Tag Archives: step-ups

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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

Thanks Isaac for the encouragement!

Lurong 2017 Workout #1 Redux

We’ll talk about the nutrition side of the Lurong Summertime Challenge 2017 another day, but today we retested on the 1st workout of this challenge. (We did this back on May 15…)

I headed in with the girls to the 8:30 class with Coach Drea today and we had a great set of folks join us — Nick & Lisa, Todd & Melissa, Connie, and Sarah.

Overhead-squat-1We started with about 10 minutes of mobility on upper body and anything else that needed work with a foam roller and lacrosse ball, then did a three round warm-up:

  • 100m row* or run/30 seconds on Assault bike
  • 8 overhead squats (with empty barbell or PVC – I used PVC)
  • 8 push-ups
  • 8 hollow body rocks

And then we did a lot of skill work with snatches and an empty barbell before grabbing a box, adding weight, and trying 3 reps each of:

  • power snatch
  • box jump
  • overhead squat
  • box jump

After trying the power snatch at 95#, I decided I’d drop the weight. So I went to 75#, which is what I thought Level 2 was. Apparently even THAT was overachieving for this workout. L2 was apparently 65#. Oops.

box-jump-failSo I did L2, but 75#/20″. Both girls scaled the weight but did 20″ box jumps.

  • 5 Minute AMRAP of:
    • 10 Power Snatches
    • 10 Box Jumps
  • Rest for 2 Minutes
  • 5 Minute AMRAP of:
    • 10 Overhead Squats
    • 10 Box Jumps
  • Rx 95/65# & 24/20″, L2 65/45# & 20/16″, L1 45/35# & 16/12″

Last time I made it through 96 reps with a 95# bar and 20″ step-ups (into but not through the 3rd round on either movement). This time (with less weight), I made it through 3 full rounds of each:

  • Three rounds flat of the Power Snatches & Box Jumps/Step-ups (60 reps)
  • Three rounds plus 4 more OHS of OHS and Step-ups (64 reps)
  • Total: 124 reps (28 reps more than last time!)

1kiekqFunny enough, looking back — that’s what Ev got the first time she did this workout with 55#. So I feel better. 🙂

The girls each got through two rounds of each movements, plus:

  • Slight adjustment – apparently had the girls’ scores reversed
  • AJ: 46 + 53 = 99 reps total (front squats instead of OHS)
  • Mickey: 45 + 47 = 92 reps total

So they did great. Everybody did. Great work!

On to the rest of the day…

Karen Plus Box Jumps = Burn

Today I decided to heed my chiropractor’s advice (Thanks Caleb!) and tape up my knees before doing the workout. It turned out to be a very good idea.

Not sure why, but I’m running a little slower today than normal, but I made it to an 8:30 class with Coach Jimmy. We had a great crew today. Caleb, Todd, Jenny, Sarah, and I were ready to tackle the workout — or so we thought.

We started with a little three round warm-up:

  • 30 second row
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds of air squats (jumping air squats for the last round)
  • 30 seconds of inchworms

And then we did a long mobility routine that I think Jimmy really needs to write up or do a video for. I would love to use it as a regular warm-up even on my rest days. We went through quite a progression and I’m not sure I remember it all, but here’s an idea:

  • pose_pigeonPick a side and do it on each side for about 30 seconds per position
  • Kneel on the knee on that side and put your other leg behind you with your foot pointed so your toe is on the ground
  • Shift around on that knee so that you push out over the hip on the same side of the knee, then shift forward, left, and back. Move around and try to work the whole hip area (maybe a minute doing this)
  • Shift to a pigeon position and hang out there for a bit, shifting around
  • Shift to a scorpion position and hang out for a bit, shifting around
  • Position yourself over the shoulder on that side and straighten that arm, then use the other arm to stretch the elbow/shoulder (tough to describe this one – but it was a tough pose for me to hold)
  • Shift to a seated position and pull the leg towards your chest, attempting to bring your calf to your chin (one of the only ones I was actually flexible at)
  • Now repeat the sequence on the other side

rogue-black-med-ball-web6_1I actually found this to be a great stretching combination. It was uncomfortable, but later on I felt like it hit the major areas I was going to need for the workout. And when I was done with the workout and recovered a bit, I wasn’t walking like a duck. 🙂

But the workout itself was going to be a doozy. We were pretty warm by that point, so we just grabbed our wall balls and did a few wall ball warm-ups to keep things moving…

  • 3 wall ball front squats
  • 3 push-press-style wall balls (wall ball but without a full squat)
  • 3 regular wall balls

Then we grabbed some plyo boxes for the box jumps and got ready to go.

20170523_094413The workout was:

  • 50-40-30-20-10 reps for time of:
  • Wall-balls, 20/14# medicine ball
  • Box jumps, 24/20″ box

Though I used a 20# ball, I only did 20″ step-ups. My knees were already bugging me by the time I finished the first 50 wall balls, so I didn’t want to torque them off any further.

