Tag Archives: ring dips

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.


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.


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.

Ring the Dumbbells!

This week is a mess, but again I knew if I didn’t at least try to get into the box I might go a little crazier than normal. So AJ and I headed into the box for a Noon class with Coach Drea. And… funny enough… it was just the two of us in the class!

20-lbs-dumbbell1We started with some partner warm-ups…

  • 5 light dumbbell deadlifts, each side
  • while partner does 10 ring rows


  • 100 ft dumbbell farmer’s carry
  • while partner does 10 hip extensions on the GHD

I grabbed 30# dumbbells for all of that and I stayed there for the rest of the day. πŸ™‚

The workout itself was a 12 minute AMRAP:

  • dumbbell deadlifts, 9 reps
  • 6 burpees
  • dumbbell power cleans, 3 reps
  • weights: 60/40# Rx, 45/30# level II, 30/20# level I

I knew the burpees were going to be the worst part of the workout, but didn’t realize what a challenge the dumbbell deadlifts would be. I felt like I was the Hunchback of Notre Dame every time I touched the floor.

20170718_125800For the most part I did the cleans & deadlifts unbroken. I paused here or there with the deadlifts but never set down the dumbbells. Unfortunately the burpees weren’t the same. As feared, that was the challenge for this one. I struggled to stay consistent doing 3 and 3. Β The cleans were fun – it was light enough I could just swing the weights to my shoulder. πŸ™‚

I managed to get through 8 rounds plus 12 reps.

Meanwhile, AJ did the workout with with 15# dumbbells and got through 10 rounds + 16 reps. She did awesome.

When we were done, we did a bit of skill work with ring dips. I got through a little more than 1 round and I think AJ did too before she bailed to practice kicking up on the wall. πŸ™‚ The skill work was 3 rounds of:

  • 30 second hold at the locked out top of a ring dip
  • 15 second hold at the bottom of the ring dip
  • 10 strict ring dips

That first locked out hold on the rings made my arms get cranky, but by the end of one round my whole body was vibrating. The second hold I did for 25 seconds and that was all I could muster. At that point I bailed and decided it was time to get my stuff together.

So it was a good workout. Tomorrow is a rest day and then it sounds like Thursday will be a strength day — so I’m looking forward to that!

Thanks Drea! Hope you and the boys have a great day!

Thursday WOD and Catch-up

This week has been a little crazy, so let me catch you up. Apologies because this one is going to get a bit long. πŸ™‚

July 4th WOD

Monday was a normal workout. Tuesday… not so much. This was a holiday WOD and a Hero WOD to boot. We headed in as a family for the 10am workout and didΒ Operation Red Wing.

The rep scheme for Operation Red Wing was created to represent the following:

  • 4 rounds represent the four man reconnaissance team
  • 3 Barbell Complex represents the 3 Navy SEALs killed from the team (Murphy, Deitz, Axelson)
  • 8 Barbell Burpees represents the 8 Navy SEALs killed in the helicopter crash (Jacques Fontan, Daniel Healy, Erik Kristensen, Jeffery Lucas, Michael McGreevy Jr., James Suh, Jeffrey Taylor, Shane Patton)
  • 8 Thrusters represents the 8 160th Army SOAR members killed in the helicopter crash (Shamus Goare, Corey Goodnature, Kip Jacoby, Marcus Muralles, James Ponder III, Stephen Reich, Michael Russell, Chris Scherkenbach)


Ev worked with Danielle & Halley. I worked with Mickey & AJ. And we had a wide array of partners and trios doing this thing with us. It was awesome.

The workout boiled down to 4 rounds for time with each round being:

  • 3 Barbell Complex (115/80#)
  • 800m Run
  • 8 Barbell Burpees (115/80#)
  • 800m Run
  • 8 Thrusters (115/80#)
  • 800m Run

Each barbell complex in Operation Red Wing consists of:

  • High Hang Clean
  • Hang Clean
  • Clean
  • Push Press
  • High Hang Clean
  • Hang Clean
  • Clean
  • Push Jerk
  • High Hang Clean
  • Hang Clean
  • Clean
  • Split Jerk

The girls and I scaled a bit. We broke it up so that each of us was responsible for four of the 800m runs. They worked with a 35# barbell and I worked with a 75# barbell. Yes, it was a bit lighter than I might have done. But I decided it was better for me to keep moving than to just let the bar sit there as I stared at it contemplating why I wasn’t picking it up.

