Tag Archives: wall balls

Damn you Castro, 18.0 edition

Just about every year for the last few years, I’ve cursed at Dave Castro from afar like many crossfit athletes. This year it just started earlier than I expected with the weird 18.0 announcement that came this week. (BoxRox had a good overview of the new movement standards that Castro has introduced via 18.0. See it here.)


Let me be clear though. The Open doesn’t start for another month. I have signed up for the yearly entertainment and purchased a new t-shirt for the occasion, but like most of us had no idea Castro would spring this one on us.

And, in typical team WOD fashion at Continuum… one workout is never enough. So we had two parts of today to look forward to. πŸ™‚

I went in with AJ (she has a sprained knee and one hand in a brace, so she didn’t workout but she took some great pics I’ll share on FB!). And I partnered with Jonathan and Robert. We did a modified version of the week’s warm-up and there were LOTS of us. Monica & Dan, Brent, Megan & Caleb, Jimmy & Drea, Lisa & Nick, Bill and his family, Vanessa, Stacy & Shaun, Larry, Isaac, Darcy, Robert, Jonathan, and more… the place was hopping!

18.0 – Dumbbell Snatches and Burpees

35pounddumbbellsOnce that was done, we got organized in groups of 3 to do 18.0 first. One person would do it at a time, while one was the “judge” and one rested. Mostly the other two just stood around shouting encouragement or sarcastic remarks. πŸ™‚

  • 8 Min Time cap each person
  • 18.0
    • 21-15-9
    • Dumbbell or KB snatches #50/#35
    • Burpees Jumping over dumbbell or KB

We scaled from a 50# dumbbell to a 35# dumbbell and that was the easier part for me, so I probably shouldn’t have scaled. πŸ™‚ Burpees were rough, but I prefer this style of burpees because I don’t have to stand all the way up.

Dumbbell-Single-Arm-SnatchHere’s how it went:

  • Jonathan: 5:53
  • Me: 5:37
  • Robert: 6:19, with about 15 extra snatches at the beginning because he thought it was 21 each arm.

To say I was surprised I beat those two is an understatement. I heard Jimmy did it with a 50# in 5:23 and Bill was in the 4 something range. And I was nowhere near the 8 minute time cap.

Now, I immediately suffered the “crossfit cough” after the workout because my lungs were on fire. But I did it. πŸ™‚

Open Season Prep – Sprints & Wall Balls

The next part didn’t go so well.

We had a 2 minute “rest” between parts and then did…

  • Open Season Prep
  • 20 Min EMOM
    • 50 M Sprint (25 M in and out)
    • 7 Wall Ball 20/14
  • Each person will perform the couplet. Run together – WB one partner then the other.

This was a complete mess. We had people all over the place and I don’t think we were anywhere near doing it “correctly.” Jonathan ran with his son Aaron and did essentially “baby wall balls” with him, throwing him in the air multiple times each round. (He said Aaron weighed about 30#, so that was more fun for the kid than for Jonathan. πŸ™‚ )

I only sprinted one of the 20 rounds because Darcy suggested an impromptu “race.” πŸ™‚ But I did run all but one of the 20 rounds, which was pretty good.

Wall balls-wise wasn’t quite as good. I did 7 wall balls for a while, then that dropped to 5, and towards the end I was doing air squats in the parking lot in sets of 7 or 10. And one round, I did a front squat holding AJ (about 135#).

So it was a goofy mess, but a good one. Lots of babies tossed in the air it seemed, and I have no idea how to score the darned thing.

The Aftermath

When we were all done, Bill told us the coaches wanted to have “athletes of the week” again and warned us to be ready to possibly answer a few questions (no essay answers, just a few words). And Drea said they were really happy with the results of the Challenge so far.

I have to say I’m happy with my challenge results. Started at the end of November at nearly 231 pounds and was down the other day to 217. And staying with it has been a bit easier because it’s more forgiving than other things we’ve done. You don’t get penalized for bad days, you just don’t get points on those days — and then you do better the next day again. Every day is a new chance to start over.

Eat less crap and sugar. Eat more veggies. Drink less alcohol. Drink more water.

Pretty easy.

Thanks for a crazy day, Jimmy & Drea! And thanks for being my partners in Castro’s damn 18.0, Jonathan & Robert!!

Have a great weekend!


30# Wall Balls are for the (really strong) Birds

What was I thinking? My quads and butt still hurt from yesterday’s workout but I still made it in this morning for a workout with my wife. She had the day off, which gave me motivation to go.

rat-everything-hurtsWe made it in for the 8:30 class with Coach Drea and were joined by Todd, Logan, and Maria. We were all groaning during the warm-up, so I knew it was going to be a doozy. But we added a bit of extra mobility (some couch stretching) so maybe that would help?

