Sunday, February 28, 2010

CFOT workshop

So today was the CFOT workshop, and it proved to be helpful. First thing we worked on was the pull up, and for those of us who could do 10 or more Danny took us aside and started to teach us the butterfly kip. Adam M was one of the first and he kind of figured it out. Once off the bar, he told us his thoughts, and talked about how it requires a kicking motion. While talking, he made these circular, sweeping kicks with one leg. That clicked with me, and so I started to imitate the kick, first with one leg, then with the other.

When I got on the bar, I tried to use that kick and I had the most success so far. I could get 1 or 2 somewhat pull ups, and then on the way down it felt like all the momentum yanked me off the bar.

I talked to Danny about it, and he said that momentum is actually what is supposed to straighten you out and wind you up for the next pull. He also commented that it would be very surprising for some one to get it in one day, that it takes time.

I think I'll try subbing in a set or two during workouts the butterfly kip. I won't care if the PU's are really pu's, and I won't mind if it takes me a while. By doing only a set or two per WOD I figure it'll be a nice phasing in. And I really do want to do the butterfly kip. It seems like a fast, efficient, and fun way to do pull ups, and who wouldn't want that?

We then worked on handstand push ups, and I've learned that my only problem is a lack of shoulder strength. Mellisa did a great presentation, it was obvious she had worked on this and had made a great plan. She even had a handouts with pictures, quite snazzy. As an aside, I think about how I've crossfitted as long as Melissa, and she's already the head coach here at CFOT, def a testament to her coaching abilities. Ok, back to the Hand stands. My form is actually quite good, I don't have a problem keeping active shoulder, nor do I have a problem keeping a tight core (Thanks GHD's!), I can lower myself a little bit, but if I go anything beyond two ab-mats thickness in depth I get stuck. As I lowered my head to the ground, some of the guys were yelling at me to push. I repsoned that I was pushing, I just wasn't going anywhere. I guess the 70# difference between my weight and my max strict press is just a little too large to overcome right now. ....I can also do a static handstand for a second or two, I would really like to work on that as well. I got to see LTC Dan get his first HSPU, it was very impressive, I could tell he was relieved to finally get one.

We then worked on Muscle ups. My shoulders were already pretty tired from the HSPU's but I really wanted to work on this. I wasn't exactly sure where I belonged though. Should I hang out with those that have done them, or those that have not? I think what I need to work on the most is the transition, and do some jumping MU's. I also think I'll start subbing in Jumping MU's for the real deal, and we'll see how that goes. I tried to get an MU a couple of times, but I wasn't just kipping hard enough, nor was I able to really get my head through.

The double under work was a little insightful. I was the last one to get a rope, so I was stuck with a weighted rope. Thing was slow as hell, but it was also longer than the speed ropes. That extra length really helped me, and I was able to keep vertical, not donkey kick, and keep my hands close and my wrists moving. I wasn't really counting, but I felt a lot more consistent, getting lots of sets over 10 reps in a row. Perhaps I'll stick with the weighted rope, or I'll get my own speed rope that is longer.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday 1 rep jerk max

We worked on our 1 rep jerk max.

I got up to 195, a 10# improvement over my previous PR. However, I have a lot to work on, especially with the rack. It is still very awkward for me. I also have issues with waiting for the bar to become weightless before diving under it. I didn't notice this at first, but Jerry pointed it out to me on my second to last attempt, and I really noticed it on my last attempt.

The push press and the jerk seem to be my weakest from a technical standpoint, and most of it seems to stem from problems with the rack. Today it was better than before, so at least I'm improving.

Was supposed to do a death by pull up afterwards, but my lats are KILLING me from Josh, and I'm expecting a lot of pull ups at the work shop tomorrow. This should be exciting, looking forward to it.

threshold workout: Rowing

So Friday was labeled threshold training.

3 Rounds
3min row (max meters),
1 min rest

This was not pleasant, but rowing is something I'm good at, so I looked forward to doing well. I can't remember my distances exactly, but they went something like 832, 794, and 802.

