Tag Archives: rope climbs

A Late Monday

Today was a weird day. I seem to be saying that a lot on Mondays lately.

On top of the fact that today was a 2 hour delay due to the snow and icy conditions early this morning, we were going for Hamilton tickets (I was trying to get tickets for Ev & the girls). But, like most of the 110,000+ people who tried for tickets, we were denied. So much for most of my day babysitting the ticket site in a browser. πŸ™‚

That meant I started with intentions of going to the 8:30 class, then the Noon class. And Ev calls and says she has a half day so suggests that we go together to an evening class, so Noon becomes 4:45… and we DID get there eventually with Coach Isaac and a bunch of folks: Katie, Deana & Marino, Dan, Karen, Monica, Jake, Steve, Kelli & Trey. There were a lot of us!


We started with the new warm-up for the week:

  • 3 rounds of “warmup tabata” (move slow and methodical)
    • Standing behind the neck snatch grip strict press w/PVC pipe
    • Air squat
    • Seated forward table
    • Plank to pike
  • Then:
    • 1min lat smash/side
    • 1min couch stretch/side

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pAfter all that, we did a little refresher on J-hook and Spanish Wrap for rope climbs, figured out where we were going to do squats, and got going…

  • For Time:
  • Performance:
    • 15 body-weight back squats
    • 5 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
    • 12 body-weight back squats
    • 3 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
    • 9 body-weight back squats
    • 1 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
  • Fitness:
    • 21 back squats #65/45
    • 7 lay-to-stand rope climbs
    • 15 back squats #65/45
    • 5 lay-to-stand rope climbs
    • 9 back squats #65/45
    • 3 lay-to-stand rope climbs

illustrated-squatI did somewhere in-between performance and fitness, alternating between back squats and rope climbs with Dan, so mine looked like:

  • 7x lay-to-stand rope climbs
  • 15x 205# back squats (about 12# lighter than body weight for me right now)
  • 5x lay-to-stand rope climbs
  • 12x back squats
  • 3 lay-to-stand rope climbs
  • 9x back squats
  • time: 7:05

Not too shabby. πŸ™‚ Thanks for being my partner and pushing, Dan! You definitely hauled butt on those first 15 back squats and we ended up going a wee bit heavier than I was thinking. πŸ™‚

Great work 4:45 class! And thanks for putting up with our shenanigans, Isaac!


Chocolate Cookie Hangover

So we’re on this nutrition challenge at the box from December 1st through the end of January (no gluten, watching sugars, more sleep, self-reflection, etc). And I actually started a bit earlier than that with some of the aspects of the challenge (no alcohol, more veggies). Honestly I’ve done pretty well…

My Kryptonite

Until this weekend when my wife and youngest baked cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. And for the better part of a day and a half, they were in a sealed bag on the kitchen table, taunting me. I avoided the temptation for only a few hours but gave in Sunday, which led to a large iced coffee with a ton of almond milk coffee creamer, and the gluten- and sugar- requirements for the challenge were left in the dust.

I must have eaten 6 or 8 of those delicious morsels during the day yesterday. And I have to say I almost feel like I have a hangover. How ridiculous is that?

0511-1005-0201-0040_Black_and_White_Vintage_Cartoon_of_a_Man_Asleep_at_His_Desk_clipart_imageAnyway, I made it into the box for my 8:30 butt-kicking today. I was joined by Melissa, Matt, Logan, Lara, and Carrie. We did a new warm-up that involved 2 minutes of running, rowing, or biking (I chose rowing, no surprise) and then a series of movements including seated pistols, which I think we’ve done before but were a bit of a challenge.

And when all that was done, we did a bit of warm-up with double-unders, dumbbell thrusters, and rope climbs. I have to say my left arm was not cooperating well after a while with the thrusters, even with only 20# dumbbells. It wasn’t the grip exactly, but control became an issue.