After we were done with the warm-up, we worked on wall ball mechanics. Yes, good old wall balls where you essentially do a thruster with a medicine ball and push it up a wall to a 9, 10, or 11 foot target. I warmed up with a 14# ball and then grabbed the 30# for the workout because Todd grabbed the 25# ball, darn him. πŸ™‚

But it wasn’t just wall balls — there were strict pull-ups too. And I can do a few, but 8 in a row is a bit out of my ball park so I opted to have a band ready (wide green + skinny blue).

This would have been preferable to the 30# ball I used today. πŸ™‚

What was the workout? A lovely little metcon:

  • 10 minute AMRAP
    • 16 wall-balls
    • 8 banded strict pull-ups
    • Performance:Β 30/20# ball to 10-ft. target
    • Fitness:Β 4/10# ball to 10-ft. target

Wow. That 30# ball was a struggle. I managed to get 3 or 4 wall balls strung together a few times, but it hit the ground a ton and there were a lot of 1 or 2 rep chunks. There were even a few no-reps I had to redo when the ball missed the wall entirely. A few may have been around the 11 foot mark, but most were at 10 feet I think.

In 10 minutes, I only made it through 2 complete rounds — but almost got through a third with 16 wall balls, and 4 banded pull-ups.

Not bad for the 4th workout of the week. πŸ™‚ Great work 8:30!

Nap time!

Challenging Chipper

There are a bunch of terms and acronyms in Crossfit that get thrown around… Metcon. AMRAP. Chipper. Today was the last one. (For some good definitions, check out this page from Iron Hero Crossfit.) And we definitely chipped away at it a few reps at a time…


It was another crazy day at my house with half my family heading out on a trip, but I made it in for the 8:30 workout with Coach Bill today. And we had a fun group – Logan, Todd & Melissa, Carrie, and Lara. So we started off with Nicole’s warm-up before doing a bit of box, barbell, and medicine ball work to get ready for the movements in today’s WOD.

We did quite a bit of work on pistols off the box today — and I have to say I definitely still struggle with them, but I’m starting to get a bit better — maybe. πŸ™‚ Beyond that, we did some work with deadlifts, cleans, and front squats — with a medicine ball at first, then an empty barbell eventually adding a bit more weight.

For some reason, I really struggled today with simply shrugging with the bar. Worked fine with a medicine ball, but as soon as I got a barbell in hand it went wonky. Pulling too soon most of the time. So though the workout called for 135# at the performance level, I tried 115# and didn’t look all that hot, so Bill had me shift back to 95#. No arguments from me.

1z3bh1So what was the workout? It was a chipper for time:

  • 40 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 35 wall balls (20/14# performance, 14/10# fitness)
  • 30 box jumps (24/20″ box performance, 16/12″ box fitness)
  • 20 deadlifts (135/95# performance, 95/65# fitness)
  • 15 power cleans
  • 5 front squats

I ended up doing somewhere between performance and fitness, so let’s just call it “fitness.”

  • 40 pistols off the box, starting with a 20″ box for the first 20 and shifting to a 24″ box to emphasize control of the leg on the downward path
  • 35 wall balls (20# medicine ball)
  • 30 box jumps on a 20″ box (combination of a handful of box jumps and mostly step-ups)
  • 205 deadlifts @ 95#
  • 15 power cleans @ 95#
  • 5 front squats @ 95#
  • Time– 11:05

This particular combination of movements — pistols and wall balls — really creamed my knees to the point where box jumps were awkward and dangerous. I nearly fell on my first one and really only did about 5 before I shifted back to step-ups. Deadlifts weren’t bad, but power cleans were a struggle with the shrug again, and the front squats weren’t awful.


I did break up the wall balls more than i wanted, though had a couple of sets of 10 mixed in with some sets of 3-5. I’m a little gun shy of having the ball smack me in the face again, so I was way too far away from the wall. But other than that I kept moving pretty well. I did break most of it up, but in decent sets without a ton of rest between them.

Long story short, my knees are ticked, but I did ok. πŸ™‚

We’ll see what tomorrow’s workout is before I determine whether I’m going or not. πŸ™‚ But I will be there Saturday for the gymnastics class ahead of doing an online event for an online gaming convention I’m participating in.

Great work today folks – you all moved right along! And thanks for the encouragement Bill!

Sneaky Team WOD Kicked My Butt

Like most weekends during soccer season, I never have a clue whether I’m going to be able to make it to the team WOD at Continuum until I’m actually inside the building. Today was one of those days.

