Tag Archives: wall balls

Two workouts to start the week

Some weeks don’t go according to plan. This week started with a snow day, which led to a late workout on Monday with Coach Nicole, and then I hit the 8:30 workout this morning with Coach Lara. I’ll do a similar night/day workout combination Thurs & Fri as well, so we’ll see how recovery is over the next 24 hours. πŸ™‚

But due to distractions at home last night, I didn’t get that workout written up — so this post will be longer than normal.

Pull-ups and wall balls

So last night at 4:45 I jumped into Coach Nicole’s class with a bunch of other folks. We had Ryan, Drew, Karen, Melissa S, Logan, and Cassie – a newcomer checking out our box. Not sure if it was the snow or the phase of the moon, but we were all a little goofy. πŸ™‚

jumping-jacks-5JBrue-clipartIt made the warm-up more entertaining:

  • Two rounds of
    • 1 minute of jumping jacks
    • 1 minute of high knees
    • 10 squats with a shoulder reach from the bottom of the squat
    • 5 scapular push-ups
  • Then we grabbed some medicine balls and did what felt like basketball drills for a minute each in pairs… I worked with Logan and we used a 14# ball.
    • Chest passes (standard basketball pass)
    • Rotational tosses (pass across the body, right to left, turn, then left to right)
    • Overhead passes (hands directly overhead – another solid b-ball pass)
    • Squat + chest pass to partner (squat to the bottom, then do a chest pass)

When all of that was done, we did a fair amount of warm-up with squat therapy and wall ball warm-ups before doing a bunch of pull-up warm-ups as well. And it’s a good thing because this workout was a doozy…

  • t-rex-hates-wall-ballsFor time:
    • Competitor
      • 50 wall-ball shots, 50 pull-ups
      • 35/35
      • 20/20
      • Men: 20-lb. ball to 10 ft.
      • Women: 14-lb. ball to 9 ft
    • Performance
      • 35/35
      • 20/20
      • 10/10

I’m not out of line when I say that 50 pull-ups in a row is insane. I already had it in my head that I might try splitting those reps between ring rows and pull-ups to try and keep from tearing. But that plan didn’t last long. We were shooting for 15 minutes or less. HA!

3-2-1-go… Suddenly I discovered I was using a 14# wall ball and when I tried shifting to ring rows, Nicole directed me back to the bar… so my workout looked like this:

  • survived-didnt-die50 wall balls with a 14# ball
  • 35 kipping pull-ups (longest set 10, shortest set 3-5) plus 2 ring rows
  • 35 wall balls
  • 20 kipping pull-ups
  • 20 wall balls
  • 10 kipping pull-ups (longest set 4, shortest set 1)
  • total time: 15:28

I was definitely the last one to finish, but I did finish — so I’ll take that. Plus, Nicole made it a point to compliment my pull-ups. I did ok. πŸ™‚


Deadlifts – Heavy and plentiful

Then this morning I made it in for the 8:30 workout with Coach Lara. It was just me and Dave, but that was fine – it gave us lots of time to work on form.

We started with the warm-up:

  • sportsrow-800px2 rounds of…
    • 500m row (250m for 2nd round)
    • 10 inchworm to side plank, alternating sides
    • 10 single leg deadlift
    • 10 banded good mornings
    • 10 Cossack squats

And then we dove into a good deal of deadlift refresher, focusing on tightening the core at the bottom and making sure we pull our shoulders back. The latter is always a challenge for me, but I’m starting to feel it when I exaggerate the outer shoulder rotation — so that’s good. πŸ™‚

Barbell_DeadliftThe workout was 6 rounds of increasing weight: 10-10-5-5-3-3. Start at 50-60% of our one rep max and end at 80-85% of our one rep max. These days my one rep is 315#, so I had some math to do…

  • 135# x5 (warm-up) (43%)
  • 155# x5 (warm-up) (49%)
  • 165# x5 (warm-up) (52%)
  • 175# x10 (56%)
  • 195# x10 (62%)
  • 225# x5 (71%)
  • 245# x5 (78%)
  • 255# x3 (81%)
  • 265# x3 (84%)
  • Total lifted: 9885# (nearly 10,000# or roughly 5 tons)

Not bad for less than 30 minutes of work. πŸ™‚ I won’t say that some reps weren’t better than others, but I felt like I was able to tell when my shoulders were in the right place better today than I have in the past – so that’s progress.

