Saturday, May 29, 2010

body roll class FTW!

So I found out the PTO's gym offers free body rolling massage classes like two-three times a week.

Attended one on Friday, and it was pretty awesome. I'm used to using tennis and lacrosse balls, and they had these some rubber balls. I think next time I think I might bring my own. I have a HUGE knot in my right shoulder blade that I've been working on, but it's still there. Will prop see Olga next week.

Max 1 rep Power Clean

On Thursday, my usual rest day, we did Power cleans. I couldn't ignore that, so I made Friday my rest day instead.

Def wasn't feeling pumped. I got up to 205 fairly easily. I then tried 215 and failed, then 210 and failed that as well. At first I thought that was a PR but then realized that 205 was actually my PR.

I left feeling.... strange. I never really worked up a sweat, I just didn't feel like I had pushed myself hard. Well, I think I pushed myself pretty hard, I just didn't have much in the tank.

All in all, feel really good.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

partner wod and mastering the butterfly kip

So we had a partner wod, lots of running, some handstand push ups, and pull ups as well.

The run was good, found a good pace

The HSPU were good, I still use a full 45# plate with a 10# on top of that, but I got in a lot of reps in so it was a good workout. Damn I hope I get stronger with this exercise.

But what I want to talk about is my pull ups. I tried to use the butterfly kip, but it just wasn't coming very easily. I kept getting these stop-and-go's, so most of the time I did the standard kip. However, near the end and near exhaustion, I found the butterfly. I got in around four reps, and these were really easy, smooth, Danny-esque reps. A visiting Xfitter, commented on how I was nailing it. I think those four reps were better than anything I've done before, and I remember thinking, "gosh, my arms are a lot closer than I thought they should be." So maybe I should try a narrower grip, I don't know. But what I do know is that on Wednesday I felt, for the first time, that I truly had the butterfly kip.

Back Squat with chains

I don't know why, but I feel like I'm starting to get weaker, not stronger.

Tuesday was find your 5 rep back squat max with chains, and I only got up to 205#. This is the same as my front squat a week ago. I got one rep in of 225#, but that was it. I think my issue is finding proper depth with the chains. Because it's so much lighter at the bottom, it's easy for me to dip 3" below parallel. Regardless, had a good time, and had an even better time coaching.

Snatch WOD with lateral burbees

Another variation on the first WOD at the MAC hopper last year:

12, 9, 6, 3 of
lateral burpees

The Rx'd weight was 135, but since that's my 1 rep max I went down to 105#. My technique isn't as near as good on this one as it used to be, I have difficulty diving under the bar and catching it. But I think I chose a good weight, it took me 9:39 and Melissa said my first set looked good, but by the time I got to the last set it was kind of ugly.

I think one factor for the plateau is not just technique but core strength. I think 135 was as high as I could get without really engaging my core, and now my core is finally starting to catch up with everything else. Now I feel like it's more technique. Just need to keep practicing.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Helen workout on Friday

Sorry to post wod's out of order, but I thought Friday's Helen was post-worthy. So we did Helen:

3 rounds
400m run
21 KB swings at 54#
12 Pull ups

I've had issues with running. It seems I have two gears: fast and slow. I can't really figure out a nice, medium pace. When Harold shouted "3-2-1 go" I started out in the rear of the pack. After a few steps I decided to see how fast I really could run, so I ran as fast as I could, a real sprint. It was fun zooming in between people and passing everyone, even the amazing Russ. I have no idea what time I ran that 400 in, but all I knew was 1) I was the first one to finish and 2) I had absolutely nothing left. Even though I did the KB swings unbroken, and did the pull ups in 3 sets of four, I was the LAST person to start the second round. It really wasn't too pretty, and I was kind of laughing at myself for so totally not gaming the workout. I did try to do some of the Pull ups with the butterfly kip, and a few times I really started to feel like I was getting it, albeit I was a little rusty.

On the second round Harold pointed out that I wasn't getting the KB high enough. Instead of getting it overhead it was somewhere at a 45-60 degree angle. I fixed that right away, it didn't seem any more difficult, but it did feel like it took a lot longer to complete one swing. Ah the difficulties of being so tall.