(Thank you Larry & Megan for the pictures from the workout!)

It took us about 80 minutes to get through the whole thing. And we completed about 12 rounds of the barbell complex, burpees, thrusters trio all together. We were dividing and conquering it — two of us would be at the barbells while one was running. So we would alternate — one would do a barbell complex, then the other, then back again; one would do 4 burpees and then the other; one would do 4 thrusters and then the other.

It worked out pretty well, but we were all definitely wiped by the end.

I did run a little in the first 800 — maybe 500m. But I walked the next three. Even so, I never stopped moving so I was happy with that. The girls ran and did amazingly well — as did Ev, Danielle, Halley, and the rest of the gang. We were the last two teams to finish, but we finished — and that’s what mattered.

Today’s WOD

Yesterday was a good rest day and today was a bit of a kinder, gentler WOD (though it still kicked my butt in spots). My family went in for an 8:30 class, but due to some meetings at work I couldn’t get in until noon. That was fine, it was just me and Coach Drea.

Started with a little warm-up:

  • 15 dumbbell push presses (25#)
  • 1000m row
  • 15 dumbbell push presses (25#)
  • then about 4 minutes of couch stretch on the wall

When all that was done, we dove into the Tabata for the day…

  • Tabata squats holding a 45/25-lb. plate

526f54f2f2e9f1d7ecd97c2a52f604f7--crossfit-gym-crossfit-motivationIf you’ve forgotten what a Tabata is… it’s 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds. Your score is the lowest number of reps you completed during the series of rounds. For example, if you did 10 reps in the first round and 1 rep in the 8th round, your score is a 1. Consistency is king.

I did this one Rx with a 45# plate and did pretty well until about the 5th round. I managed 10 or 11 reps in each round and my quads were starting to burn by that point. I dipped to 9 reps in the 7th round and barely stayed there for the 8th.

So my score was 9. I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

And then we did weighted ring dips. I’m ok at them for a while, but when they go, they go. But I’ve never really played much with the weighted belt. Essentially it’s a belt with a dangling chain. You strap it on and then run the chain through whatever weight plates you want. A wee bit awkward, but ok. So how’d it go?


We were supposed to do 4 rounds of 3 reps with increasing weight.

  • Warmed up with no weight. x3
  • 10# x3
  • 15# x3
  • 25# x3
  • 35# x3

It was tough, but doable. So I was happy with that as well.

At the end we did a romwod and called it a day.

Of course, the whole time Drea and I had a lovely chat. So it was a very low key workout. I like those. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea!

CrossFit Games Regional Event 2 for Mere Mortals

What? Yeah, that’s what I was wondering today as well.Β Today we attacked the Event 2 workout from CrossFit Games Regionals 2017. And after doing Murph yesterday, I have to say, I did better than I expected.

We had a great crew this morning for Coach Drea (with little Noah, though Coach Jimmy came in to sit with the little guy during most of our class): Shannon, Melissa, and Vickie. Mickey and AJ went in with me, but just did some yoga in the corner (loudly) before disappearing to help Danielle. πŸ™‚

20-lbs-dumbbell1Started with a 500m row and then did a mess of mobility with a lacrosse ball, plus some PVC pipe overhead squats and good mornings, strict pull-ups, ring dips, sit-ups, and some Samson lunges.

From there it was time for some dumbbell snatch practice. I started with a 20# dumbbell, then moved to a 30# dumbbell, and finally to a 50# dumbbell. I honestly wasn’t sure I would be able to fling it over my head — but I did!

And lastly a bit of ring dip practice to figure out what progression we’d use. For Level II, it was banded — so I did banded. Not too proud there, especially since it wasn’t long before my body was telling me nasty things about ring dips. πŸ™‚

Picture courtesy of Mickey Fitzpatrick

So what was the workout exactly?

