Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lots of running

So my glutes/hams are already sore from Monday's wod, and then we have this wod with a LOT of running:

10 Pull ups
10 Sledge Strikes
400m run
15 Pull ups
15 Sledge Strikes
600m run
20 Pull ups
20 Sledge strikes
800m run
20 Pull ups
20 Sledge strikes
600m run
15 Pull ups
15 Sledge Strikes
400 m run
10 Pull ups
10 Sledge Strikes

this took me 32:36, def not the shortest time. I don't know about running. I've had moments of glory, only to then burst into flames and crash. This time I felt like I was pushing myself about as hard as I could. I mean, I felt like puking on the last run, but my pace was agonizingly slow. I used to be fast, but then again, I used to weight 40#s less. I am noticing a lot more engagement of my core when running, so my lower back no longer feels tight after long runs. That alone makes me feel good about this performance.

I'm still having some issues finding my cadence for butterfly kipping pullups, but regular pull ups are coming along well. I need to see Danny in action again, that helped last time and I think it'll help it again.

For sledge strikes, I wish we had those circus strikers with a teeter-totter with a weight resting on one side while you hit the other side. That way you could quantify the work being done. I mean, you can half-ass a sledge strike and have a fast time, there's nothing stopping you with that. But if you had to ring a bell, or get the weight up to a certain height, that would be something else. I think they tried to do something like this in the Games last year with hammering a post into the ground, but this exercise would require less skill and place more focus on strength and work performed. Plus, it would be fun.

Monday, June 28, 2010

1 rep OHS PR

Today was my fave lift: the overhead squat.

My one rep PR was 175, so I wanted to hit at least 180. Did 175 so easily that I went for 185. Felt very stable with the shoulders, which is always my weak point. Went down to depth and then stood up easily. Wish I had time to go heavier but no such luck.

There was a second wod of 10 min AMRAP: 15 KB swings and 30 jumping lunges. The lunges sucked but I powered through 6 rounds, which seemed to be above average. Felt good today, real good.

Snatch 1 rep max PR!

So Friday was 1 rep snatch max, and it's been about two months since I've attempted a one rep max. Back then I only tied my pr of 135, so I really wanted to get a new PR. I worked my way up to 135, and then tried 145. It was a total fail. Mellisa commented that I'm not getting very violent with hip extension, which is pretty key. So I lowered the weight to 140, focused on slowing down on the first pull, but exploding on the second/third. This time I almost got it, I partially dove under the bar but just didn't catch it. Diving under the bar is a scary thing for me, I just need to learn to trust myself. OK, so one more time: Slow pull, bar clears the knees, explode, try to pull myself under, and... Catch! Stand up! Celebrate!

It's only a 5# PR, but I'm very happy with this because I also felt like I'm starting to go from power snatching to really snatching the weight overhead. If I can figure this out, I'll start to see some real gains here. Of course, I also need to get my shoulders a lot stronger. My OHS 1 rep max is 175, so I feel like I should be able to snatch at least that once my technique gets better.

The Bear Barbell Complex

This wod was a very interesting one, testing one's mental strength as well as physical:

5 sets of

7 rounds without re-gripping
power clean
front squat
push press
back squat
push press

This was a tough one mentally because it felt like such a marathon. I knew my push press was going to be the limiting factor, but my last set was 115. After each set, I really didn't want to go heavier. I don't know why but I would find my self breathing really hard during each round. I guess these lifts just suck the life out of you.

But each time I knew I had to go heavier, that I would regret not pushing myself.

I had a partner, and I had a lot of fun pushing him. As a coach I did something I really haven't done before. I had the confidence to disagree with someone. My partner was really fatiguing in the third set, and after his 5th front squat/push press he looked me in the eye and said "I can't do any more." To which I responded by looking him in the eye and said, "Oh yes you can!"

I told him that he'd gone too far to quit, that he only had 2 more sets. He finished it out, and was completely spent after that last rep. Later he told me my reasoning really resonated with him. Congratulating him felt awesome. It's an amazing thing when someone does something they thought was impossible.

On a coaching side note. I find that when an exercise is more about endurance, it's more effective to focus on a reasoning of not quitting, of how the pain of disappointment will be greater than the pain the athlete is experiencing at that moment of physical exertion. When it comes to workouts that are more about intensity, I find motivating through "making every second count because you're never getting it back" is a more effective slant on the idea of making one's effort count. When you start to realize how important today's workout is, you really start to push yourself. At least, that's what I find.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MU progressions

The wod Tuesday was 30 muscle ups for time.

I still haven't done a MU since that glorious day over a year ago where I got one and messed up my shoulder.

So I decided to work on progressions. Basically you take a rubber band and put it on a squat rack to lighten yourself. Sitting on the band, you then try to do MU's. I was getting them, but it just felt... unnatural. I want to get them so badly now, I think I really will try to work on them every day this week.