During the last round, I decided that at the last 20 seconds I really would give it my all. When it hit, I managed to get my speed down to 1:26/500m and I managed to hold it there. Glad I'm starting to form some sort of game plan, hopefully will get better.

I think my proudest moment, however, was helping Gavin on his last round in the next class. I sauntered over when he had about 30 seconds left, and I motivated him by talking to him how I would motivate/ talk to myself.

Make this count, you only have 30 seconds

After this you will be done, no more rowing

All you have is 20 seconds

You have to make this time count,

It's all you've got

You need to make this count.

And he was done, both time-wise and physical-wise. When he was able to, he thanked me and told me I should do that more often. To be honest, I really want to someday. When he was done with his first Fran, Patrick told me my motivating took 2 minutes off his time. During FGB prep I really Judy push through the hell that is wall balls. While I feel like I still have much to learn when it comes to technical coaching, I really do enjoy, and seem fairly good at, motivating people at times. I recognize that sometimes I fall flat, all I have to offer is a couple claps and a "come on ___". But when I figure out what to say, damn it feels good.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The mystery of the weight loss

So lately I've been getting a lot of comments on my physique. On Friday Judy commented on my back being more ripped, and on Wednesday when I walked in Jeff took one look at me and imeddiately said "Hey you've lost weight haven't you?" Obviously, a nice thing to hear. Then a few minutes later after the workout I took my shirt off and Blain asked, "You've been hitting the Hydroxycut?"

I have no idea why, but I seem to be changing at a much faster pace then like 3 months ago. I look at my diet and I'm still doing the zone with a 4-4-2-4 plan (albeit with some breaks) , although I'm trying to reduce the amount of dairy in my diet. I'm also still crossfitting at the same consistency, but I've also noticed a decrease in my strenght, not lifting as near as heavily as I was around early December. So what gives?

I can think of a few factors that have changed that might be why I'm starting to see some change in my rate of change:
  1. GHD situps: These things have helped me figure out how to keep my core tight like no other exercise. Applying what I've learned from them I now keep proper core tension in all the lifts.
  2. My hip is no longer a problem: Well, it's still an issue, but now I have it under control. Thanks to Olga and the foam roller, I've been able to keep my hip flexors loose, allowing me to push myself harder and get more out of each workout.
  3. I'm more hydrated: I used to drink very little during the day, and combine that with the Concerta that I used to take, and you have someone who's always dehydrated, like when I donated blood they had me drink two bottles of water to hasten the process because my blood was so thick. It started out with trying to drink more water because of the massages, but it has now become an everyday task that I try to take on.
Now that my body seems to be finally healthy, I think the last peice of the puzzle for me to really excel is to get better at forming a game plan for the wods.

I never go into a workout thinking "ok I'm going to do 10-8-7 wallballs". I just think "Ok I need to do 25 wall balls". The lack of a gameplan makes it harder for me to keep focus, to push myself. I don't have these little attanable goals that can keep my focused on pushing myself. I need to create some type of consequence for slacking, because I don't seem to be very competitive. I don't use other people's scores to really drive me, and when I do try the results are eh. During the MAC hopper I had a 15 min cutoff, scaring me into really pushing myself. When I visited Crossfit Bloomington, I had the drive to make sure to pwn all the noobs, to make it clear I was the alpha male, even if for only a few days. Here at CFOT, I'm just happy, I'm content. Contentment, however, isn't an ingreadiant for making a driven person. I used to have the need to prove myself to others, but now I don't feel that anymore. Hmmm, now that I think about it, I am usually the most senior member in the PM classes (except for Tom now). I've tried to draw on the need to establish Alpha-maleness in the PM classes before, but it has never really worked, mostly because (I tell myself) I'm one of the few who is actually doing the wod Rx'd, or doing elite weight. Perhaps I need to get rid of that excuse and tell myself to really suck it up and treat the wod as a competition. I just need to start coming in close to first for this to work, but whenever I'm near the last person to finish (and I usually am) it just feels like the goal is a little too far away.

Whatever the case, I'm glad that I've done something to step up my game. Near the end of last year I felt like I was starting to stall, seeing diminished returns. Now with the new hip and all I'm starting changes occuring at a faster rate.

