Tag Archives: rowing

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!

Pushing More 50s

What have I done? I’m thinking the answer is “too much” as I learn a few things about myself getting a little older. But we’ll put that aside for now.

Today was workout #4 in a row for me this week. That’s unusual. Usually I try to do two on, one off, or one on-one off. Four in a row may be a bit much. Yesterday’s Fran just about killed me. I didn’t feel back to “normal” until a few hours afterwards with some ibuprofen and a 30 minute “nap”.

1tjdmu

So what did today hold? Like Monday, this was another of the 50s. And it was Joe and I facing it under the watchful eye of Coach Bill today. Was good to see Bill — he’s been busy of late, so was good to have him back. I like the variety of coaching we have at Continuum and we’ve had a good mix in recent weeks with Drea, Larry, and Bill picking up the morning and noon classes.

We started with a 1000m row. Bill gave us a 5 minute max on this one, but I decided I’d try and use my more efficient rowing approach to see how I’d do at speed. Turned out I finished 1000m in just under 4 minutes, which was awesome. And Joe wasn’t far behind me.

cf467a66561ac32ffcdb987f818704bf--tabata-quotes-tabata-humor

From there we did some tabatas involving wall balls, push-ups, and sit-ups.

  • 4 rounds of 20 seconds of wall balls and 10 seconds of holding a front squat with the medicine ball at the bottom
  • then 4 rounds of 20 seconds of push-ups, 10 second transition, and 20 seconds of sit-ups

I have to say I struggled more than a little with all of the tabata. My lats, quads, shoulders, and just about everything else was unhappy with me. I honestly wasn’t sure how much of some of the movements today I was going to be able to do and planned to scale in a few places.

1tjdsfThe workout itself was another set of 50s… for time:

  • 50 jumping alternating lunges, 50 steps
  • 50 pull-ups
  • 50 push presses, 95/65 lb.
  • 50 hip extensions
  • 50 burpees

For me, this became:

  • 50 walking lunges (scaled)
  • 50 jumping or regular pull-ups (scaled)
  • 50 push presses, 95/65 lb.
  • 50 hip extensions
  • 50 burpees

Joe did a round of all movements (walking lunges and jumping/regular pull-ups) and did the 40s variation (level 2).

This one was rough. My body was really telling me off in a few places. The walking lunges were rough, but not terrible. The push presses were ok. The hip extensions were ok. But the pull-ups and burpees… ugh.

I originally set out to do three sets – 20/20/10 – but after doing the first set of 20, I decided I’d just suffer through a set of 30 to be done. My pull-ups started as jumping but I did about 15 kipping pull-ups in the round of 30 so tried to mix it up a bit. The burpees were a slog. 5 at a time.

tired-just-tired

Joe no-repped me at one point, jokingly, but he was right. My burpees are not legit burpees. I don’t raise my arms over my head. I do jump, but find that the whole full extension thing doesn’t do me any favors. Throwing my arms over my head for no good reason is a good way to not only make me slow way the heck down but also really want to stop… a lot.

Ultimately I was happy with the results. Took me 22:51. We had a 30 minute time cap and I was closer to 20 than 30, which was good. πŸ™‚

Considering how sore I was when i went in today, I’ll take it. Now I’m done for a bit.

Great work Joe! And thanks Bill (and Joe & Logan) for the encouragement. πŸ™‚ Hope everybody has a great day!

Monday Night Nose Smashing

Though today didn’t quite work out the way I planned, we ended up at another evening workout at CrossFit Continuum. Why, you ask? Because Isaac was teaching? Because it worked out schedule-wise? Because we wanted to shake things up again this week? No, because my daughters wanted to see Coach Clare’s bulldog Penny.

1rke2oYup. They may have me wrapped around their little fingers.

At any rate, we made it in for the 5:45 class tonight with Coach Isaac. πŸ™‚ The girls decided to get in some running instead of the workout itself (and did about 3 miles or so, I heard, plus some warm-ups), so it was me, Jeremy, Jamal, Tim, and Charlton tonight.

We started with a little 3 round warm-up:

  • 1 minute of double-unders or single-unders
  • 15 thrusters with a PVC pipe
  • 1 minute of inchworms, focusing on the hamstring stretch portion

I have to say, I was already sweating a bit by the end of that 3 rounds, so I think I was warm. πŸ™‚

When that was done, we grabbed some equipment: a box and a med ball each, with space on the rig, plus getting the rowers ready.

20170626_182657Our workout?