It took me 26:41 to finish. Dead last. The 9:30 class was starting their warm-ups by the time I was done.

Apparently people were finishing in the 15-20 minute range earlier. Caleb finished in 14:59 with 20# wall balls and 24″ step-ups. Todd was right there with him. Not sure where Sarah & Jenny ended up exactly, but they were both done by the 20 minute mark.

The bad part was my knees — they were burning pretty much non-stop for the first two rounds. I would do 5 or 10 reps of something, walk around, let it subside, then go back and do another set. So it took a while. There was a bit of a convincing process — I had to convince myself that I wanted to finish the next set, which would get me closer to be done. And that seems to have worked.

The good part was that I taped both knees before I left the house, then added my knee sleeves on top of that, so they were pretty stable. Right now they don’t hurt. They’re a little wobbly, but not in pain. I’ll take it.

20170523_104058

Lesson learned: Listen to your chiropractor. 🙂

Speaking of which, thanks for the encouragement on the last couple of sets. I appreciated it!

Have a great day folks!

Let’s See Those Elbow Pits!

If you’re wondering about the subject line, don’t worry — I’ll explain it in a while.

First, let’s get a couple of things out of the way.

  1. lurong-challenge-2017Today begins the Summertime Lurong Challenge. It’s a combination nutrition and workout competition that they do every year. This year they have both a Paleo and a Macro option for nutrition tracking, so we’re doing it again. I tried Macros a while back and I think it can be effective, but it requires a lot of preparation, which is something we kind of fall down on…
  2. Today is my birthday, so I’m a bit more lenient than I should be on some of the tracking. That said, so  far I have to admit I’ve kept to the program pretty well. The only slight slip was going with a gluten-free brownie with my tasty, tasty lunch at Progressive Paleo. But I’ll still count myself as on track. 🙂

Evie took the day off to spend it with me, which was awesome. And we started the day by heading into CrossFit Continuum for the first workout of the Lurong Challenge.

Coach Jimmy had Ev & I, Sarah, Joe, Jenny, Carrie, and Nic to contend with. We started with a bit of mobility as everybody arrived, then had an episode of “Jimmy’s Torture time”…

  • 3 rounds
  • 1 minute jump rope (single or double)
  • 10 PVC pass-thrus
  • 10 PVC overhead squats

When that was done, we did some work on overhead squats with a PVC pipe before shifting to an unloaded barbell. And that was over, we grabbed a foam roller and the torture really began… Lay on the floor, put the barbell over your head and the foam roller under your shoulder/upper back… Then let the torture begin.

Honestly though I’ve done that particular stretch before I’ve never felt it like I did today. Definitely shifted some muscles in different directions than normal.

And we also did some runner’s lunges with some pushing and pulling of knees. That was a challenge as well. I think I was already sweating pretty good when we got through the warm-up.

Once all that was done, we started warming up our power snatches and overhead squats with weight and then it was off to the races.

  • 1p3cnx12 minute double AMRAP
  • 95/65# barbell
  • 5 minute AMRAP of
    • 10 power snatches
    • 10 box jumps @ 24″
  • 2 minute rest
  • 5 minute AMRAP of
    • 10 Overhead squats
    • 10 box jumps @ 24″

So a couple of things off the bat.

  1. Overhead squats are not my favorite. Though I’ve improved a ton with them over the last four years, it’s still uncomfortable in a workout. (Yeah, I know – I’m supposed to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Still working on that.)
  2. I forgot my knee sleeves. Didn’t think about taping my knees. And my knees didn’t like step-ups. But I did 20″ step-ups anyway.

It was a good push. Breathing was a challenge, but we pushed through the first chunk ok. The second chunk wasn’t as good however. I struggled with the overhead squats and my knees were starting to complain about the step-ups.

20170515_093127So how’d we do?

  • I got into the 3rd round of step-ups (53 reps)
  • I got into a 3rd round of overhead squats (43 reps)
  • Total: 96 reps

Ev did better than I did with 55# on the barbell and 20″ step-ups:

  • 3 rounds + 2 reps (power snatches) (62 reps)
  • 3 rounds + 2 reps (overhead squats) (62 reps)
  • Total: 124 reps

She did awesome. I did ok. Been a while since we’ve done overhead squats. And I honestly think that sometimes the warm-ups do a great job of wearing me out before I actually get to the workout itself.

That said, I have a couple of fun things:

  • Jimmy really likes the idea of “elbow pits” — I think he said that particular phrase so much that Jenny even looked at me at one point and said that “Elbow Pits” had to make its way into my write-up. Here it is. 🙂 We had to focus on turning our Elbow Pits out quite a bit, that’s all I’m saying. 🙂
    elbow-pits-lisa-gillispie
  • And one thing that may have finally stuck is how we’ve been dropping the bar from overhead during workouts where we’re doing multiple reps in a set. Instead of lowering both arms slowly, stressing the joints and muscles as you take the loaded barbell back down the bar path — roll the wrists forward and just let gravity get it. That saved me quite a bit of wear and tear today even though I was slow as molasses.