20-lbs-dumbbell1The workout was for total time…

  • 5 rounds for time
  • Performance:
    • 35/25-lb. dumbbell thrusters, 15 reps
    • 50 double-unders
    • 15-foot rope climb, 3 ascents
  • Fitness:
    • 25/15-lb. dumbbell thrusters, 10 reps
    • 50 single-unders
    • 3 lay-to-stand rope pulls

I changed the Fitness-level workout slightly to accommodate my skills and left arm today:

  • 20# dumbbell thrusters, 10 reps
  • 5 double-under attempts plus 50 single-unders
  • 3 attempts to lock onto the rope with a J-hook

How’d it go? Well, the thrusters were the first thing to go. I made it through three rounds where I did 15 reps – 13 reps – then 10 reps – and after that, I only managed 5 or 6 with two arms and started doing single-arm reps to fill in. I may have managed a double-under during all my flapping about, but my singles felt good. And most of my attempts to J-hook on the rope were successful. Not all, but most.


I finished in 17:11, which was right in the middle of the 15-20 minute time domain Drea was looking for. And I was sweating like a pig today. More of the chocolate chip hangover? Maybe!

Everybody did awesome today in our class. Some folks were making the rope climbs look easy. Others were flying on double-unders. And others were rocking the thrusters. So it was a good workout — a challenging one, but a good one.

Thanks Drea!

J-Hook’in it

So once upon a time, I hated rope climbs in PE class. Why? Because it scared the crap out of me to be high on the rope and couldn’t climb the dang thing. As an adult, I still have issues the rope and rope climbs are one of my many goats in crossfit.

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pI don’t usually go in on Fridays, but decided that I should go in today. First, I definitely need to work on my rope climbs. Second, and more likely, I didn’t really want to sit at my desk at home all day and crossfit gave me an opportunity to escape.

Made it to an 8:30 class with Coach Drea, Vivien, Maria, and Logan. We spent a lot of time with Drea’s lacrosse ball torture time (at least 4 minutes) working on shoulders and the rest of Nicole’s warm-up. And when we were all done, the fun began.

Today’s WOD was all about rope climbs. And if you are a crossfit badass, ropes may not be a big deal, but for many of us it’s a serious struggle. The full prescribed workout was on mainsite a few weeks ago and looked awful. We did some seriously modifications to this thing. πŸ™‚

The workout itself for us was more about skill work than anything else. Maybe if you were masochistic you could push yourself to complete it for time, but for us mere mortals it was more about getting more comfortable with the rope.

  • Metcon, for time
  • Performance
    • 2 modified L-sit rope climbs
    • 4 legless rope climbs
    • 8 rope climbs
  • Fitness
    • 1 minute hanging knee-tuck hold on pull-up bar
    • 8 standing rope pull-ups
    • 12 lay-to-stands

We started with a whole lot of skill practice before we even got to the workout itself. Grabbed some plyometric boxes and sat on them to work on our J-hooks.


Sitting on the box on the 30″ side really close to the rope, we essentially grabbed the rope, put our feet into a J-hook, and stood up, then carefully sat back down. (Fun story… my box was a little rough on one corner and I snagged my left calf on a splinter that got me good.) But I did manage to get my feet somewhat consistently (every 2 out of 3 attempts) into a solid J-hook on the rope so I was able to stand on it.

We did a variety of interesting tuck work in place of the L-sit climbs. Knee tucks, L-raises, and other fun things while pulling up on the rope from a standing position. And then doing those from the floor was even more of a challenge.

My history with the rope in crossfit has been punctuated by one single shining moment. I did essentially a legless rope climb one Saturday at team WOD without thinking about it and got almost to the ceiling. I haven’t been able to pull that off since. And I’ve not managed to spend much time on getting my feet right on the rope either.

Definitely not me. πŸ™‚

So today, my goals were pretty small. Essentially I wanted nothing more than to practice J-hooks until I could do them pretty consistently. And somehow I managed to do that from the box and from a standing position, when I could position the rope and basically stand on it with my right foot.

My workout looked a lot more like this:

  • Standing next to the rope, grab high with the right arm (my dominant hand) and low with the left, then pull into a L-position, lowering back down slowly
  • Do the same with the left arm (my side that might as well belong to another individual)
  • Repeat once again
  • Standing next to the rope, jump to get a good hold on the rope and try to swing myself to move one hand up further on the rope.
  • I managed that once and attempted three more times
  • And then I did what felt like about 12-16 J-hook attempts both from the box and standing beside the rope, probably achieving it 2 out of 3 attempts for a bit, then it fell to maybe 1 in 3.