Intro to Josh

Wednesday we did Josh, which is similar to the first WOD we did at the MAC hopper challenge, where instead of pushup/burbees we do pull ups:

21 OHS, 42 pull ups
15 OHS, 30 pu's
9 OHS, 18 pu's

I remember the OHS being very tough on my hip/legs, not to mention it took me 15 minutes to get about halfway done with the MAC workout. Needless to say, I was a little intimidated.

However, I think I did really, really well for this workout. I never needed to break up the OHS's, and I did them very quickly, especially the last set. My time was 13:03.

To think that I finished Josh faster than I could do half of the MAC workout amazes me. It makes me realize a couple of things:
  1. The work on my hip has helped tremendously
  2. I have gotten a lot stronger as a result
  3. My shoulders are getting stronger
  4. My pull is waaaay stronger than my push
Gotta feel good about all that. However, I really could do only four pull ups at a time, which is a little embarrassing. Part of the problem is finding a rhythm with my kip. Actually, I think there is something missing in my kip. There's a body weight seminar this Sunday, and I've signed up for it. I think there will be an opportunity there for me to really improve in lots of exercises, but the one I want to improve the most is my pull up. It's such a fundamental exercise, if I can't regularly bang out sets of 10 then I feel like it's a huge problem.

Great day, shows I have made a lot of progress, but I have so much farther to go.

Front squat 1 rep max + conditioning

we got to work on the front squat on Tuesday:

Front Squat: 1 rep max

It's been a while, but of all the squats it's my second favorite (behind OHS) so I was glad to see it and how my new technique of keeping the core tight will fare. I think it helped get me a lot more stable, but sadly I was unable to really push it. Sadly I only got up to 225, but that is partially because I was working with Jon, who sneakily upped the next rep by 30 pounds. The increase in weight really caught me by surprise, and when I hit depth, I was stuck. As Mellisa pointed out, normally I hit depth, go up a couple of inches, and then get stuck. Today, it was go down, hit depth, then nothing. I tried to push the weight up for what felt like forever, but I'm sure it was something like 1-2 seconds, but it just wouldn't budge. I would've tried lower weight, like 235, but time ran out.

We then had a conditioner, "Power Intervals"
40sec max meters rowed,
120sec rest x 8 intervals

I'm a fairly good rower, so I "enjoyed" this one. I set the dampner at 10 and on the first round I went 232m. That was my best round, and my total was something like 1647m. I was trying to beat LTC Dan on the total, but he beat my by like 50m.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Push Press and met con

Today we worked on push press. This is probably my weakest lift form-wise, so I wanted to treat this as a kind of skill day (but still wanted a workout).

Every 3 minutes perform a repetition max using 60% of your 1RM in the Push press. Repeat for 4 cycles.

I went with a relatively light weight of 95#s. I thought doing 100 reps of too light weight would help me out more than 15 reps of too heavy weight. Tom "the cyborg" worked out with 135, was quite impressive. ...It was also impressive to watch him warm up by doing bar muscle ups. They look like pull ups where the kip has gone horribly strong and instead of chest to bar it's waist to bar, looks really strange/easy.

Anyway, I think I chose a great weight because I got in like 52 reps. After doing a little reasearch, turns out my 1 rep push press max is 155, so 95# is almost exactly 60% of my one rep max.

The first three sets it felt like Dip. Press. Almost no transference of force from the hips to the bar. At first i thought it was my grip, but on the fourth set Mellisa said I needed to try racking the weight instead of just holding it out in the air. In other words, I needed to move my elbows forward. I tried that, and for the first time ever it felf more like a wave of contraction. Coach also said it looked a lot better. I also made sure to keep my core tight and abs engaged, that was a whole lot of fun.