Anyways my time was something like 13:39. I'm glad that I didn't just resign myself to jogging the 400m, but damn, I need to find a pace that leaves something left for later.

Saturday Wod. No, really! I attended a Saturday WOD!

Woke up after 5 hours of sleep, was a bit dehydrated and didn't have time to eat. However, I knew that even with all those things making me not want to work out, I'd still feel better going.

So go I did.

Not feeling particularly energetic, I decided to do the strength WOD instead of the metcon:

Push press
1x 1x 1x 1x

I managed to beat my old PR of 165 by push pressing out 170. On that attempt (and the previous rep where I hit 165) I had a bit of an epiphany. With a heavy push press, there's a moment where the bar stops traveling upwards from the hip thrust and you have to start pressing it out with your shoulders. On the 165 and 170 rep, when that transition occurred I thought 'Oh God this is too heavy for me'. However, I was patient, didn't give up, and ended up pressing the weight out. I learned that my body was stronger than what I remembered, and I trust it a little bit more now to handle heavy weight. Pretty much everyone else was done, but I decided to go for 175. I tried it, but I was just too tired to do it.

I think one thing that really helped me was goal setting, I knew what my previous PR was, and so I figured out what I needed to ramp up and break it.

Afterwards we did the workout "tailpipe". Thankfully I had LTC Dan as my partner, because he is a very fast rower. Tailpipe:

Three rounds of:
One person holds 2 53# kbs while the other rows 250 meters, then switch

We did it in sub 6 minutes, I know my row times were 42, 48, and 52 seconds. Holding the KBS was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I really had to go find my happy place. You're supposed to stand up straight and hold your head up high. I did no such thing, slouching and lowering my chin as much as possible. However, I never dropped the weight, and I'm proud about that.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Wednesday's WOD was deadlift, something I haven't done in quite a while.

7 rounds of
2 DL's every 3 minutes

I really wanted to work on form and since I felt rusty I went light with 255. This seemed like a good idea because my approach/starting position needed some fine tuning. My knees were bent too far over the bar, so I needed to work on keeping my hips farther back.

Apparently this looked a little too easy, so Murphy convinced me to go up in weight. For the sixth round I did 275, with not too much of a problem. That really wasn't the bump up in weight that Murphy was looking for so for the last round I did 315. My core was really, really sore from OHS and Tabat sit-ups, so this last set was fairly ugly. For the first rep there was some thoracic bend (some bending in my back) but otherwise good. The second rep, however, was ugly. the bar really moved forward from having problems keeping my hips back, and it resulted in a very ugly looking back bend.

Although my back felt a little tight afterward, I felt no pain. To be sure I rolled it out for quite a bit. Honestly I think maybe I should've made this my rest day since I'm so sore in my core and shoulders, but I could not resist the allure of heavy deadlifting.

Tabata this and proper squatting.

So we did tabata this:

20 sec of X
10 sec of rest
repeat 8xs
The movements were:
push ups
sit ups
pull ups

My score was 44, and I was super surprised how hard push ups were. I was hoping for 12, but near the end it went down to something like 6 or 8.

When I was doing the squats I really worked on getting my hips to really pop up so that my feet left the ground. When I launched myself upwards, I was thinking of the movement like jumping off of a box jump that's an option to show full hip extension has been achieved. In my mind, this meant I could keep my shoulders hunched forward and leaned my torso slightly forward. After all, if my hips are coming fully forward so that my feet leave the ground, I've achieved full hip extension, right?

Well, not so much.

Turns out that with squats you actually have to stand all the way up, meaning you can't lean forward at all or keep your shoulders hunched forward.

I learned this the hard way. As I was doing squats, Elise told me that I wasn't reaching full hip extension. I told her I was. She told me I wasn't. This back and forth went on for a little bit, all while I was experiencing the pain that only multiple air squats can bring. Finally the "conversation" just kind of stopped and I continued on squatting.

After the squats were over, and I was trying to remember my score. She came over and explained that one has to stand up fully in air squats. Shoulders have to be directly above the hips, spine straight.

This in itself was a bit humbling, but I learned later that not only was I squatting incorrectly, some new person had asked if it was ok to do squats like I was doing. They figured that since I'm a coach, I'm doing it correctly. This kind of brings the idea home that now I have the label "coach" people will look to me for guidance, even if I'm not coaching at that moment.