My only other injury was losing a bit of skin from the pad of one finger, but nothing major. Grip failed. Muscle fatigue set in. But it was a good run at skill work on the rope.

Once all that was done, I tried to roll out my lats on a foam roller for a bit — they needed it. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class — Vivien and Logan were both killing it. Maria and I were giving it a valiant effort though. πŸ™‚ Thanks Drea!

Oh My Quad, I DNF

Some days you kick the workout’s ass. Other days, it kicks yours. Today I was in the latter camp.

Apparently I have a severe deficiency with doing dozens of reps of a single movement quickly. This is not a shock. It appears from time to time in workouts like Karen (150 wall balls for time) or Murph (good old Murph).

no-no-no-noAnd as I recover from today’s butt kicking, I’m writing things up and wondering exactly where I went wrong.

I arrived for the 8:30 class today and we had Coach Bill. Carrie & Jenny, Todd & Melissa, Logan, and Sarah were among today’s sacrificial victims for this WOD. We started with a new series of movements, and I was left wondering what I had gotten myself into today. At least the last few weeks I was able to feel like I could “Rx the Warm-up.” Today I felt like my normal old uncoordinated self.

  • 30 seconds of single-under jumps (awesome) followed by 30 seconds of “running single unders” where you alternate legs — sort of Rocky-ish
  • 10 reps active standing pike (toes on a 10# plate where you straighten out your knees)
  • 15 hip external “presses” — I can’t even describe these yet
  • 20 reps (10 per leg, consecutive) – single leg glute bridge (squeeze your glute!)
  • 10 total twisting squats (hahahahahahaha)
  • 10 weighted (2.5# plate) pass-thrus (ok, got this one)

Twisting one way and then another? Doing single leg jump ropes? Twisting while standing? Ugh.

Then there was a bit of PVC work with thrusters, a refresher on ring dips, some rope climb work, and then some OHS with an empty barbell.

1whvn0I found myself saying “no” or “nope” or “um” a lot just warming up today. Bill had me work on a “Spanish wrap” on the rope a few times and I really just need to go in and do a million of them to get my feet right at some point.

What was today’s workout?

  • Performance, for time:
  • 3 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
  • 75 thrusters, 55/35 lb.
  • 30 dips
  • 3 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
  • 50 overhead squats, 55/35 lb.
  • 75 sit-ups
  • 3 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope

My workout was:

  • 3 floor-to-stand rope climbs
  • 75 thrusters, 55#
  • 3 f2s rope climbs
  • 30 ring dips (a handful without a band, then 25 with a band)
  • 3 f2s rope climbs
  • 35 OHS (first 10 at 55#, next 25# at 45#)
  • DNF

We had a 22 minute time cap today. I didn’t even get close to finishing. It really wouldn’t have mattered if I had actually read the workout and not inserted the extra rope climbs after the thrusters.


My quads were screaming at me about 45 thrusters in. And when the shoulders started yelling, I knew I was done for. My goal was to keep moving, but damn I was standing there for a minute at a time at a couple of points wondering what the hell I was doing.

Not my finest hour. And I watched Sarah, who competed with a good number of our coaches and kick-ass female athletes, just keep chugging through. So I really didn’t have any excuse. I just could not push through the damn pain wall today.

Yes, I know that DFL > DNF > DNS, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a DNF and it is not sitting well with me.

Great work 8:30 class and thanks Bill. I know you were trying to motivate me — and I was apparently not having any part of that.

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™‚


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.


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!

The Rope Trick

Isn’t it amusing that we usually put so much emphasis on Mondays because it’s the “first day of the week” in most cases — but that’s just a made-up thing for human “convenience” and tracking purposes really. It’s just another day, but it gets such a bad rap for being the first day back to work for most of us after a couple of days off.

Anyway… Today we had all sorts of “fun” things to look forward to… The first of the back-to-school madness events (we have another one tomorrow). Back to work for both my wife and I. A rainy fall-like day that would have been perfect to sleep in. And a later morning workout with my youngest. So no, it wasn’t all bad.