  • 21-15-9 reps for time of:
  • Dumbbell snatches
  • Ring dips
  • Rx: 80/55# dumbbell, Level II: 50/35# dumbbell, Level I: 30/20# dumbbell
  • And apparently banded ring dips were ok for Level II and below

I was quite surprised at how easily my body did the 50# dumbbell snatches. The banded ring-dips were another story. I did a few with my butt in the band, as Drea requested. But my shoulder and chest were already starting to give by that point — so I shifted to ring dips with my knee in the band from that point forward. Small sets.

Ring dips slowed me down quite a bit, but that was fine. By the end I was doing them one or two at a time. Even if I was last to finish (the other three ladies did awesome and kicked my butt), I finished.

Did the whole thing in 11:46. The time cap for the actual event was 6 minutes in competition, which I automatically double for mere mortals. So for me, I got in just under the time cap — I will take it.


Great work ladies – you did awesome and were flying through this thing! And thanks Drea — I wasn’t sure I wanted to push to 50# but I managed. πŸ™‚

Have a great day!

Skills and Cardio

This week has been a bit of a mixed bag. Monday started out pretty well and I got in a workout. Then Tuesday AJ was home sick. Wednesday both AJ & Mickey were home sick.

59980023I attempted to do the 500 single-unders for time workout at home on Tuesday and the dogs got in the way. Only got to about 350 before I was worried for our old dog’s life — she is deaf and mostly blind, so it was dangerous to be whipping that rope around!

Today I had meetings this morning but knew I needed to get back to the box for at least one more workout before the CrossFit Open kicks off. Coach Drea had me, Sarah, Joe, and the nice guy who I’ve worked out with many times and can’t remember his name. Plus Bill came in for a bit as well.

We started with 2 minutes on the assault bike and then did a 3-round warm-up:

  • 10Β toes-to-rig while laying on the floor
  • 30 sec hollow body hold
  • 5 burpee broad jumps (I think we only did 3)

And then we started the workout at our own pace… not so bad.

  • Make 3 attempts at each of the following:
  • Max set toes-to-bars
  • Max set ring dips
  • Broad jump for distance
  • Then, row 2,000 meters for time
  • Rest as needed between exercises.

We were supposed to not kill ourselves on this one since the first 2017 CrossFit Open workout is being announced tonight and we’re doing our first “Friday Night Lights” style event on Friday for it. So she didn’t want us getting hurt or tearing our hands, etc.

Muahahaha. More on that later.

aid5909547-728px-do-toes-to-bar-step-4-300x225So I made it through:

  • 6 toes to bars where my toes were above or on the bar each time
  • 7 ring dips
  • 72″ standing broad jump
  • 9:03 2k row

Then I paused for a bit. And I talked with Bill about the T2B. Inevitably my toes are over the bar and he even says there were times when my shins were at bar level. So for round two I did:

  • 3 t2b and 3 more t2b working with bill (definitely not pretty)
  • 8 ring dips
  • 73″ standing broad jump
  • started the 2k row and felt a twinge in my right shoulder, so I stopped

And from there I just did a lot of banded mobility to try and work out the kink in the shoulder. Drea also encouraged me to keep working on it at home along with mobilizing my forearms and wrists, since they were flaring up again as well.

1k7zcpIt might have been the two or three “skin the cats” I did on the rings as well that tweaked the shoulder. Who knows? πŸ™‚ I did one where I actually dropped off backwards (which you’re supposed to do) and I’ve not done that since I was a kid on the monkey bars, so I thought that was kind of cool. It’s a goofy, nonsensical move that has little application in crossfit but is kind of fun, so I will continue to do them when my shoulders are not bugging me. πŸ™‚

Tonight will be entertaining as we wait to see what hellish plot Castro has come up with for the 17.1 workout. And then we will have a good time enduring said hellish workout tomorrow night at the box as a community.

Fun will be had by all. πŸ™‚ Great work folks!