Great work Dave and thanks Lara for all the good tips and encouragement. πŸ™‚

Now we’ll see how well we do with a bit more than 24 hours of rest between workouts. πŸ™‚


Team WOD and Nutritional Self-destruction

Though I didn’t make it in for a workout yesterday, I knew I had an opportunity to get in for a team workout on Saturday — so I made it in today with Ev for the 10am team WOD. We had a few folks — Caleb, Stacy & Shaun, Lisa & Nick, Vanessa, Heather, Brent, and some of the kids joined us — plus we had Coach Bill presiding over the madness, so we were bound to have fun despite ourselves. πŸ™‚

pizza-hauntWe started with a couple of games as our warm-up. The “pizza box” game where you hold an abmat like a pizza box with one hand and run around trying to knock other’s “pizza boxes” off while keeping your own safe and sound. If your “box” gets knocked off, you do three burpees. I only managed to knock off a couple of folks boxes, but had my own knocked off at least three times as we ran around like crazy people. πŸ™‚

Then we did the PVC pipe game… where you have the team circle up, each person with their own PVC pipe held upright on the floor in front of them. The coach calls left or right and you let your pipe go, then catch the pipe that was let go to your right or left. If a pipe falls, the whole team does a couple of burpees.

Well, Bill added a new wrinkle. “Down.” When he calls “down,” you let go and do a quick air squat, grabbing your pipe at the top again. If it falls, same rules apply. We had some crazy saves but still managed to drop the pipe at least a couple of times collectively, which meant more burpees.

Then we did some movement work with a PVC pipe to warm up for snatches and clean & jerks, which led to an empty barbell and then barbells with weights. We also did a few wall balls for good measure.

Three girls - karen isabel graceThe workout?

  • Teams of 2 – for time
    • Run 800m (together)
    • 150 wall balls 20/14#
    • Run 400m (together)
    • 30 Snatches (135/95#)
    • Run 400m (together)
    • 30 Clean & Jerks (135/95#)
    • Run 800m (together)
    • (Can scale run with a double distance row, i.e. each member rowed 800m or 400m)

I worked in a team of 3 with Nick & Brent again. We finished in 29:38 with the main part of the workout. There was an optional cash out at the end –Β  6 rounds for time (each person does 3 rounds) – 25 hand-release push-ups and 50 double-unders. I decided to pass on the optional part, though Brent & Nick rocked it out when they were done.

We scaled the workout slightly:

  • Brent did 115# snatches and 135# clean & jerks
  • Nick did 95# snatches and 135# clean & jerks
  • I did 95# snatches and 115# clean & jerks
  • We all did 20# wall balls.

survived-didnt-dieI did two sets of 25 wall balls (my second set was more like 15/5/3/2), 10 snatches (two sets of 5), and 10 clean & jerks (single set of one at a time). I ran the first 800m with the guys pretty well, but after that every run was a mix of running and walking.

Even so I was definitely feeling it at the end. They did awesome and we had a good time chatting our way through the workout.

It was a good one but I was glad I skipped the cash out. πŸ™‚ Thanks Bill, Nick, and Brent!

Nutritional Self-Destruct

As for my nutritional self-destruction… I’ve been trying to get back on track lately. Met with Drea a couple of weeks ago and vowed to get back on the nutrition train.