Mickey finished her game at 9:40 and had plans with a friend afterwards that didn’t involve me, so I drove straight to the box with my gym bag in hand. Arrived at 10:01, changed out of my jeans, and started prepping for the insanity that Coach Jimmy had in store for us.


Robert was already there and ready to be my partner for the day. We also had other brave folks like Caleb & Adi, Brent & Nick, Darcy and her friend, and Clare & Carrie.

We started with a light jog, then did Jimmy’s warm-up inside — butt-kickers, high knees, toy soldiers, the works. Then it was time to scope out some floor space for a plyo box, a barbell, and a wall ball.

Photo byΒ Blake Richard VerdoornΒ onΒ Unsplash

Today’s was a workout in two parts. The first part we “waterfalled” into — one partner started, then when they finished a part the other partner would go, etc. We decided to take the rower instead of the assault bike and Robert kicked things off.

  • 30/25 Cal Row
  • 25 Wall Balls 20/14#
  • 15 Power Snatches 115/75#
  • 10 Burpee Box Jumps 24/20″
  • 5 Squat Clean Thrusters 115/80#

After the rest of the madness this week, I suggested that perhaps Robert and I lower the weight from 115# to 95#, so we did that. And though he did 24″ box jumps with his burpees, my knees were telling me that 20″ step-up-and-overs was just fine.

I was already feeling it by the wall balls, if I’m being honest, but we finished all of that in about 10 minutes or so and then moved into the second part of the workout:

  • 100 Cal Bike/row and 60 Power Cleans 115/80#
  • 100 Cal Bike/row and 40 Push Jerks 115/80#
  • 100 Cal Bike/row and 20 thrusters 115/80#

Again, we stuck with the rower and a 95# barbell. And this part royally kicked my ass. I’m not going to sugar coat it.

Olympic weights

We traded off every 15/25/or 30+ calories on the rower. Robert was much more efficient than I was there, so he chewed through that pretty steadily. But holy cow, you never really got a chance to recover.

Power Cleans, I think we divvied up pretty evenly. Push jerks, he did 28 and I did 12. And thrusters, we both took 10.Β The only movement that felt even remotely “ok” was the push jerks.

At the end, after 42 minutes, I was pretty much dead. But I didn’t know how dead until I got home. It didn’t take long for the “crossfit cough” to kick in.

We chatted for a while and everybody cleaned up and headed out. I stopped by Starbucks for an “Iced Dirty Chai with Almond Milk” and got home about noon, where I simply sat on the couch and took my shoes off. I believe I stared into space for a good 20 minutes.

A little while later, I went and lied down thinking “maybe a 20 minute nap will help.” Um, no. I pretty much crashed from 12:30 to 2. I’m still feeling it in my lungs.


So here’s my theory.

The continual rowing never provided an opportunity for recovery time. Some folks can “recover” during a run or the row, but I haven’t quite managed that feat yet. As a result, when I hit the next movement, my body was already at a high breathing & heart rate and I couldn’t calm my system enough to approach things as rested I would have hoped.

The only way to fix the issue there is to get to a point where I can “actively recover” during some of those cardio-based movements like running or rowing. Just not sure I’m going to get there. πŸ™‚

The other part of the issue was this was my fifth workout this week. I only took Wednesday off (was kind of bummed I missed “Cindy” actually). I’m guessing I may be pushing my limits again!

This was a killer workout, Jimmy. Thanks for that. πŸ™‚

Flipping the Titan 100x

Weekends during soccer season are very hit and miss for us as far as the Saturday Team WODs at CrossFit Continuum. We try to make it whenever we can. And today, Ev and I were lucky enough to be able to fit it in.

We arrived along with about a dozen other people for Coach Clare. She had a good workout planned for us. But first, we had to do the warm-up. πŸ™‚

So we did a brief 200m jog and then came in. She told us to find our partners and get a stack of three weights (10#s or 15#s preferably). Robert and I paired up and he grabbed a trio of 15# plates for us.

And then Clare had Robert demonstrate the exercise. Stand on a plate, chuck a plate ahead, jump to the second plate. Partner 2 then gets on the first plate, hands the third plate to Partner 1, who chucks it forward and jumps to it. Partner 2 then steps to the plate their partner was just on, grabs the plate they just left, and repeats. The last team to get past a designated line had to do 5 burpees. Oh, and the ground was “lava.”


This is probably a lot hotter than the floor at the box. πŸ™‚

Robert got a bit overzealous at first, chucking the plates really far away, which made it very difficult to hop to and grab behind us. But we eventually figured out that shorter, more frequent hops were better.

