kettlebell relay race where each person got into a plank and touched a line of kettlebells with each hand (one at a time), scuttling sideways, then did a bear crawl to a cone, and ran back. It was entertaining. πŸ™‚ (Here’s an example from Youtube!)

Plank_M_WorkoutLabs

From there we did a few other movements, like holding a good plank for 1 minute, 48 seconds, and 36 seconds, with a 30 second Jefferson curl hold, and a decreasing rest (1 minute, 48 seconds, and 36 seconds funny enough).

And then we moved to the rig to do some “hanging around” — hanging from the bar in an active shoulders position for a 3 count, then putting your feet into a 45 degree hold for another 3 count, and then a 90 degree hold for a 3 count (or holding your knees up, which is what I did). I had a hard time showing AJ how to pull those off, so Nicole came over and helped.

supermanAfter that we did a Superman hold with 5 cat/cow’s and a rest, in the same 1 minute/48 seconds/36 second pattern we did with the plank/Jefferson curl/rest combination.

We did a bit of ring dip work, trying to focus on getting our shoulders into the proper place with our elbows up… That was entertaining. I definitely felt it in muscle groups I’ve not felt it before — especially my pectoral. Not sure I have that down yet, but it gives me somewhere to start.

Lastly we did some push-up work, because apparently we have a lot of push-ups to do on Friday. It was interesting to see the “snake” method vs. the butt-up method shown. Mine were ok, but they always give up eventually — so it was good to see some scaling options to change the angle — i.e. to weight plates (she used two 45#s), a weight bench, or a plyo box.

Team WOD

And that was it today for that. Of course, we couldn’t just let it be… No, we had to do the team workout as well — and I set myself up for that one by roping in Robert as well. πŸ™‚ (I felt a little bad that I think Adi thought we would be on a team together — using a 70# kettlebell for part of the workout– but he ended up going with another team and did great.)

assault-bikeSo we started the team WOD with a little competition… Devil’s Tricycle to Devil’s Tricycle. Two pairs would face off across from one another with a poor, unsuspecting foam roller in the middle. The breeze blowing from the assault bike would push the roller towards the competition — and the one who got it all the way across won.

We’ve done this before, but it was entertaining. I went vs. Brent and the damn roller didn’t move for what seemed like minutes, but it was only seconds. And eventually I ran out of steam and Brent got the better of me. Caleb went vs. Darcy with some help from Larry… AJ went vs. Adi with a bit of help.

It was a hoot.

2013-thrusters-combinedAfter that, we did some thruster refresher work with a PVC pipe before we broke into our teams and started gathering equipment. It was me, Robert, and AJ on a team, but we were far from alone. I think we had 6 or 7 teams all together.

We needed:

  • A kettlebell (we had two — a 55# for Robert and I and a 25# for AJ)
  • An empty barbell (45# for Robert and I and a 15# trainer bar for AJ)

kettlebell-swingItems in hand, we tackled the WOD in question:

  • Teams of 3
  • 100 KBS 53/35
  • 400m run
  • 100 barbell thrusters 45/35
  • 400m run
  • 80 burpees
  • 400m run
  • 100 barbell thrusters
  • 400m run
  • 100 KBS

Yes, this was going to be a doozy. Running and lots of reps. Yay? πŸ™‚ And, to make matters worse, Clare added the following to the workout:

  • While a member was doing KBS, another member had to do air squats (and the third could rest)
  • While a member was doing thrusters, another member had to plank (and the third could rest)
  • Burpees we could arrange however we wanted, together, separately, or sequentially…
  • And all three team members would do the run together.

That said, we started out with the best of intentions, but AJ’s headache got worse after the KBS and some air squats, so we had her bow out. She squeezed in a few more planks later on, but that was fine.

burpees-suck-white-e1415664950623We did:

  • 100 KBS
  • 100 thrusters
  • 80 burpees (these were no fun)
  • 66 thrusters
  • 66 KBS

And we did a lot of walking. There wasn’t a lot of rest for the two of us, so we used the “run” as our rest. πŸ™‚

Great work Robert! AJ’s head felt better later, but we’ll keep an eye on her just in case. And we all survived in the beautiful weather today.