Food-SphereYeah, that hasn’t gone so well. I haven’t found the discipline yet to get back to the regular eating schedule and keeping it consistent. I’m good for a meal or two each day, but inevitably something occurs whether it’s a time thing (eating on the run or simply running late) or a planning thing (planning? what’s that!?!) — I’ve simply not been good about it.

So I have a new plan. I’m going to keep a point score for each day and shoot for 2 or 3 points each day. Each point comes from one good meal (i.e. nutritionally acceptable). If I try to deal with this daily vs. weekly maybe I’ll have better luck with getting a streak going.

We’ll see where we’re at next week. πŸ™‚

Fight Gone Better?

This past Saturday we did Saved by the Barbell and we had every intention of doing yoga on Sunday, but didn’t quite make it. Monday morning we did a workout with some friends in a garage before heading up to Denver for a family BBQ, so I’m going to count myself lucky that I got one rest day in over the “long” weekend. πŸ™‚

burpees-suck-white-e1415664950623And today, we’re back at it again at Continuum with… another Fight Gone Bad? We sort of did one of these on Saturday and it was rough. Wasn’t quite sure how today’s was going to go. But we had a pretty big class today for Coach Lara at 8:30… Drea, Nancy, Marino, Nick, Caleb & Andy, Melissa, and Bri.

We started with a one round warm-up to get things moving:

  • 200m jog
  • 15 air squats
  • 10 lateral lunges
  • 20 slow PVC pass-throughs
  • 15 abmat sit-ups
  • 10 burpees (they weren’t really that bad today – much better than Saturday anyway)

From there we grabbed an empty barbell and did a mess of sumo deadlift high pull warm-up before some push presses. Added some weight (not much today) and then did some wall ball work with wall ball front squats, wall ball push presses to target, and then full wall balls. Tossed in a few box jumps for good measure — and we were sort of ready for today. πŸ™‚

fight-gone-bad-wodwellSo if you don’t remember Fight Gone Bad, it was like this today:

  • AMRAP – 3 rounds for max reps:
    • 1 minute of wall balls
    • 1 minute of SDHPs
    • 1 minute of box jumps
    • 1 minute of push presses
    • 1 minute of rowing for calories
  • Competitor/Performance – 20/14# wall balls, 75/55# SDHP and press, 20″ box
  • Fitness – 10/6# wall balls, 45/35# SDHP and press, 15/12″ box

Last time I did this workout was January 2016 (Fight Gone Worse). Apparently I did Rx for everything but box jumps, which I shifted to step-ups after a round. And I got a total of 197 reps. Today was pretty much a repeat, but with more reps. πŸ™‚

This time, I did a little better. Caleb, Andy, Nick, and I started at the row and worked down the list after that (wall balls, SDHPs, etc) so we could stagger a bit to get everybody on the rowers. Some folks started at the wall balls. Others started with box jumps. I stuck with 75# on the bar and a 20# wall ball and did 20″ box jumps in the beginning.

  • round 1 – 83 reps (box jumps)
  • round 2 – 75 reps (step-ups)
  • round 3 – 70 reps (step-ups)
  • Total: 228 reps

rockypr-300x213That’s a PR of 31 reps over doing it two years ago. And since I did 196 with the different format FGB on Saturday, it was 32 reps over that as well. That’s a good amount. πŸ™‚

Yeah, I’ll take that. πŸ™‚ Lara said to shoot for 220-280, but that Drea mentioned 300 as a goal. Considering I didn’t even hit 200 the last few times I did it, I was happy to get into the low end of the 220-280 spectrum. πŸ™‚

Great work everybody! I think Caleb was in the 300 range and a few others were around 240-260, so everybody was moving right along.

Thanks Lara for the encouragement!

A Little Yoga Before a Fight Gone Bad for Kids

So… the best laid plans of mice and men were thwarted this week.Β My plan was simple. Rest day on Friday. And the Saved by the Barbell workout at the box on Saturday morning.