We then had a conditioner, and my time was 13:36, the last one in the class:

15 Loupees, 60 Double-unders, 12 Loupees, 48 Double-unders, 9 Loupees, 36 Double-unders

I had an ok time with the Loupees, all those push ups I'm doing during work are starting to pay off. however, I need a lot of work done on my du's and I am very inconsistent. I struggle with using only my wrists, and I still have the rope hit the left side of my back. I do think I made some progress though, and on my last run something kind of clicked with using my hands, and I was able to bang out 10 really good ones. ...On a frustrating note, today I was even having trouble with my singles. Looking forward to the workshop on Sunday so I can work on it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday, Rest day

Well, I woke up early enough to get to CFOT, but after four days in a row, and especially since I was feeling sluggish yesterday, I decided to make it a rest day. However, I did shovel my girlfriend's car out of the snow, so there was some work done today.

Friday one round through with foam rolling

Today had a long foam roller warm up, and I learned that the lacrosse ball can be your best/worst friend in the world. I used it on my right hip, and it was so painful I wondered if that's just because it's right on my hip joint, so I tried it on the other side. Not nearly as painful as the right side, so it looks like my hips have a bit of tightness in them.

I would also like to point out that one reason why I really haven't talked much about my hip pain is because, well, because there really isn't any. I've been trying to roll it out at least every other day, and I still see Olga every once in a while, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was at the end of December. I feel that having loose hip muscles really is helping with everything; I'm able to push myself harder, and as a result I see quite a change in my physique. Today Judy commented on how my traps and back are looking more ripped, and I have to admit that made my day. It's always nice to see one's hard work pay off, and it's not just my own imagination.

So for today it was a once through quickie:

1000m row,
25 burpees,
25 KB swing (@70#)
25 wallball,
25 pullups

I felt kind of slow today, couldn't really push myself through the row. I gamed it a bit so I would cruise through the 1000m so I could push myself through the other exercises. I was surprised and how easy the burbees were, I found a good pace and never really had to break them up, great stuff. The KB Swings winded me since I really wanted to focus on engaging my stomach, and not just relying on my lower back and having it tighten up. I broke them up 10-5-10, I think.

The wall balls sucked the life out of me, I was ok leg strength wise, and I had a great game plan of 10-8-7, reps but again I was determined to get my core tight correctly, and keeping my abs tight while squatting just drains me of life. ...This is one reason why I have such a slow Fran time, because I feel like the wind is knocked out of me from those damn thrusters. I ended up doing something like 8-6-6-5.

The pull ups weren't bad per se, but I had difficulty keeping a good grip on the bar. I mean, my forearms were giving out on me, so I could only do four at a time. This is frustrating. I mean, I've been crossfitting for 1.5 years now, and in a wod like this I would expect myself to be physically fit enough to bang out at least 10 in a row. ...This leads me to believe it is once again a mental thing, gotta push myself harder. I gotta make every second count. It's just so hard for me to do so, very against my nature.
This was a great met-con:

5 rounds
15 Push Press (@100#s)
30 Situps,
45 Double-unders

I came in very late, but thankfully the beginning of class was dedicated to teaching the push press, so I was able to start with everyone else, albeit my warm up was a bit short.

For the push press I made it a point to keep a tight core, that I not allow that arch in my back. This slowed me down a bit because it took a lot out of me. I thought about reducing the weight, but I started at 100 so I figured I was stuck with it. I felt somewhat successful in keeping the stomach tight, still felt some of that back arch, but nothing like what I have felt before. I also became aware of the proper depth for the dip right before I drove the bar up over my head. I sometimes like to go lower than is optimal, thinking that the more I use my legs the stronger I will be, since my legs are so much stronger than my arms. However, there is a point where it becomes inefficient, and I think I found that point where instead of diiiiiip-drive it was dip-DRIVE.

Sit-ups are pretty easy, being able to use my hip flexors to help me up feels like cheating it is so easy.

Double unders. Ah double unders. It's a slow process, but I'm slowing finding the proper place for my hands and finding the right rhythm. I could bust out a set of like 14, but then would have three misses in trying to start up again. I still feel the rope brush against my left side, but it's now not bad enough that it stops the rope.

During the fourth round, I was kind of struggling. I searched within myself for motivation, and I found such a strong reason to push myself that I was caught off guard. The reason was simply the fact that I was alive. I am alive, so I have the awesome ability to experience life, to push myself, and to really, really live. I don't want to ever look back and have regret. I thought about friends and family who are no longer here, and for some reason I felt their presence, I felt them cheering me on because I could do something that they were unable to. It didn't feel like pressure to perform, just... happiness at the chance to honor life by not giving up on myself, by finding strength I didn't have.