So thanks Jimmy! Between torture time, elbow pits, and learning how to drop the bar more effectively, I think I learned something even if I didn’t do all that hot during the workout itself. 🙂

Great work everybody else! Y’all killed it!

Scaling for miles

Today I’m going to start by talking about the day’s WOD and then I’m going to flip over and talk about some mental/physical battles I’m going through currently.

Stretching-Ballerina-Silhouette-800pxSo first… the WOD. I went in with Ev for an 8:30 workout with Coach Jimmy. We had a fun group — Larry, Todd & Melissa, Tionne, Caleb, Jenny, and Carrie. We started with some foam rolling while everybody got in and then we did:

  • 500m row or 2 mins on the assault bike
  • some back and forth across the gym with things like:
    • high knees
    • knee hugs
    • “ballerina” stretches on each side (the ballerina to the right is definitely not ME!)
    • spider-man lunges
    • reverse lunges
    • arm swings
    • arm hugs

Once all that was done, we did some clean practice with a medicine ball. And then we got out dumbbells, kettle bells, and all the other bits and pieces we’d need for today’s WOD:

  • 20 minute AMRAP:
  • 45/30# dumbbell squat cleans, 10 reps (35/20# Level II) (20/10# Level I)
  • 15 pull-ups (12 pull-ups Level II) (10 banded pull-ups Level I)
  • 20 box jumps (24/20″) (Level II, same) (15 box jumps, Level I)

From what we’d seen from earlier classes, folks pushed to get through 4, maybe 5 rounds.

kettlebells

So how’d it go?

Ev did four rounds + 3 reps of:

  • 25# dumbbell squat cleans, 10 reps
  • banded pull-ups, 15 reps
  • 20″ step-ups, 20 reps

I did 3 rounds + 10 reps of a weird mix:

  • 35# kettlebell squat cleans, 10 reps (round 1 & 2)
  • 35# kettlebell squat cleans, 10 reps (right arm only, round 3 & 4)
  • kipping pull-ups, 15 reps (round 1)
  • kipping pull-ups, (6 reps), ring rows (9 reps) (round 2)
  • ring rows (15 reps) (round 3)
  • 20″ step-ups (rounds 1 through 3)

This was not pretty. My knees were not happy. My shoulders were not happy. But I kept moving.

Thanks go to Jimmy for making some suggestions for those first two rounds of kettlebell squat cleans. We’ll see how many bruises I end up with anyway. 🙂

The Second Part

First, weight gain.

In the last few months, I’ve taken a pretty considerable nosedive on my weight. I’m back to nearly 240#, which is about what I was at when I started crossfit in February 2013. I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I was back then and can do things now that I couldn’t then, but considering that at one point I got all the way down to 201#, it’s been a long slow trip back up the weight train.

I suspect that many of my knee and ankle issues are from the additional weight. I also suspect that my issues with pull-ups stem from having even more weight to pull up on the rig.

So that’s a problem.

7509f17571697095d947c0c79d083001_fat-thin-cartoon-fat-slim-public-domain-clipart-woman-fat-thin_1300-1174

Second, scaling.

I’ve recently decided that scaling is ok. I’m not a world class athlete, nor do I ever hope to be. But what I aim for is to keep moving through workouts.

If I have to row instead of run to do that, fine. If I have to drop a barbell and go with air squats in the middle of a workout, that’s fine. If I have to shift to ring rows because I can no longer hang onto the rig for pull-ups, that’s fine.

Whatever I have to do to keep moving, that’s fine. And it is. I’m not just saying “it’s fine” and secretly not believing that it is.

During this year’s Open, I figured this out. And it’s saved me a ton of mental grief ever since.

look-at-scaling-feat

Third, getting older, not deader.

This next week I turn 47. Woo hoo. And as I get older, I want to stay healthy, mobile, and strong. I need to learn more about what it will take to do that and get off my ass to do so.

Fourth, the Lurong Sumertime Challenge.

Yes, we’re doing the Lurong thing again. And this year the diet portion involves Macros.

The name of the thing has the word “Challenge” in it — and it’s going to be. Old habits die hard. But I’m going to try. I want to see if eating more protein, less fat, and less carbs, is sustainable as a lifestyle shift more than a 5 or 6 week diet change.

So we’ll see how all of this goes.

I’m feeling OLD. My knees are ticked. My shoulders are ticked. And I don’t want to stop crossfit because I worry that if I do, I’m done with the whole moving thing again.

Long story short…

  • Keep moving
  • Lose some weight
  • Find my mojo again

Let’s see how the next few weeks go.

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.

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!