1tq3mvWe arrived to find Kelli & Lara running in the rain for Coach Drea and kicking butt from the 8:30 class. Our 9:30 class was pretty full — me & AJ, Nick & Lisa, Brent, Ashley, Carrie, Lorna, and Lyle. A great mix of folks — as always. πŸ™‚

Because of the rain we didn’t do our warm up outside. Instead we worked inside. Started with a 1 minute row/bike, did a 30 second hang on the rig, 20 arm-less sit-ups, and a fun monkey swinging side-to-side thing on the rig. Hang on the rig with both hands. Let go with one hand and touch the hip on that side, Grab the bar again. Do the same with the other side.

It was almost like being on the monkey bars as a kid. When I asked Drea if it was inspired by the obstacle course from the CrossFit Games, she said it wasn’t but was intrigued by the idea. πŸ™‚ (Also — congrats to Coach Drea — she just got her level 3 coaching certificate this past weekend — she’s only the 2nd level 3 coach in all of Colorado Springs, so that’s a phenomenal resource for our box!)

With all that done, we did some skill practice with GHD sit-ups and rope climbs. I honestly am awful at rope climbs. I’ve managed one legless rope climb largely because I just went for it with no expectations and almost made it to the top. I think if I could figure out how to wrap my feet I’d be able to get things going better — so that’s my goal. πŸ™‚

new-ghd-header2Today’s workout was:

  • Score Type:: Total Time
  • Rx
    • 4 rounds for time of:
    • 25 GHD sit-ups
    • 15-ft. rope climb, 3 ascents
    • 400-meter run

Because of the number of folks and lack of equipment, today became less about time and more about skill work — which was honestly ok with me. It gave me some time to work on my leg wraps and GHD sit-ups, which was great.

We kind of paired up and divided into phases. Some of us started with the GHD, others with the rope climbs, and a few others with the cardio portion of the workout.

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pOur workout ended up being more:

  • 4 rounds for time of:
  • 10-15 GHD sit-ups (or GHD sit-ups to parallel)
  • work on rope climbs — in my case, try a J-hook and stand on the rope, eventually get a stable J-hook, hold onto the rope, and re-establish the J-hook
  • 500m row (AJ did about 2 minutes on the assault bike)

Some people chose to run in the rain, but I figured that was a bad idea. I might melt. πŸ™‚

Really it became a fun workout because although time didn’t really come into the equation as much, I could focus on a 500m sprint on the rower (from a little less than 2 minutes to a little more than 2 minutes over the 4 rounds), working on the J-hook, and doing some GHD sit-ups with AJ. I actually am happy to report my GHD sit-ups didn’t feel awful — though towards the end it was easier to hit my right hand on the floor behind me than my left, so I went from a two-handed touch to a one-handed touch eventually.

This one, as opposed to some of the workouts last week which were either sprints or grinders where you had 250 reps to bang out, was just for fun and skill. It was a nice change from last week. πŸ™‚

That said, I need to come in once we get new ropes at the box and just play with figuring out the J-hook or Spanish wrap to get up the rope. I would like to conquer the rope and make it a bit more efficient.

A huge thank you to Lorna, Brent, and Drea for helping get my feet in the right place. I wasn’t grokking the movement at first, but eventually I got more of the hang of it.

Great work everybody! Stay dry and have a great day!

Regionals Workout #3, Scaled

You know the old joke, “I just flew in from X, and boy are my arms tired?” Well, I just got back from doing Regionals workout #3 at CrossFit Continuum, and boy is my body tired. Geez.

Arrived this morning to find Coach Larry waiting for us! But even before that, I arrived in time to help a guy push a stalled truck into a parking spot. Right place and right time to help and he seemed to appreciate the push, so life was good. πŸ™‚

I was not alone in the 8:30 class today, though Mickey stayed home to sleep in. Darn teenagers. πŸ™‚ It was me, Sarah, and Shannon taking on 2017 Regional Event #3. And we were a bit slower (and lighter) than the athletes who did this workout at any of this year’s CrossFit Regionals competitions. Saw this on the docket last night and muttered a bit of profanity after seeing some of the fittest individuals in the world struggle with this one.