This was very powerful, and as a result I was able to really push through the push press and probably did that set faster than any other. However, I wasn't really able to hold on to that feeling when it came time to do sit-ups, not that I really needed it for sit-ups. Hopefully I can harness this newly-found moto, because it def helped today.

Deadlift three rep max (Aka, relearning the deadlift)

So Wednesday we worked on our 3 rep deadlift max in the hopes to lift more than earlier this month when we worked on our two rep lift. Last time I lifted 295, but today I went from 275, and then jumped up to 315, and failed.

It seems that all of my recent success with the deadlift has been at the cost of form, that I was focused on weight and not form. I worked with Melissa on my form, and although keeping the core tight is becoming more natural, I'm having issues with my stance. I'm rounding my shoulders forward, so I need to keep my back flat while getting my hips into the right place. I do have tight hamstrings, so my issue might be a lack of flexibility.

Whatever the case, I need to relearn everything that I've known about the deadlift. It can be rather humbling, but the deadlift is way to dangerous to not learn proper form. I'm just surprised that I've gone this far with such bad form. It kind of makes me think of going to a barbell cert.

I'm very happy about working the core, I think I'm really starting to get it, and my stomach is starting to get strong, which will help out with everything in so many different ways.

Muscle up workout I couldn't do

Ok, the fact I can't stick a mu is starting to bother me. The fact that I have done one before is really starting to bother me. I've started working on mu transitions randomly before the wod, I'm having trouble pushing my head through (like everyone else), and having the strength to push myself up from a low dip. Still, I've been unable to get an MU again, and I think it will require me working on transitions more, like I did last year.

So I had to do the non MU wod today:

6 rounds
10 pull-ups
20 push-ups
30 air squats

The last day I had worked out was last Tuesday, so this was a good wod to get back into the swing of things. I tried to get the pull ups unbroken, but I had to break them up at least in the end. I've really worked on making sure that I pull my head completely over the bar, and when I can do 15 of those easily I'm going to try to move on to chest to the bar. There is something wrong with my kip though, a couple of times now I've been told to push away, but I'm not sure what they're talking about. Back in the blue room Jerry never worked on the kip, and now that I'm a "vet" I guess it's assumed I know what I'm doing.

The push ups felt easier. However near the end I started to feel that numbing pain of tendonitis, it made me consider cutting the wod short, but it never really got bad, it was just a hint of... feeling. Like I can feel something going on, but it's not really pain, but I've quickly learned that it's the precursor to pain. I'll make an appointment with Dr. Bills to work on it.

I thought the squats were easy, although Melissa told me I wasn't getting proper depth. Using an elevated med ball (I'm too tall for just a med ball) and made sure to touch it with every rep. It didn't feel any different, but it made Melissa happy, and that makes me happy.

My total time was 23:39. I noticed I was again one of the last ones to finish in the class, and I'm not too happy about that. I think I need to find that motivation again, that pressure to get every rep done ASAP. It's just not in my nature to do things quickly. I mean, for goodness sake, it takes me like two hours to wake up, have breakfast, and get to work.

I think if there was a time cut off, some looming danger if I don't get it done quickly, it would help. Earlier this month we were doing an AMRAP wod and Mellisa said the first one to put down the KB would have to do burbees. That's real motivation. I also remember the wod where if you broke up your pull ups you had to do burbees, and I didn't brake up a single set.

But if the motivation is to simply get it done as quickly as possible, I don't seem to do so well. Obviously, I need to change that, I need to make some incentives on my own that will light a fire under my ass.

Hotel de Glace pictures

I know this is a crossfit blog, but like the time I went to Spain, I'll post briefly about my trip to Quebec City. The food in Quebec was (surprise) French, it was a very nice introduction to stuff like Sweetbread with Foie Gras truffle sauce:

Or the Prime Minister's favorite dish in Canada, Salmon with Rasberry sauce at Café De La Paix:

I seem to remember reading in "Enter the Zone" that expensive French meals are zone friendly, perhaps I was able to stick to my diet.