I've always been a stickler for correct movement, but now there's a bit of extra pressure to perform well. I can't say I don't welcome it, it provides a bit of motivation that I've been lacking otherwise. But it does remind me that some people view me differently. I still see myself as athlete Adam. It's like being 30, but you still see yourself as 25, you don't think much has changed, but something has changed.

I also wonder about working out in the pm classes now that I'm also coaching in the pm. I feel like working out with people you coach blurs a line that shouldn't be blurred, but then again I'm still not an assistant coach or anything.

On a different note, I have been trying to save for a level I cert now, but it's been tough. However, I think I should have the money for one in a couple of months.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

OHS three rep max PR, conditioning afterwards

So we worked on OHS three reps, and I absolutely love this lift. Back in February my 1 rep max was 175, so I made that my three rep max goal. Sadly, time ran out before I could get there. However, I did manage to get in three reps of 170, so that's a PR.

I think my approach was helpful today, in that I took small steps, upping it only 10#s at a time, then 5#s for the 170. I did it without really a problem, so I'm excited for the next time. Last time my issue was being able to hold up that much weight with my shoulders, but Monday I was able to jerk up and maintain 170 without too much trouble.

The met con was ridiculously brutal, tons of rowing, dumbbell hang cleans, and burbees. I did the most reps listed at 3, but it was ridiculous.

Coaching performance was meh. I was having a hard time finding things to point out to work on. Seemed like everyone was hitting depth, keeping active shoulder, and maintaining a tight core. It simply seemed like the only thing for improvement was practice, and that's what was going on.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


...Not when it comes to actually doing crossfit, but with work and coaching it's been easy to let blogging take a back seat to everything else. For that I apologize, and will try to do better.

I won't try to post make-up posts from last week, but suffice it to say that I feel like I am doing much, much better with met cons, as well as keeping my core tight.

Due to a trip to Dallas, I again had three days off from crossfit, but I did get to see (literally, drive by) Crossfit Dallas Central, who's suppose to be a great place. Unfortunately family commitments prevented me from doing anything, but it's nice to know where it it, like right next to my undergrad campus SMU.

Monday was a metcon, and I felt great about it:

15 hang cleans (135)
15 rind dips
400m run

I have to say I felt pretty good going in since I'm pretty strong with the hang clean, and 135 is 60# less my max. For the first round I did the cleans unbroken, and I handled the dips ok. The run was ok, kept up a pretty good clip. Did the first round in something like 4:15, but it went down from there, did it in something like 17:29. The dips/run were definitely what slowed me down, but not as badly as they used to. Progress is progress, and I'll take it with a smile. The hang cleans were done well, because my back wasn't tight afterwards. Used to be, after doing something like D.T. my back would really tighten up on me. That was because my abs weren't doing anything, so my back had to do all the work. Now that the abs are starting to carry their weight, the back is ok. Did I mention progress is great?

Today's wod was front squat with double the chains. Here I was the strongest one in the group I was working out with, so it made me a bit timid. I need to start realizing how strong I am, and it's ok to lift 50#s more than everyone else, and that I'm able to do that as well.

I got up to 205# with 80#s of chains, and to be honest it was pretty damn easy. I would've gone heavier but time ran out.

We followed up with a met-con with double unders, and I am starting to be a lot more consistent with getting say 7-10 at a time. I really need to up this, but I'm not sure how to other than practice, practice, practice.

I am trying to figure out how to blog about coaching without writing about individual circumstances. I don't want to post anything that could put the spotlight on someone who doesn't want it, nor do I want people thinking, "is he going to blog about this" while I'm trying to help them.

However, I will say that I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from others, and Melissa told me she thought of me as a great coach. That made my day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Crossfit is a drug

And I am itching to get my fix. Am going back to DC tonight, and although my neck is still tight, I will be able to do tomorrow's wod without problem. Well, if I do run into a problem I won't hesitate to stop.

I've only worked out twice in like the past week, and I am feeling flabby and weak. I feel like I'm losing all of my hard earned gains, it's a great motivation to get back into the game.