Then my eldest sends me an innocent text on Friday morning. “Do you wanna go to yoga tonight?” [sic]

Suddenly I was presented with a choice. Do I use Friday as the rest day my body badly needs or do I try yoga with our new in-box Yogi Vanessa, which I’ve been wanting to do for a few weeks now?Β And just like that, we set up to go to the 5:45 yoga class with Yogi Vanessa on Friday night. πŸ™‚

A Little Yoga

Long ago we used to do yoga with Yogi Ridds at Continuum before we moved to the new location. And then we did yoga a few times with Ridds at CrossFit 719 on Saturday mornings as well. But it’s been a while. My yoga mat was literally and figuratively collecting dust in a corner of the basement. πŸ™‚

OMThough I’ve been more diligent about getting my CrossFit practice in at the box, I’ve not been good about my movement and breathing practice. It definitely goes hand in hand, so I’ve been a bit lax for sure.

Mickey and I arrived as they were recovering from Coach Shaun’s Strongman class at 4:45 and discovered that we were the only two for Vanessa’s 5:45 yoga class. That was actually pretty cool since I knew my body was not going to be the most graceful and flexy it’s ever been. πŸ™‚

Yoga with V is definitely different than Yoga with Ridds, and that was fine. Every teacher approaches things from their own experience and point of view, so I knew we’d be in a different space than before. But we just listened, watched, and did our best to keep up and achieve the intention of the practice.

Wally_meditating (1)
The Great Wally Llama (Animaniacs)

My body (shoulders & hips mostly) did not appreciate my intention to participate in some of the positions we hit, but I did my best to negotiate a tentative truce with any rebellious body parts as we worked our way through. And V was kind enough to provide some yoga blocks when I needed them at a few points in the progression.

We hit several new poses that will take some getting used to, and I’m sure I didn’t quite grok them all — but I did my best and enjoyed the journey. And in the last phase as we hit shavasana, I swear I zoned out at the end — and that was surprising.

As with all things, this will take some time, energy, and practice – but we appreciate what V is offering and will try and take advantage of it more often as time and schedules allow.

Thank you Vanessa! Namaste!

Fight Gone Bad for Kids (Saved by the Barbell)

Instead of a Team WOD this week, we did Saved by the Barbell, a fundraiser to help get CrossFit to kids – in schools, community centers, and CrossFit boxes around the world.

foundation-saved-by-the-barbell-workoutConsidering how important I think CrossFit has been for my own kids, I am a big fan of this effort. They did some of the early CrossFit Kids workouts at Continuum back in the day and have continued to get in and workout with us as often as their crazy schedules allow. I truly believe that the strength, endurance, and flexibility that CrossFit provides has helped them both stay relatively injury free through most of their soccer careers.

This fundraiser from CrossFit will help “fund training for teachers, put new equipment in schools, and support the health and fitness of thousands of children.” Hard to argue with that.

We didn’t sign up through main site, but instead decided to donate to the box directly and they can then collect it to donate up the chain to where it needs to be. Our justification: we didn’t need the T-shirt. πŸ™‚ But we definitely wanted to do the workout and toss a donation their direction.

fight-gone-bad-wodwellThe workout though? Ugh. It’s a variation on the Fight Gone Bad workout, which is short, vicious, and always a killer. Saved by the Barbell may have been light weights, but with the lack of rest it was just as deadly. πŸ™‚

  • 3 rounds for max reps of:
    • 1 minute of burpees
    • 1 minute of wall-ball shots
    • 1 minute of deadlifts
    • 1 minute of med-ball sit-ups
    • 1 minute of hang power cleans
    • Rest 1 minute
  • Men: 20-lb. ball, 115-lb. deadlifts and cleans
  • Women: 14-lb. ball, 75-lb. deadlifts and cleans

Yeah, silly me – I decided to go with Rx weights. 115# on the bar for deadlifts and power cleans. And a 20# medicine ball for wall balls.

1th9hbHow’d I do?