We got to go dogsledding, which was a whole lot of fun:

The actual Ice hotel was awesome, they had a bar and the rooms were amazing. It was an awesome experience, one that I will always remember, and am so happy that I decided to do it for my birthday.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday, rest day

I was tempted to go in today, but my upper body is ridiculously sore from Tuesday's workout, and I want to enjoy my vacation.

...Oh did I mention that? I'm going to spend the night in an ice hotel Saturday, Hotel de Glace, to celebrate my 30th birthday. This has been something I've wanted to do for about 10 years now, so I figure this will be a good, landmark celebration.

Very, very, excited.

Wednesday, Snow day

CFOT canceled, and I didn't do anything but shovel my car out.

My body is super sore from Monday's conditioning.

Met-con before the real big snow hits

Again had the day off from work thanks to the snow. I needed the extra rest, because this one was a doozy:

TUESDAY 100209:

10 Lou Burpees, 20 Pullups, 40 Double unders.

9 L Burp, 18 Pull, 36 DU,
all the way to 1,2,4.

This was very upper body intensive, and I was pretty darn slow on everything. The double unders were coming up more consistently, but Melissa pointed out that I keep my left arm much higher than my right, so that was causing a lot of difficulty. This was super annoying, because I had the rhythm down, but I kept hitting my left forearm and the left side of my head. I tried to focus on lowering my arm but when that happened everything else went to shit.

My time was something like 37:XX. I forget, but the pushups and pull ups were a serious workout.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

1 rep OHS PR, conditioning wod afterwards

So I braved the snow with Judy and we showed up to a somewhat barren CFOT. Today was 20 min to find your 1 rep OHS max and after that a conditioning wod.

I had great form with the OHS. I really worked on going down slowly and coming up quickly. Patrick hit 200 today, so I really wanted to do that.

I did 155 no problem, then upped it to 175, and did it without too much trouble. That's about 10 pounds heavier than anything I've OHS'd before.

With no time left, I tried to do 185, but I couldn't jerk it up to even try. It's a little frustrating in that I can't hold 185 over my head right now, but there was a major positive to take away from today, and that was my core stability. I felt much more stable today, and I think it's because I'm getting a better feel for contracting my stomach.

The conditioner sucked, but I love GHD's, and I was able to get a lot of them done. Near the end I started to figure out how to really work my stomach muscles while stretching them out, and I look forward to a sore stomach tomorrow. I miss that feeling.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pick your poison: Grace

So it's first Friday, and this will be my fifth crossfit workout in a row. I didn't want to do a real long workout. I also wanted to try one that I haven't done before. I ended up on Grace. It seems to be a standard wod that a lot of people do, and I need to work on my clean and jerk.

I had a very hard time pushing myself in this wod, and the frustrating thing is I knew I was slacking and I couldn't figure out a way to really push myself. I worked on keeping my stomach small while cleaning, but I still could not find a way to keep a really tight core on the jerk. In a way, this Grace was like a skill wod.

As this picture shows, my back is severely arched during the jerk. I've felt/known about this since I first started xfitting, but haven't figured out how to fix it. I know the cause, or as least I assume I know the cause, to be my back muscles are way stronger than my abs, so the imbalance of strength caused my back to arch in this manner. Now that GHD's are helping with my stomach strength, and I'm working on engaging my abs during lifts, I hope that some balance will be restored. ...This should also really help me with the push press in fgb. Just looking at this picture makes my back hurt a little, I really do want the ability to control my abs and engage them throughout a workout.

My time was 9:34, and I'm a little disappointed with this time. I mean, I've clean and jerked 95#s 74 times in only two more minutes. I guess it's simply a lack of strength, who knows. But I'm going to do Grace again, and I swear it will be lower by a lot.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snatch 1 rep max

So Thursday was my supposed rest day, but who can turn down a chance to work on the snatch?

i only had a few minutes to workout before I had to leave for some celebrating, I warmed up quickly and then hit 125 with not much of an issue. I jumped up to 145, and then failed twice. I was able to lift the bar up high enough, but I just didn't have the speed in me to get under.