  • 5 rounds (or 3 rounds for Level I) for reps of:
  • 1 minute of box jumps, 24/20″ box (Rx/Level 2), or 20/16″ (Level I)
  • 1 minute of wall-ball shots, 20/14# ball (Rx/Level 2) or 14/10# (Level 1)
  • 1 minute of rowing (calories)
  • Rest 1 minute

We broke up the workout a bit because there were five of us. 3 of us started with wall balls and 2 of us started with box jumps/step-ups. That way we didn’t collide at the rowers.

We were off and running in the first round when I had something happen that I don’t remember ever happening before… The med ball smashed me in the face. In 4 years, I don’t remember having that happen. I’ve dropped it, missed it, and even had it hit the side of my head — but never smack on the nose. Oops.

Other than that, I was pretty consistent, all things being unequal (Wall balls, Rowing, Step-ups):

  • 16, 6, 16 (38)
  • 18, 10, 14 (42)
  • 20, 8, 15 (43)
  • 18, 7, 13 (38)
  • 17, 7, 15 (39)
  • Total = 200

Not too bad. And other than catching a med ball in the face, I kept moving pretty well.

When we were done and cleaned up all our equipment, we did some stretching and called it good so the Advanced Class could get going.

And yes, the girls got to see Penny. πŸ™‚

Thanks Isaac for the encouragement!

Cindy Wants Revenge and Creatine Issues

My question: What did I ever do to Cindy? Why is she so angry?

I missed the Lurong workout last week. Honestly it just wasn’t a good week for me, but we’ll get to the reason behind that after I talk about today.

Mickey and I hit the 8:30 workout with Coach Drea this morning. We had a good crew along with us — Sarah, Brent, Shannon, Todd, and Lisa.

silly-walkBut Coach Drea was in “evil trainer” mode this morning with our warm-up… She led us outside and up the hill to the west, then told us what we’d be doing:

  • 2 minutes of jogging the 100-150m back and forth
  • then 15 seconds of sprints and 45 seconds of recovery for 5 rounds

Yes, I said “sprints.” And though I jogged the 2 minutes back and forth, my “recovery” was a walk. πŸ™‚

But it didn’t stop there.

Once back inside, we did a long stretch of hip and shoulder mobility with a band on the rig. I swear I was sweating buckets during mobility, which is always entertaining. And then we did a few rounds (maybe 3) of:

  • 5 kips on the rig
  • 4 alternating one-arm planks (like the yoga move where you pivot to one side and then the other)
  • 5 wall-facing air squats, slow and steady as close as you can get to the wall without touching

cindyThat all took a long time. I think the mobility part of the workout was probably 35 minutes of our hour at least. And then we tackled the Lurong Challenge workout #3: Cindy Wants Revenge. Cindy plus rowing!

  • 12-Minute AMRAP
  • Opens with aΒ 30 Calorie Row
  • ThenΒ 2 Rounds of:
    • 5 Pull Ups
    • 10 Hand Release Push Ups
    • 15 Air Squats
  • The next round starts back at the 30 Calorie Row

Apparently some early classes made it as far as 3 rounds, plus. So though I was shooting for 3, I knew the row was going to slow me down, as would the push-ups. Anything over 2 rounds would be good. πŸ™‚

I made it through 2 rounds plus 3 reps. That boils down to about 183 “reps” in the 12 minute time cap. I did regular pull-ups and push-ups, and the regular air squats. My first 30 calorie row was about 2 minutes. Second was about 3 minutes. The killer for me was push-ups though. My first set of 10 was unbroken, but after that I was breaking it into 5 and 5 or 5-3-2 or whatever I could do.

Mickey made it through 1 full round plus 58 reps (she almost completed the third round of 5-10-15). She had to do a mix of pull-ups and ring rows, but she kept on chugging. Not bad for her second crossfit workout in a while (considering her first workout back was Murph!).

So we didn’t do too bad. Todd made it through 3 rounds plus a bit. Not sure how other folks did. But everybody was chugging right along!

Thanks Drea for a great workout!

Creatine and Me

So I mentioned that last week was bad for me. We started the Lurong challenge on my birthday, so this is the 4th week. And about the time we started, I also went back on adding some creatine into my diet.

now-creatineBack in October 2016, Jimmy suggested adding it to help with energy. So I bought Now Sports’ Creatine Monohydrate and added 1 heaping teaspoon to my Spark drink in the morning to help kick things off.

And that lasted until sometime in April when it ran out. I never had any issues and I do think it may have helped somewhat, but couldn’t put my finger on any particular energy boost from the stuff.

ON-micronized-creatineAt that point, I ordered a new type of creatine from Optimum Nutrition – Micronized Creatine Powder. I honestly didn’t think anything would happen negatively – I hadn’t had any issues on the other one and this one was well reviewed. So when the Lurong Challenge started and we shifted over to a Macro-based plan for meals, I just added this into the mix.

