Tag Archives: scaling

Shoulder Taps

I can tap my toes just fine, but tapping shoulders in a handstand position? That’s a challenge.

This morning I went in at 8:30 with Ev for a class with Coach Nicole, Caleb, Melissa, and Logan. The five of us had a fun time.

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1We started with the same warm-up we’ve been doing all week and added more hip and glute work, since everybody seems like their glutes are still fired up from earlier workouts. I definitely found a few spots with the lacrosse ball.

When that was done, we started tackling the day’s movements, starting with handstand walk progressions. Nicole was the only one among us who could demonstrate an actual handstand walk this morning, but she walked through quite a few progressions for handstand-style shoulder taps with some added movement:

  • Pike position shoulder taps
  • Pike position shoulder taps on weight plates
  • Toes-on-box, hands pressed out on floor, shoulder taps
  • Handstand on wall, shoulder taps
  • A bit further away handstand, making tentative steps towards the wall on hands

Her suggestion for those of us doing the box or pike position was to stay centered and do two shoulder taps, pivot left around the box (round the world style) or on plates to a diagonal or perpendicular position, do two shoulder taps, then shift back to center, shift right, shift back to center. So Center, Left, Center, Right, Center, with two taps at each position.

I did attempt doing shoulder taps on the wall in a handstand, but I couldn’t convince myself to even lift a hand off the floor. It’s a funny thing. Someday maybe I’ll figure it out, but in the meantime, doing the shoulder taps around the box is a good compromise.


We then talked about broad jumps and walking lunges and what she wanted to see from us. And then we got started on the workout…

  • 15 minute AMRAP
    • 3 attempts max-distance handstand walk (or 50ft) (performance) or 5 round-the-worlds with shoulder taps (fitness)
    • 30-ft. broad jump (performance) or 8 broad jumps (fitness)
    • 50-ft. walking lunge (performance) or 12 walking lunges (fitness)

We were all over the place. Some folks started on the wall and moved to the box. There was a lot of good scaling.

I did:

  • 10 shoulder taps (2 shoulder taps at each of five positions – center, left, center, right, center) — started with toes on the box but shifted to pike position and rocking forward on toes by about round 4
  • 30 ft. broad jump
  • 50 ft. walking lunges
Definitely not me!!

My knees really started to bug me fully extended out on the box pivoting on my toes, which is why I shifted (after chatting with Nicole) to pike position. But in both positions, I really struggled with pushing my head through at the top and looking backwards. Sometimes I managed. Sometimes I didn’t.

The broad jump was hit and miss, but got a bit better as we went on. And the lunges. Ugh. Not my favorite. I did ok and pushed pretty hard to get through the last set of round 5 under the time cap. I managed and had 10 seconds to spare.

Knees were sore at the end, so I used a lacrosse ball to roll them out a little. Hopefully that helps. But since I cooled off, I have to say my shoulders are saying hello too. 🙂

So 5 rounds was right in line with what Nicole was looking for I think. Others may have managed to get through almost 6 or maybe even a bit more.

Great work 8:30 class! And thanks Nicole for the different options we went through.

We’ll see if I make it in tomorrow. 🙂


Scale Away, Scale Away, Scale Away…

Apologies to Enya for the subject line, but that’s kind of how I felt today during the workout. 🙂 Yesterday I bonked myself in the nose with a bar and kept going. Today I have no injuries to report, so I guess that’s a good thing. 🙂

1y6ddlI arrived for Coach Drea’s 8:30 class with Vivien, Logan, Melissa & Todd, and Jonathan. And we got started pretty quickly with the same warm-up as yesterday, putting a bit more focus on the lat roll-out and doing the hamstring stretches on the floor. I have to say my low back was a bit fired up from yesterday’s workout — all those deadlifts — but I didn’t notice my hammies until we started stretching. 🙂

After that we did some dumbbell snatch skill work with a lighter weight than we would use during the workout. I warmed up with a 25# and moved to a 30# for the actual workout. And we did some work at the rig, similar to what we’ve been covering in Nicole’s gymnastics class as far as better kipping mechanics.