And I’m not too proud to say that my hands got “burned” in the lava a few times and nobody did the burpees at the end, but we had a fun time and were almost, but not quite, the last team across the line.

Once that was done, we put away those plates and got out the rest of the equipment we’d need. A heavy kettlebell (53# for us). A medicine ball (20# for us). And we got out the tires we’d be using for tire flips. Though we originally went with the lighter of two tires, we eventually went with the heavier one — I nicknamed “the Titan” since it was a “Titan” tire and it had a cool Greek myth idea. πŸ™‚ Flipping a Titan is a very Greek god kinda thing. πŸ™‚

(Not to scale) πŸ™‚

The workout was a 2 round metcon for teams of 2 where we were going for as many reps as possible.

  • 5 minutes at each station, as many reps per movement as possible
    • Station 1: Wall balls 20/14#
    • Station 2: Tire Flips
    • Station 3: Kettlebell SDHPs
  • 1 minute rest between stations


rogue-black-med-ball-web6_1Robert and I started outside with Station 2 (Tire Flips), then went in order — so Tire Flips, Kettlebell SDHPs, Wall balls, repeat.

  • 55 Tire Flips
  • 140 Kettlebell SDHPs 53#
  • 60 partner wall balls (bouncing the medicine ball to each other in sets of 10) 20#
  • 54 Tire Flips
  • 135 Kettlebell SDHPs
  • 95 wall balls (standard, alternating 10 reps each)
  • Total: 539 reps

Not too shabby for about 35 minutes of work. πŸ™‚

Meanwhile Ev & Danielle started as partners and then shifted to work with Lorna & her husband. So she kept on moving. Everybody was chugging right along!

So good work everybody! I’m tired now. πŸ™‚

Hope you all have a fantastic Labor Day weekend! And thanks Robert for being my partner today!

Drop and Give me 50! 50! 50! 50! and 50 more!

Forgive me community, it’s been four days since my last workout… (I don’t know why but I always feel like I need to confess such things when it’s been a few days.) Soccer season is back with a vengeance and my weekends are not my own any more. Sigh.

Even so, it’s Monday and that means it’s time to get back to the box. Last time I was in was Thursday. I don’t usually get in on Fridays and this past weekend we were on soccer fields at the Air Force Academy both days, so that brings us back to Monday. Let’s get moving again, shall we?

garfield-mondayI felt ok this morning. Stiff, but not bad. Even so, after looking at the workout last night I knew I was going to get my butt kicked. I knew I should tape my knees but I ran into some computer issues with my work system that I had to resolve, so ran out of time. Knee sleeves in hand, I headed in to face the music.

Coach Larry was recovering from doing the workout himself as we came in. And we had a fun crew for him today — me, Lara, John, Dee, Kelli & Trey, along with Michael & Anthony.

We started with some mobility. I used the time with a foam roller to try and get my back and shoulders moving again. And then we did either a 400m run, 500m row, or 2 minutes on the bike. Of course I chose to row. πŸ™‚

When that was done, we grabbed a light kettle bell (35# for me) and did a little three round warm-up:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 Russian kettlebell swings (just to eye level)
  • 10 kipping swings on the rig

box-jump-failFrom there we took a look at the workout itself:

  • 50 box jumps
  • 50 kettlebell swings
  • 50 knees-to-elbows
  • 50 wall-ball shots
  • 50 burpees
  • Rx – 30/24″ box, 70/53# KB, 30/20# wall ball
  • Level II – 24/20″ box, 53/35# KB, 20/14# wall ball
  • Level I – reduce to 30 reps for each movement, 20/16″ box, 35/25# KB, 14/10# wall ball

Our goal? Less than 25 minutes.

My approach was simple… a modified Level II:

  • 20″ step-ups
  • 53# kettle bell swings
  • knees-to-elbows, of which some were just knee raises but I did ok
  • 20# wall balls
  • normal burpees (though I usually don’t stand up all the way and tend to just hop off the ground)

72504741We were able to break it up into as many as 4 rounds, so I used this progression:

  • 20 reps
  • 10 reps
  • 10 reps
  • 10 reps

I was going to do 20/15/15 but after doing 20 burpees decided that was a poor decision. πŸ™‚ Really the burpees were the worst part of this whole thing for me, as expected.

I finished in 22:20, which was under the 25 minute time cap, so I’ll take it. πŸ™‚ Everybody did great. John was doing it Rx with the 30″ box jumps and 70# kettle bell like a beast. Other than John though I think we all scaled somehow. And the boys did awesome to get through the 30 rep version I think. They were FAST.

So not bad for the first workout of the week! Great work everybody! And thanks for the encouragement Larry!

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!