  • 14 burpees, 14 wall balls, 20 deadlifts, 16 sit-ups, 10 cleans
  • 13, 11, 13, 13, 13
  • 11, 10, 15, 15, 8
  • Total: 196 reps

How’d the rest of the clan do?

  • Ev got 218
  • AJ got 226
  • Mickey got 217

They all kicked butt. πŸ™‚ I was happy with almost hitting 200. Last time I did the true Fight Gone Bad (scaled) I hit 197, so I was pretty close.

Great work everybody! Was for a solid cause and I’m happy we got to do it. πŸ™‚

Dripping Sweat and Breathing Hard

Hello, Tuesday.Β The day of the week has the word “day” in it, so it must be time for another workout. πŸ™‚

Etre-en-nageMade it in for the 8:30 class with Coach Drea. AJ went with me and we joined Larry, John, Todd & Melissa, and their friend Ben for the day. We did the same warm-up as yesterday and then went through a few other warm-up bits:

  • kipping on the rig, working up to chest to bars
  • wall ball work, starting with med ball front squats and push presses, working into full wall ball shots
  • kettle bell swings – first to eye level, then higher, then fully overhead

And then we hit the WOD…

  • 20 minute AMRAP of:
  • Competitor:
    • 5 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    • 10 wall-ball shots, 20/14# ball
    • 15 kettlebell swings, 1.5 pood/1 pood kettlebell
  • Performance:
    • 5 pull-ups
    • 10 wall-ball shots, 14/10# ball
    • 15 kettlebell swings, 1 pood/12 kg kettlebell
  • Fitness:
    • 5 ring rows
    • 10 wall-ball shots, 8/4# ball
    • 15 kettlebell swings, 12 kg/8 kg kettlebell

rogue-black-med-ball-web6_1So… I had some issues with this one.

  • I did C2B pull-ups throughout, only missing on a few and at least brushing the front of my chest with the bar if not thumping it pretty solidly. Did the first 5 pretty well and it fell after that, with sets of 3 and 2 or 2-2-and-1
  • Wall balls were the bigger issue after yesterday’s workout. Quads and knees were a little annoyed with me. Plus the ball I used was a red 20# medicine ball that was far too slick to hang on to for many reps. I dropped it a bunch. Broke up sets in odd places.
  • And KBS were consistent for a few rounds (15 unbroken with a 55# kettlebell) but got to me after a while to the point where I broke it into sets of 8 and 7 in the last couple of rounds.
  • Through it all, breathing was tough. Not sure which movement set me off, but it was definitely a struggle to settle things. Breaks got longer and more frequent.

How’d I do? Finished 5 full rounds, plus 5 c2b and 5 wall balls as time ran out. We were supposed to be in the 7-10 round range and I simply didn’t make that today.

That said, I did do it at Competitor level (Rx) instead of scaling today so that may have been part of it. Even so, it was a good workout with a great mix of push, pull, and squat throughout. I was happy just to keep moving and finish the 20 minutes!

I think everybody else kicked butt, getting it into that 7-10 round range – so great work folks!

Team WOD Chaos

Team WODs have been hit and miss with the craziness of soccer this season, but AJ and I made it in today despite the chaos.


The day started with my writing “seminar” at the box, with an attendance of one. πŸ™‚ Drea, AJ, and I had a great chat though that lasted a good hour. It was wide ranging, covering everything from writing to podcasting and social media. Though I was prepared to talk about the writing and blogging portions, I was surprised at how much AJ contributed to the conversation around social media, YouTube, and podcasting. It was eye opening. πŸ™‚

7TaonKRbcAfter that though, it was time for a crazy team WOD. We had a small turnout – a few more than a dozen folks maybe. We started with a fun Indian run where we all ran in a line and the first person in line had to jog backwards to the back of the line over and over again. We only went 400m, but it was a casual pace and entertaining from start to finish with a mix of kids and adults running forward and back. πŸ™‚

Back inside, we did a combination of PVC pipe pass-thrus, air squats, burpees, and some push press skill work before breaking into teams of three.