To kick things off with an uncomfortable bang, Larry had us begin with 5 minute on the assault bike, which I still call by its “Jonathan” term — The Devil’s Tricycle. I was uncomfortable after a mere 30 seconds on the damn thing and took frequent breaks and alternated just going with my arms vs. arms and legs. It was not pretty.

After that we started some work with a PVC pipe, doing 10 slow overhead squats with a 2 second pause at the bottom before moving to the rig for a 30 second hollow body hold. And from there we did three sets of:

  • 10 PVC “Good Mornings”
  • 5 pull-ups
  • 5 ring dips


Larry worked with me a bit on the ring dips, seeing me lean really far over on my first set. We talked about being a bit more upright to avoid any pectoral injuries like they saw during the Regionals this year (there are reports that 25 or more men suffered partial pec tears during the regionals). Ring dips are never one of my stronger moves and after yesterday’s shoulder-frying Cindy+ workout, my shoulders weren’t quite happy to attempt them today.

But we got through that and then discussed the workout itself.

  • For time:
  • 100-ft. dumbbell overhead walking lunge (80/55# dumbbell)
  • 100 double-unders
  • 50 wall-ball shots (30/20# ball)
  • 15-ft. rope climb, 10 ascents
  • 50 wall-ball shotsΒ (30/20# ball)
  • 100 double-unders
  • 100-ft. dumbbell overhead walking lungeΒ (80/55# dumbbell)


The box doesn’t have any 80# dumbbells or 30# wall balls, not that any of us were tempted to try these movements at those weights. I think most of us adjusted to level 2 or level 1. We did have a few folks do it at the level II weights, which is impressive.

Regionals athletes over the last few weekends, the ones who finished, did this workout in 16 minutes or less. Some managed it in a bit over 11 minutes. Crazy.

For the rest of us mere mortals:

  • Level II lowers the weights to 55/35# dumbbells and 20/14# wall balls
  • Level I lowers the weights to 35/20# dumbbells and 14/10# wall balls, plus single-unders and lay-to-stand rope climbs

I did somewhere between Level I and II. Let’s call it I.5.

  • 35# dumbbell, 20# wall balls, single-unders, lay-to-stand rope climbs

wallballGoing in, I knew that a couple of things were going to slow me way down:

  1. Walking lunges of any kind are a big challenge for me. My knees, even with knee sleeves, just don’t like the pressure of kneeling directly on the ground. Adding any kind of overhead weight just exacerbates that almost to the point of failure. And I managed to forget to tape my knees this morning, so that didn’t help.
  2. Wall balls. One of my goats. I knew I’d have to break it into smaller sets to get it done.

So how’d I do?

  • Managed to get through all of the first 100ft walking lunge with 35# overhead, alternating arms.
  • Single unders were rough, but doable.
  • Wall-balls took a bit. Sets of 10 or 5 to get through the first 35.
  • Rope climbs from the floor, I was able to do about 2 at a time. Knees were burning by this point.
  • Second set of Wall balls, I broke into 5 sets of 7. Consistency made it a bit better.
  • Single unders on this end were better. Did two sets of 50.
  • Last 100ft walking lunges is where I fell apart. Holding the weight overhead and doing the lunge became something my body simply didn’t want to do, so I dropped the weight, thrust an arm overhead, and did them without the weight.

Got all of that done in a tad over 22 minutes. Something around 22:15. Shannon was not far behind me at 22:34 or 22:44 and Sarah beat us both, finishing in less than 20.


Any workout that involves walking lunges is automatically on my naughty list. Dave Castro is an evil man when it comes to programming challenging workouts. And I’m glad to be done with it.

Something tells me we may see other regional workouts before too long. And that’s fine. Bring them on.

But no more today… I’m going to go ice a few body parts and get some more mobility work in. πŸ˜€

Great work Sarah & Shannon! And thanks Larry for the encouragement during the WOD. I really didn’t want to pick up that wall ball. πŸ™‚

Have a good day, folks!