Tag Archives: rope climbs

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.

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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.

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Shoulders for Inches

It would be shoulders for miles, but that would be stretching it a bit. 🙂

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. 🙂

solar_eclipse-800px

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 “double-up”, 15-ft. rope (two-round trip from seated – legless for the first part – with only “touch-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? 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂 (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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

I was not alone in the 8:30 class today, though Mickey stayed home to sleep in. Darn teenagers. 🙂 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.

games-2017-logo-1600x630

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

ring-dip

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 shots (30/20# ball)
  • 100 double-unders
  • 100-ft. dumbbell overhead walking lunge (80/55# dumbbell)

ohdumbbellwalkinglunge

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.

1l7ocy

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. 😀

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

Have a good day, folks!

Just in case your shoulders weren’t tired enough…

After taking a couple of days off earlier this week, I had two meetings I couldn’t escape this morning at work… so I had to wait for a Noon class to attend. Arrived in time to chat a bit with Coach Bill and then Coach Jimmy arrived to lead us. Kirsten and I were as ready as we were going to be I think. 🙂

Gymnastics-ringsWe started with a 3 round warm-up:

  • 250m row
  • 10 ring rows
  • 10 wall balls (20/14#)

Once that was done, we did some shoulder mobility work with a band before working with an empty barbell:

  • 5 strict press
  • 5 Sumo-deadlift high pulls (ish — just the standing part)
  • 5 push press

And from there we added weight and got ready for the workout.

push-press

  • For time:
  • 15 push presses
  • 5 rope ascents
  • 12 push presses
  • 4 rope ascents
  • 9 push presses
  • 3 rope ascents
  • 6 push presses
  • 2 rope ascents
  • 3 push presses
  • 1 rope ascent
  • (Use ¾ body weight for push presses)

This was a doozy. Especially after Tuesday’s shoulder press-palooza.

When I went in, I had every intention of trying 175# (which is 3/4 of my current bodyweight), but you know what they say about roads and good intentions…

  • Started with 135# off the bat, did 3 warm-ups
  • Then did 3 with 155# on the bar.
  • I felt like that sucked, so I should add more – but I fought the urge and decided to stay there.

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pSo when the clock started, here’s how it went:

  • 8 push press reps @ 155#, 7 reps @ 135#
  • 5 rope climbs from floor
  • 12  push press reps @ 135#
  • 4 rope climbs from floor
  • 9 push press reps @ 135# (by this point my left arm was struggling to straighten out)
  • 3 rope climbs from the floor
  • 6 push press reps @ 135# (ugly ones)
  • 2 rope climbs from the floor
  • 3 push press reps @ 135# (even more ugly)
  • 1 rope climb from the floor
  • Time: 16:14

Meanwhile, Kirsten was flying through the workout with a lighter weight on the bar but real rope climbs and finished in less than 9 minutes I think.

This was ugly. I got to the point a couple of times where I couldn’t hold the bar in a front rack when I cleaned it from the floor — simply because my left arm wasn’t holding close enough to make it work. A lot of it I think had to do with hand position on the bar. Too far in or out and I chicken winged to the point where it wasn’t strong enough.

But once again… I finished. It was ugly. And I think some of the reps probably shouldn’t have counted. But I finished.

Thanks Jimmy!

Wall balls make me want to hurl

Some days you’re the wall and some days you’re the ball, but none of that stops those wall balls from being awful.

Today I managed to squeak in for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea and a mess of great folks – Jonathan, Jake, Caleb, Carrie, Jenny, Connie, and Tionne. The place was hopping.

kettlebells

We started with a 400m run and then came in for a bit of a warm-up with a kettle bell.

  • 5 minute AMRAP
  • 5 one-armed kettle bell clean and jerks
  • 10 kettle bell swings
  • 15 kettle bell deadlifts

I think I got through the whole mess maybe twice. I wasn’t pushing all that hard and there was a lot of talking during the whole thing. 🙂

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pFrom there we grabbed an empty barbell to warm up with some deadlifts, push presses, and push jerks, before adding weight to the bar to get up to our working weight for the workout…

  • 3 rounds for time of:
  • 3 legless rope climbs
  • 6 push jerks, 225/155# (185/125# level II, 115/75# level I)
  • 12 deadlifts (same weight)
  • 24 weighted sit-ups
  • 48 wall-ball shots, 20/14# ball

Since all of the push jerks needed to come from the floor (you had to clean it at least once), I knew 225# and even 185# would be pushing it. I scaled to 135# and then added to 155# for the workout. It made for very light deadlifts, but meant that I could clean it and probably get it overhead.