After working on it for a while I did the alternate wod, which was a goodie:

10 pull ups
10 burbees
10 ghd situps

Since I started 14 minutes into the wod I just did 6 rounds. My butterfly kip was rusty, but damnit I'm going to keep working on them. Near the end Danny pointed out that I was trying to rush things, that I needed to slow down. Once I did that, things got a lot more fluid/easier. Did the three rounds in like 16 min.

Damn I want to get muscle ups. Now that I pretty much have the butterfly kip, it's now only the muscle up and a handstand push up that I can't do. Feel like I can get MU's now that my shoulder is a lot better.

Back Squat 1 rep with chains

So Monday was back squat with chains one rep. I managed to get up to 225, witch is about 12#s more than the three rep max. I still have a tendency to go well below parallel with the squats, so I still need to work on that.

I attempted 245 twice, but both times I got it up halfway, and then couldn't finish. The last attempt was interesting in that my form was excellent, hit just below parallel, kept core tension, and was in control the whole time. Halfway on the way up, I simply... stopped. I kept pushing and pushing, but was going nowhere. After what felt like minutes but was probably like 5 seconds, the bar started to drop and so I had help.

This was good because everything went right, I simply wasn't strong enough. My muscles have to have their limits, and on Monday it was at 245. Of course, I now wish I had only bumped it up to 235, but I wasn't thinking 20#s was a small step.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Benchpress Club (Chains)

Got up to 175# with the chains. My chest and tri's were already sore from the dips earlier this week, but I want to improve my bench damnit. Since I already workout out Sun/Mon/Tues I decided to make Wed my rest day (Bench press doesn't count).

I feel like this is really starting to improve my physique even more, love this program. Whenever Jerry drops the program, I'll have to just keep this up at the PTO gym or something. Too bad they don't have bands or chains.


So this workout was 2 deadlifts per 2:30 for 7 rounds

I started out at 275. I figured that was a light weight for me and I didn't want to hurt my back. I still feel like I have a lot to learn on this lift, and now that I'm figuring out how to engage my core it's still relatively weak to everything else.

After the 4th round, it became apparent that 275 was still too much weight for my core. I backed it down to 265, then 245. I had a lot of issues keeping my knees out of the way while standing up. I then had issues with keeping core tension. I didn't hurt my back, but I could feel it tighten up a lot.

during the break for a few rounds I did some foam rolling, but I just haven't really figured out this lift yet. Sometimes I feel like I've taken a few steps back with regards to technique with my lifts, but I have to keep reminding myself that since I've figure out how to flex my abs I need to re-learn everything. I had gone as far as I could go with tight hip flexors and unengaged abs. Sure I could deadlift 365 twice, but I did it with horrible technique. Now that I have looser hip flexors and tighter abs, the learning curve has steepened up again.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thruster workout

So we had a really long, possibly heavy, metcon. After I was done I felt silly and a little mad at myself. But I'm getting ahead of myself:

400m run
9 Thrusters
9 Dips
400m run
12 Thrusters
12 Dips
400m run
15 Thrusters
15 Dips
400m run
12 Thrusters
12 Dips
400m run
9 Thrusters
9 Dips

Mellisa commented on how to in judging what weight for the Thrusters one should think about Fran. After a shudder, I figured I should go a bit lighter than Fran weight since Thrusters give me so much trouble. So I went with 75# and figured I should just make sure to do all of my thrusters uninterrupted and work on technique/speed. Mellisa saw the light weight and asked if I was sure that was what I wanted to work with, and I told her it was.

During the workout I had no real issue with the Thrusters, although I did drop the bar once while doing the 15's. I was also really, really impressed with how easy the dips were, at least in the beginning. Even when it did get difficult, however, I never switched over to using a band, and I made each dip to to lockout. The run was the most difficult part, but I didn't use up all of my speed on the first round like I did last time with Helen.

I still did this in 25:05, with plenty of people finishing before me, so it felt like I must've chosen a good weight.

Then I actually looked at the board and saw that the lightest option for thrusters was 95#. I was suddenly very embarrassed. I feel like I cheated. But I also wonder how much more difficult it would've been if I had used 95#, if the wod would've taken 35 min instead. My shoulder has been giving me some flack, so I also wonder if the heavier weight would've jacked it up as well.

I guess my main issue here is I'm left wondering "what if?", and I hate that feeling. I have always tried to push myself to do the heaviest weight possible so that I'm not left with any doubts or regrets. Here, the lesson is to really pay attention to the Rx'd weight (and I almost always do, this is a first for me).