And holy cow, I started having some serious issues.

Mood swings from hell. Deep, dark depression in the afternoons. Anger. And I did my best to work through them, thinking they were a side effect of the diet change and lowering my carbohydrates (sugar crash, etc). But after a particularly bad bout last week, Ev and I decided we should just stop taking the stuff and see if it helped.

And honestly after not taking it for several days, I feel a lot happier. No mood swings. No anger or depression beyond my usual self-doubt, regret, and guilt (I’m human, it happens). So I think we’ll be not taking any creatine for a while.

I’m not saying that EVERYBODY has this kind of reaction – but damn. Not high on my list of things to try again for a while.Β I prefer normal me to depressed and angry me, 100%.

Sneaky Team WODs…

Though soccer season is in full swing for both girls and our eldest was performing in the high school production of Emma this weekend, somehow the stars aligned and we made it into Crossfit Continuum to do a team workout this morning. Crazy!

There were probably 20 of us or so today attempting to get through Coach Clare’s innocent looking workout. Innocent and it kicked our butts!

inconceivable-workout-doesnt-look-awful-inconceivable

Ev and I teamed up with Robert, who was back after a few months of rehab on his shoulder which was repaired. And AJ teamed up with the boys for a team of 4. And we all completed the madness.

Started with a fun warm-up where everybody was giving everybody else a bit of good-natured grief. Knee hugs. High kicks. Spider-man lunges. Arm rotations. Broad jumps. It was a good mix of movements to start us off in the right direction.

And then we faced Clare’s workout.

  • baby-raised-eyebrows-hmmm-why-do-i-feel-like-this-is-going-to-kick-my-butt-laterTeams of 3, for time
  • For each round, athlete 1 completes 75 DU, while athletes 2 & 3 each complete one of the other movements. When athlete 1 is finished with the DU’s, rotate through the movements until each athlete has completed each movement.
  • Buy in: 50 synchronized lunges
  • Round 1 – 75 DU, OHS 95/65#, KBS 53/35#
  • Round 2 – 75 DU, SDHP 95/65#, med ball sit ups 20/14#
  • Round 3 – 75 DU, front squat 95/65#, C2B
  • Round 4 – 75 DU, push press 95/65#, wall balls 20/14#
  • Cash out – 1500m row or 7 min assault bike

This shouldn’t have been bad, right? I mean… light weights. Only doing a movement as long as someone was jumping rope. Simple!

HA!

We adjusted things slightly. Though Robert did DU’s, Ev and I did single-unders and we all stuck with the 65# bar (ostensibly to protect Robert’s shoulder, but honestly it was because 95# didn’t sound all that fun).

1npz5e

We were done in about 29 or so minutes. Others were done much faster. And a few were slower than us. So honestly I think we did ok.

A few things:

  • lunges suck for me, regardless of weight or not.
  • OHS were awkward, but other than them and C2B, I got at least 10-20 of each movement done in the time given.
  • I may have accomplished 10 OHS, but they weren’t good ones.
  • I hit 3 jumping C2B pull-ups from the floor and was happy about it.

And then we turned around and drove north to a soccer game for AJ. I’m ready for a nap now, so I can only imagine that she is as well. πŸ™‚

Thanks Clare for a fun one. And thanks Robert for joining Ev & I for the workout!

Body Parts Failing

So I’m 46, soon to be 47, and never been all that physical until starting crossfit in February 2013. I’m very thankful for that, but every now and then it shows me just how out of whack my body still is even after 4+ years of getting back into shape.

cfa08db50f4a04cdfa79d30579036a4cTuesday we did a strict pull-up and running workout that, um, killed me a little bit (see CrossFit: The Great Equalizer from earlier this week). I woke up on Wednesday in pain. The middle of my back was on fire. My hamstrings were fried. Generally I was moving like an 80 year old man around my own house.

I spent a good amount of time mobilizing. I sit a lot for my job, so I’d get up every so often and touch my toes or lie flat on the floor or use a foam roller or get into child’s pose… anything to release the aching, tight muscles causing me grief. And last night we used some Deep Blue rub (thank you Doterra), which helped tremendously.

Even so, I approached today with a bit of trepidation. Deadlifts on Monday stressed hamstrings. Tuesday stressed my shoulders and back. Wednesday was recovery. What would today hold?

Answer: More pain in different body parts.