Keeping my stomach tight and small is becoming more and more natural to me. I really hope this modification will help me take it to the next level.

Birthday Wod!

Although my birthday was on Thursday, I had to wear the weight vest a day early because Thursday was a strength day and Wednesday was a met con:

5 rounds elite
3 rounds pack

300m row
15 pull ups
15 wall balls
15 burpees

I did pack because, well, because I did this with a 20# weight vest. My time was 24:17, pretty slow for three rounds.

The row really didn't change much, the pull ups were ok as long as I did 3, rested for just a second, and repeat. I made the wall balls my biatch, only breaking up the third set because I mis-threw the ball and couldn't catch it.

Burpees, however, were another story. I couldn't do these very quickly at all, and to only reason I stopped at three rounds was because my shoulder was starting to feel "off" from the strain.

Very happy to get this one in. Also, I heard that my workout was used as motivation for others, that others found it inspiring.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Annie (PR) and strict pull ups

Today was Annie:

50,40,30,20,10 Double-unders and Situps.

Back in December my time was 17:20, so this was a great way to gauge my double under ability. Today I wore normal running shoes so I wouldn't lash my feet up if I missed. I had some trouble finding my rhythm, no surprise there. I had lots of failed attempts, and was only to get one or two at a time for the beginning.

However, I started experimenting with the rope speed, and I started to find it again. On the second to last set I got something like 12 in a row, and on the last set I hit ten so easily I wanted to keep going, but after the eleventh one I decided I should just finish up and dropped the rope.

My time was something like 13:22, so almost 4 minutes faster than last time.

Afterwards I worked on the strength wod some:

Strength WOD: Weighted pullup x 1

I got up to 53#'s, but when I tried 58 I had to cheat a little at the top, so it didn't count.

After that, I worked some on double unders again. I tried a couple of times, and then I hit 16 in a row. Took a break, and then had a lot more failures until I hit 6 in a row. By then I figured I was just tired, called it a day.

Deadlift ladder, of sorts and a met-con

Haven't done deadlifts in quite some time, and this time I was going to do it with keeping my waist as small as possible, as oppose to expanding it as much as possible.

Strength: Deadlift 70% of your max x 2 dead-stop reps, add 5% every 2 minutes until you tap out (no touch and go).

Back at the MAC Hopper I had two reps of 365, so I figured 255 would be a good place to start. It was very, very strange to inhale but to suck in my stomach. I mean, when I think take in a big gulp of air I think drop diaphram and expand the stomach muscles. Realizing I've been lifting without proper core tension is pretty damn huge. I mean, most of these lifts the failure doesn't occur with the legs, it occurs in the core. I've been crossfitting without really working my core muscles.

That is pretty significant.

Now that I'm contracting in as opposed to pushing out, I expect to see even more of a difference with my stomach as well as my lifts.

Speaking of lifts, I started out at 255 and did ok, then 275 and did alright, then did 295 and my back started to bend some. This bend was probably from the lack of core tension because I was really struggling breathing in while making my stomach smaller. I was also looking up when I started to lift, and appearently tilting your head back can cut off your brain from really controlling your legs. For my 315 attempt I tried to keep looking down, breathed in, contracted my stomach, and tried to stand up. There was a pause, but it was slow and smooth, the best way to do it.

I then tried 335, and all I felt was a bend in my back. My back tapped out for me. I then dropped it down to 225 and worked on my form. It was still really rough. I need to work on this all over again. For all of the lifts, I'm back at square one, relearning everything. I am excited though, because if I'm able to get this far without doing proper technique, I should see a whole lot of improvement as I get better.

There was a second workout, and this one seemed mandatory, not like the backsquat one.

Conditioning: AMRAP 10 min 10, pushup, 10 KB Highpull(70#), 10 jumping slamball

I got 8 rounds plus 2 push ups. To report in, I have been doing random sets of 12-15 pushups, and I think that greatly helped. My push ups feel like they've got a "pop" now that's never been there before, a sort of explosiveness that I've never had.

Kind of feel like I've taken two steps back, but I know this'll allow me to make giant leaps forward.