Today’s workout seems to be a single-athlete version of Event 6 of the 2017 Team Series

  • 21-15-9 for time
  • Single-arm dumbbell snatches (50/35# challenger, 40/25# performance, 25/15# fitness)
  • Bar muscle-ups (challenger), Chest-to-bar pull-ups (performance), Jumping C2B (fitness)


Dumbbell-Single-Arm-SnatchC2B are not one of my strengths these days. Neither are heavy dumbbell snatches. So I did somewhere between the combination of fitness & performance levels:

  • 21-15-9 for time
  • 30# single-arm dumbbell snatches
  • jumping C2Bs, then kipping pull-ups, and finally ring rows

I finished in 9:24, but it definitely wasn’t pretty.

Positive take-aways: I hit several jumping C2Bs before they went away completely. And my snatches didn’t feel awful or out of control, so I probably should have gone with more weight.

Negative take-aways: Though I would have thought that it was the grip and forearm on my left side that would have been the issue, it ended up being higher today. It was a problem with the pull, where my bicep and forearms simply got really fired up in that first set of 21 (which took FOREVER).


That was the whole “scale, then scale again” methodology. When my pull-ups got down to just singles and doubles instead of three or four, I had to drop. But I kept moving and I think that was a bigger push.

Meanwhile I watched Todd kill this workout with a combination of muscle-ups and C2B and a 50# dumbbell. He finished right after I did. Jonathan was right there with him with a 50# dumbbell and C2Bs, finishing two minutes before us.

As always, I’m happy to cheer them on and just pleased that I finished in under 10 minutes with my  various scaling options. 🙂

Great work 8:30 class!

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.


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

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!

And I would do 500 reps, and I would do 500 more…

… just to be the team that’s falling down outside your crossfit door… (apologies to the Proclaimers!)

I may be a little loopy at the moment. Just a little.

assault-bikeToday’s team crossfit workout was brought to you by Coach Clare and involved a little bit of everything I think. The joys of the Filthy 50 times 2 with a partner. Once again, Jonathan was my partner for this lovely little workout and my wife and his wife teamed up to kick our collective asses. Go figure.

We weren’t alone either — there were easily 18-20 people milling about today.

Our warm-up? A fun competition between four teams with 4 or 5 people each. Clare set up four assault bikes facing one another with a line in the middle. A foam roller would be set on the line and the two athletes facing one another would try and blow the foam roller with the force of the fan on the assault bike, so the roller would stay on their opponent’s side of the line.

Not to brag or anything, but our team dominated. We went Five for Five (Jonathan, Me, Sarah, Michael, and AJ). It was fun. Supposedly the team would have to do 2 burpees for every bout they lost (bike for 20 seconds and see which side it ended up on).

Filthy_Fifty_After that we set up equipment for this lovely workout:

  • Score Type:: Total Time
  • Teams of 2 For time:
  • 100 Box jump (24/20)
  • 100 Jumping pull-ups
  • 100 Kettlebell swings (35/25)
  • 100 Walking Lunge steps
  • 100 Knees to elbows
  • 100 Push press (45/35)
  • 100 Back extensions
  • 100 Wall ball shots (20/14)
  • 100 Burpees
  • 100 Double unders

If it looks familiar, it’s because it’s 2x the Filthy Fifty (see right).

Jonathan and I pulled our stuff together and did:

  • Jonathan (24″ box jumps), me (20″ step ups)
  • Jumping pull-ups
  • 35# kettle bell swings
  • walking or in-place lunges
  • knees-to-elbows
  • Jonathan (45# push press), me (45# strict press)
  • good mornings with a 45# barbell
  • 20# wall balls
  • Jonathan (burpees), me (sit-ups)
  • 100 single unders each

finished-lastHonestly I was pretty fried after the good mornings. And it took us a bit under 44 minutes to complete all of that. 1000 reps. We either split the 100 for each movement or Jonathan did more than I did. Just depended on where I was at.

I felt bad about doing sit-ups instead of burpees, but honestly I didn’t think I was going to get off the floor if I went down. My shoulders were screaming. My knees were pissed. Even as it was, five rounds of 10 sit-ups each was a damn challenge.

But we finished. And scaling is not the enemy. It’s what happens when you realize your body doesn’t want to keep moving and decide to change things up so you CAN keep moving.

I don’t think we were last. But we were damn close. And I feel like hell afterwards. It’s awesome.

Jonathan, thanks for being my partner in the madness. You kicked butt. 🙂

And good work everybody who came! Thanks Clare for a good challenge!

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.


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!