So thank you Coaches Nicole & Clare for the fun workouts today. Definitely a challenge.

And somehow I managed to not fall asleep (much) during the movie! Have a great weekend folks!

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.Β 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ Thanks Drea!

Shoulders for Inches

It would be shoulders for miles, but that would be stretching it a bit. πŸ™‚

Though I thought about going on Friday, I dismissed the thought pretty quickly when my day got out of hand. Saturday we were on and off soccer fields all day, so we missed the team workout. And Sunday we were out and about with more soccer and other stuff, so we didn’t get in for open gym.

That brings us to Monday. Total Eclipse day (well, 90% here). My wife had the day off, so we went in for an 8:30 class today. Kind of nice since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last worked out with her. πŸ™‚

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We arrived and had a fun class with Coach Drea. Todd & Melissa, Austen, and Lara. We got in a little late (there was some sort of police blockade on our usual route this morning, so we had to double back and go a longer route), but immediately hopped into the warm-up:

  • sportsrow-800pxEach of the three rounds started with a row:
    • row 100m straight legged (harder than it sounds)
    • row 100m straight armed (also harder than it sounds)
    • row 100m normal
  • Then we did other things like
    • 10 push-ups
    • 10 hollow-body rocks
    • 10 knees to elbows
    • floor to stand rope climbs
    • maybe some other things, but my brain is non functional at the moment

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pWith that done, we looked at a few things with rope climbs (I practiced J-hooks) with our new ropes at the box, and then looked at variations of handstand push-ups for today before looking at the actual workout:

  • 4 rounds for time of:
  • 500-meter row
  • 15 handstand push-ups (on paralettes or off plates for a deficit)
  • 1 rope climb β€œdouble-up”, 15-ft. rope (two-round trip from seated – legless for the first part – with only β€œtouch-and-go” between ascents)

Most of us mortals did:

  • 4 rounds for time:
  • 500m row
  • 15 Kipping HSPUs (and fall to push-ups when HSPUs fail)
  • 1 rope climb or 2x floor to stand (lie on floor, use arms to pull yourself to a standing position, use arms to lower yourself down again, and repeat)

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1We had 6 people, 3 ropes, and 4 rowers, so we were all over the place to start. Ev and I started backwards from the other 4 folks, beginning with the rope climb while they started with the row.

And though I started with my hands on 15# plates and one abmat for my HSPUs, that was tossed out the window after two attempts. And the rest of my HSPUs were kipping to a 15# plate plus an abmat. I worked through 5-8 HSPUs each round, in sets of 5, 3s, 2s, and 1s. When I got down to 1s, I dropped to the floor for push-ups.

My rows started at less than 2 minutes (1:51) and ended at closer to 3 minutes (2:35). And my floor to stand rope climbs weren’t awful, just time consuming and awkward.

The whole thing was very grip and shoulder intensive for me. But we just kept chugging. So how’d we do?

  • Ev was finished in under 20 minutes – 19:44 – with 4 rounds of the Level I variants – pike push-ups, 2x floor to stand rope climbs, and 500m row.
  • I was finished in under 25 – 24:34 – with 4 rounds of a mix of HSPU/PUs, 2x floor to stand, and the 500m row.

The HSPUs were the toughest part for me, though eventually I will figure out the rope climb. I at least accomplished a handful of J-hook attempts today where I felt stable standing on the rope. A little progress.

j-hook-rope-climb

Tomorrow is going to be a strength day, I heard, so I’m expecting more shoulders — some kind of overhead lift like snatches or overhead squats. Why not continue torturing the shoulders? πŸ™‚

Great work everybody! This was a good one! And thanks Drea!

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.

dfl-dnf-dns

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!