I worked with Steve & Mike (Lisa Grant’s husband who joined us this morning), and AJ worked with Karen & Lisa Stamos. I think there were 4 or 5 teams all together, and Jimmy put together an entertaining WOD for the day:

  • 3 person teams, 15 second AMRAP for 80 cycles (20 minutes)
  • Working one at a time, each team member worked for 15 seconds at a movement. When they were done, the next team member did the next movement in the sequence. And when the 2nd person was done, the third member would do the next movement… the 1st person would then do the next one in the cycle.
    • Push-ups
    • Wall Balls (we did 20#)
    • Assault Bike for calories
    • Push Press (Mike and I did #75 and Steve did 65#)
    • Ab-mat sit-ups

I have no idea how far we got and I will admit to getting lost a couple of rounds in, but eventually I got back on track. Mike started with push-ups, which meant I did wall balls and Steve did the bike and then we were all over the place.

turtle-slowHonestly, everything felt fine (even 15 seconds of the assault bike), but push-ups were the hardest part of the whole thing for me. I think I was shooting for 8-10 reps on everything but the assault bike (couldn’t read the display and wasn’t paying attention to how many calories).

I will say that 30 seconds of rest after 15 seconds of work was an interesting set-up. Reminded me a bit of a Tabata (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for four minutes). Definitely sweating pretty good by the time we were about halfway in!

I didn’t mind a short team WOD today – was a nice change of pace from some of the 30-45 minute workouts we’ve had in the past!

Thanks Jimmy! And thanks Drea for a good chat before. Hopefully it helped!

Let’s make it a little harder…

First, let’s just say how much I love wall balls. I don’t. They’re like sneaky thrusters. Ugh. Second, I do like occasionally being the only person in a crossfit class UNLESS you tell your coach how much you hate wall balls and she tells you you may hate the more when we get to this workout… Yuck!

So I headed in today and I was it for the 8:30 class. Coach Drea, little Noah, and I tackled things today.

Anybody remember this game? πŸ™‚

We started with a warm-up that would have been more fun with more people, but she called it a “memory” warm-up. Essentially you jog back and forth across the gym adding 5 reps of some new movement each time, trying to remember all the movements you did before. At one end, I added a movement. And at the other end, Drea added one.

  • 5 air squats
  • 5 air squats + 5 push-ups
  • 5 air squats + 5 push-ups + 5 kettle bell swings (I think I grabbed a 45# kettlebell)
  • 5 air squats + 5 push-ups + 5 kettle bell swings + 5 sit-ups
  • 5 air squats + 5 push-ups + 5 KBS + 5 sit-ups + 5 jumping jacks

You get the idea. I think that was it. πŸ™‚

Once that was done, it was over to the rig for some wall ball warm-ups. Why you ask was I going to dislike Drea for this workout? Because she wanted me to go up to a heavier wall ball for it… Yay! Not. πŸ™‚

t-rex-hates-wall-ballsWe warmed up with a 20# med ball and moved up to the 25# Khalipa ball.

The workout?

  • 100 wall balls for time

The time domain? 8-10 minutes she said. And if I got really slow with the 25# ball, she’d bump me down to a 20# ball. Spoiler: I never moved to the lighter ball.

My goal was to go with 10 rep sets as long as I could manage. Turned out that was about 4 rounds. By round 5 I started dropping about every 5 or 6 reps. Towards the end I was dropping every 3 or 4. Breathing was a challenge and my quads were burning. πŸ™‚

My time? 10:19 with the heavier ball. I’ll take that. It was in line with my last Karen time (150 wall balls for time with a 20# ball), which was about 15 minutes. So doing it with a heavier ball was a good sign. I also felt a bit more consistent in how I approached it – breaking it up into smaller chunks with better pacing.

Ultimately, I’m still alive. πŸ™‚ Thanks Drea!