We had a 30 minute time cap. I did not finish, but got through 2 full rounds with legless rope climb attempts. Managed to get close to the top (within 2/3 feet) most of the time and was happy with that. But the wall balls absolutely killed me.

It took 13 minutes to get through the 1st round and in the middle of my wall balls for the second round I had to go outside because I thought I was going to hurl. I don’t do that often, but I guess wall balls bring out the best in me. Not.

This was a killer workout. Great work to everybody who finished it!

dfl-dnf-dns

Heels Overhead

Every once in a while you have a day where your heart simply isn’t in it. You put on a good face. Joke around with folks even. But something just ain’t right in the brain.

Well, today apparently was that day.

frabz-im-smiling-on-the-outside-but-on-the-inside-i-well-we-better-le-546ee3I thought I did all the right things. I slept better last night after 3 mostly sleepless nights of tossing and turning with the wind banging things around outside. I ate breakfast. And I went in with a positive outlook.

Ev and I were joined by Clare, Jenny, and Carrie for the 8:30 class with Coach Bill. He had a good attitude. Everyone else seemed to be in a good mood.

We started with some foam rolling and then did a 400m jog. I felt good during my jog and jetted out in front of everyone else on the 1st half of the run, which gained some grief from everybody else. That was fine.

We got back inside and did 3 rounds of:

  • 20 seconds of hollow body holds
  • 20 seconds of push-ups
  • 20 seconds of V-Ups

Then we did a bit of work on handstand push-ups. We held on the wall, did some series with HSPUs, and then I felt my attitude shift.

1hjblf

You know the feeling when you approach something and you know you won’t be able to do it? Yes, I know I’m not supposed to do that any more. I’m supposed to start with a beginner’s mind (Zen style) and approach every activity like a new person experiencing it for the very first time.

Rope climb failures have been with me since elementary school. The Saturday workout in which I managed a legless rope climb was a complete fluke where I was very distracted and just did it before I thought about it.

I had already been thinking about it for a while by the time I got to the box. And apparently I made up my mind. I was going to fail.

a8146ccfbcc3469ac2e54cd5c022bc81Guess what. I was right.

The workout itself was pretty straightforward:

  • 7 rounds for time of:
  • 10 handstand push-ups
  • 2 rope ascents, 15-ft. rope

Easy enough, right?

Yeah, not so much. My handstand push-ups were ok for a couple of rounds and fell apart quickly as I struggled to get down to a single mat and even just kick up on the wall after a while.

And the rope climbs. Geez. J-hook. Spanish wrap. Didn’t matter. I could jump a ways up, flounder with my feet, and not get anywhere. Towards the end I think I had a few successful attempts where I had the Spanish wrap sort of working, but my feet were slipping.

I could see other folks locking their feet to the point where they could “stand” on the rope. Mine just slipped again and again. Even when I “got” the Spanish wrap, it didn’t feel secure to me.

And every time I failed, I laughed about it and moved on, but inwardly I was beating myself up. The critic is back folks and he’s speaking loudly with swear words.

motivatejoker1

I figure if I can battle back and exhibit a cheerful outer state of being, perhaps it will eventually filter to the inner state. And I at least didn’t infect anyone with my piss poor internal monologue today.

It’s not just with this workout, but the last few days have seen me grow more and more doubting with myself at work, with my writing, and just generally. Not sure why.

So in an attempt to change the tone a bit, I’d like to express some gratitude. Everybody in the 8:30 class had an awesome attitude. Bill beams with positivity. Carrie was just fun to watch fly up and down the rope. Jenny & Clare chugged right along on all cylinders. And Ev fought through her own frustrations with handstands to work on the various progressions that Bill had her working on.

Thank you to all of you. You’re awesome.

Now I’ll go back to wrestling with my inner critic. We’ll see who wins.