Amazingly, I got to attend the 8:30 class this morning with my wife and youngest daughter. We were definitely not alone with Coach Drea… she had a bunch of folks – Sarah, Brent, Nic & Nichole, Jenny, Jake, and Caleb. We had a hopping group of folks… literally.

kettlebell-calf-smash

Started simply enough with some mobility, which I’ll be doing more of today.

  • Kettle-bell handle to the calf from the achilles tendon up to below the knee
  • Lacrosse ball or softball to the bottom of the foot
  • Knee bent on plyometric box with a weight to stretch ankle and knee

dr-evil-air-quotes-yes-this-is-what-we-call-a-warm-upThen we did another one of Drea’s fun multi-phase warm-ups:

  • Step-ups
  • Single jumps with a jump rope
  • 100m run
  • Box jumps
  • Air squats
  • 100m run
  • Box jumps
  • Jump ropes
  • 400m run

Or something like that. I have to say that by the second round of box jumps I knew I was in trouble. Something in my right calf began to knot up to the point where walking, let alone running or jumping, was not happy. I walked most of my 400m and came back in telling Drea that my hopper was broken.

I was ready to just pack up and cheer folks on for the workout, but she had me scale today — which was a much better option.

The workout itself was:

  • 4 rounds
  • 15 box jumps (36/30″ box Rx, 30/24″ box Level II, 24/20″ box level I)
  • Run 400m

look-at-scaling-featI didn’t even really do level I. My workout became:

  • 4 rounds
  • 20 step-ups to 20″ box (10 each side)
  • Row 500m
  • Time: 16:01

Ev did:

  • 4 rounds
  • 15 jumps to a 15″ plate stack
  • 400m run
  • Time: 17:13

AJ did:

  • 4 rounds
  • 15 jumps – mix of 24″ and 20″ box
  • mix of 400m run and assault bike
  • Time: 14:50

I wasn’t the only one who had to scale, but man I hate it when my body just fails. Thankfully Drea was there to stop me from just quitting outright and had me scale the workout.

All things being considered, this was a great workout. I just would rather have done it with a run if I could (even though it would have sucked). Even with scaling however, I was sweating like a pig through the whole thing.

More mobility. Those are the words for the day.

Great work 8:30 class! Thanks Drea!

What a week…

Wow, what a week. Let’s just say that my head has not been in the right place for a few days. Not sure how or why, but… ugh.

  • 10z7zwMonday I woke up angry and worked out anyway.
  • Tuesday we had a snow day and I ground some mental gears as we shifted plans 3x that morning. Never did make it to the box,
  • Wednesday I thought about going but got tied up at work.
  • Thursday I had to go. And even that was a struggle.

Apparently I’m riding the struggle bus this week and have a window seat.

Today’s workout was the one originally slated for yesterday but moved due to snow. (Tough to run when the parking lot is an ice rink.) And running… running isn’t my thing. So there was a mental battle this morning that raged on.

silly-walkThe only thing that saved me was the familiarity of routine. I try to go to crossfit Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Sometimes I add Saturdays. Sometimes I add other days. But M-T-Th… that’s my jam.

Today was Thursday, so regardless of what the workout happened to be, I needed to be there. So I was. Routine beat mental games. Thank goodness for the routine.

I went in with Ev to the 8:30 class with Coach Bill. We were joined by Elyse, Lisa, Carrie, and Larry. And we were goofy during the warm-up as we listened to 80s music. πŸ™‚

Started with some foam rolling, then did the back and forth running drills we’ve done in the past. High knees karaoke. Ministry of Silly Walks. The whole nine yards.

Grabbed empty barbells and then did 3 reps and a quick lap inside, added weight, did it again, and repeated that until we got to our working weight.

  • 5 rounds for time of:
  • Run 400 meters
  • 185/125# deadlifts, 21 reps

DLgripwidthDuring the warm-ups I noticed that my right calf was giving me grief. Even Bill commented on it. And during the workout itself it felt like it might as well have been a club foot. Bill had me transition to a row in the 3rd round. So my workout looked like:

  • 400m jog
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • 400m walk
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • 500m row
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • 500m row
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • 500m row
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • time: 26:40

We had a 30 minute time cap and I got done under that, so I was happy. Elyse and Lisa were done in about 18 minutes or so and lapped me pretty quickly. Ev finished in 23:30 or so but didn’t quite lap me. Even so, I was DFL and didn’t really care. I finished.

dfl-dnf-dns

I really need to figure out what the heck is going on with my calves. The right one knotted up fast today and then my hips and knees got into the action complaining as well. I need to do more stretching and mobility work at home. I suspect that’s all that needs to happen. But time is a factor and my excuse, so until I get over that speed bump I suspect it will remain a problem.

Told you I was on the struggle bus this week. Great work everybody!

Have a great day!