Ring Dips and Strict Bar Work

Today is my first day back to work after 2 weeks away (staycation, but still). The girls went back to school. We were all up early. I forgot to eat breakfast. You know, the usual workday. πŸ™‚

673f5cc248af490788f00b3c2d180f97After I got my bearings again with work, I escaped my desk for an 8:30 class at CrossFit Continuum with my wife. We arrived to work with Coach Drea, Carrie, Tionne, and Andrea. A fun little class now that folks are back to work after the holidays.

We started with a 400m run in 20 degree weather. It was chilly!

From there we came back in to do some walking lunges, shoulder mobility with a PVC pipe, and some push-ups before heading to the rig to start working on those rings. 10 second hold locked out, 20 seconds of rest, 10 second hold at the bottom of the ring dip, 20 second rest… repeat 3x total. The lock out at the top was fine. The bottom… that was tough.

We followed that up with some ring dips and then some strict pull-ups with a band. That was a sign of what was to come.

The actual workout though was more skill work today for me than anything else. It was written for time, but we didn’t quite push it that direction.Β The prescribed workout was 5 rounds for time of:

  • 20 L pull-ups
  • 16 ring dips


Yeah, that quickly became modified to 5 rounds of:

  • 10 strict knee tucks or V-ups
  • 10 strict pull-ups
  • 10 ring dips

After 30 minutes, I was through 4 rounds and called it good. It was time for the 9:30 class to get started and they needed the space on the rig.

Definitely a challenging workout. I’ll be curious to see what we start to see showing up in the 2017 CrossFit Open. Will we see ring dips? Maybe? And more dumbbell work?

crossfit-openAnyway… It was fun to see everybody kicking butt today. Carrie was rocking out the strict pull-ups. We saw both Tionne & Andrea get pull-ups together on the rig.

We’ll see what we do tomorrow when the snow hits. πŸ™‚

And tomorrow starts the more strict diet again. We’ll see how that goes too.

Great work everybody! Have a good day!

Hello Elizabeth II

Back in August, we did one of the “CrossFit Girls” — Elizabeth. It was not my most favorite day. We had a time cap of 12 minutes and I think I finished in 11:59, cutting it a bit too close for comfort.

elizabeth-wodSo when I heard that today’s workout was Elizabeth, I have to admit I was not all that happy to see it show up again. It didn’t stop me from going, but I didn’t have to be happy about it. πŸ™‚

We arrived for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea and she immediately set us to warming up with a 500m row (or 2 minutes on the devil’s trike). There were 9 of us today – Ev & I, Sarah & Jonathan, Todd, Brent, Jenny & her daughter, and Justin. So it was a good mix of folks.

Once that was done, we dove right into some clean warm-ups with a PVC pipe and then an unloaded barbell before dividing up, loading bars, and looking at ring dips.

If you don’t remember… Elizabeth is one of the “girls” (this post has a list of all of them, with Glassman’s explanation as to why they’re named for girls):

  • 21-15-9
  • cleans (squat cleans) 135/95#
  • ring dips

Jonathan and I teamed up. He went first with 115# on the bar and ring dips, doing 21-15-9 for everything. I went second with 95# and ring dips and did 21-15-9 for everything as well.

Olympic weights

When we did it before, Jonathan worked with 95# and got a time a bit over 6 minutes. This time he did it in under 8. And I don’t think Drea is going to let him do anything but Rx the next time it comes up. πŸ™‚

Now looking back – when I did it last time, I struggled with 95# and did 21-15-9 for the squat cleans and 15-9-6 for the ring dips as prescribed in level II.Β As I said in that post, “I scaled to level II and did 95# squat cleans, a few ugly ring dips, and then a lot of ugly banded ring dips.” My time was 11:59. Today Jonathan remembered that I was giving people the “death stare” because I just wanted to be done. πŸ™‚

1fwcp7Today I actually did more reps than last time. I did 21-15-9 for everything. I never had to drop to a band, though my ring dips towards the end were uglier and uglier.

And I did it in 10:47. I shaved more than a minute off my time and did more reps. How is that possible??

Drea even said next time I should try with a bit more weight.


Ev did level II and got 9:15 with 65# and banded ring dips. Sarah kicked butt finishing in 8:30 with 95# and banded ring dips.

So I wasn’t the only one doing crazy things today. πŸ™‚ Great work everybody!!