Regardless, this was a great workout, I was sweating for like 90 minutes after I finished this wod.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sun Wod

So pre-nutrition talk we had a wod. Given that I was waaaaay too tired to go to the Sat wod, I really wanted to hit this:

30 double unders
20 OHS (95#)
20 Pull ups
20 snatch
400m run

This was one where I surprised myself. Kind of. I couldn't get all the DU's in a row; I stopped maybe 2-3 times. That put me near the back of the pack when it was time to over head squat, but this is where I knew I could do well. When we were introduced to Josh, I was able to do 21 OHS of 95# without stopping. Knowing this, I was able to push myself so that I banged them out pretty quickly. I had a hard time keeping active shoulder on this one, and it might stem from that knot in my trap that has been causing me pain. The pull ups were butterfly kip, and although I'm still not getting chest to the bar they were full-on butterfly. I think I have them figured out now. I did the Hand stand push ups with a 45 and 25# plate. I could only do them like 3 at a time, but I was able to do them. I think the 45 and 25 bumper is good for me right now, it's tough but not to the point where I lose intensity. The snatch was surprisingly tough, I really wanted to work on form. A problem with the snatch for me has been pulling myself under, and Jerry said something during the warm up, can't remember right now, that clicked. There were a few where I really felt myself pull under the bar. The run sucked, but when I saw that I was beating Harold I realized I HAD to book it, and I really started to run. So there were some great mental motivations going on here with the goal-setting on the OHS's and the competition with the run. That, and I got to hear some great info on the Zone, Primal, and Paleo diets.


So it's 15 weeks till FGB V, and I was totally psyched for this.

I remember my PR as 220ish, and my goal is still somewhere around 300. I've noticed that pretty much every successful crossfit competitor has FGB scores over 400, so 300 is a pretty reasonable.

Sadly, during the second round I developed a stabbing pain/knot in my right trap-back area. I pushed through it, but the pain was a distraction that lessened my focus on the workout. I noticed that everything felt a WHOLE lot lighter, the 95# push press really is something I can rep out, and the 70# kb high pull did not gas me like it used to. Wallballs still suck, but I feel like they don't take the wind out of me. So even though the weight felt lighter, I still had a tough time pushing through until the end. I got 244, two less than last time. Honestly I was surprised in a good way, but I seriously need to kick it up a notch to get to 300. ...I don't have my score subdivided, but I do remember that in the first round I rowed out 20 calories. That didn't feel like a lot, but I could only do 10 the next two rounds.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back squat ing with chains 3 rep

Ok so after the bench press club meeting I decided to stick around for the 9:15 class, which was back squatting again:

Find your 3 rep Back Squat max with 80# of chains

So this went pretty smoothly. I kept upping the weight, and I kept hitting it. I wasn't going as far down as I feel like I should, which means I'm hitting it just right. It really was difficult for me to keep my knees out, it felt like I was really fighting myself.

I eventually got up to 225, and when I tried 245 I couldn't do even one. ...As I write that out I realize what kind of jump that was, next time I need to just add 10 total or something.

Then Danya noticed I was using the 33# bar.

Kind of embarrassed that I didn't figure this out. I kept looking at the bar and wondering why it only had one ringlet. Never entered my mind that it could be a 33# bar. So anyways, my real weight was 213. Still not bad, and to be honest I think I pushed myself pretty good today.

Bench press club meeting

So Jerry's started this bench press club that meets every Wednesday morning. I decided to attend, and it was so weird bench pressing. I haven't benched in over two years, and this was a very strange experience.

We found our 1 rep max using bands. The heaviest I ever remember benching was 185, and I hit that today 2 times. I then tried 195, but needed a wee bit of assistance from Mark Davis who was spotting me.

It was really fun, and after like four hours my chest was sore. I really liked this.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Handstands and pull ups

I've noticed Jerry likes to couple handstands with pull ups, and this was such a day:

7 rounds
hold handstand for as long as you can
do XX pullups

I held each handstand around a minute, although my wrists were always the first to give out on me. I tried to work on my free standing handstand, trying to keep as rigid as possible. I was having difficulty keeping the core tight. I kept piking a little from not being able to keep my quads and abs tight. I think I'm getting closer to a free handstand though, a couple of times I think I had it, freaked out, and then collapsed.

The pull ups were a great chance to work on the butterfly kip, and I think it really is starting to come together. I'm still not getting chest to the bar, but there's always something to strive for.

Coming back to Xfit from what feels like 2 weeks off really feels strange. The athlete in me is soooo glad to be back it's not even funny, but the coach in me feels aweful for being gone so long. I'm starting to feel the responsibility of what it means to be a coach. I still don't think of myself as a coach really. I mean, I'm just a guy like everyone else.

But I am a coach now, and people look to me for guidance. I really, really love coaching, so if I want to do more of this, to make it a higher priority, I need to do a few things.

First, I need to get certified. Funny that I haven't been certified yet, but only recently did I start to feel ready for certification. Now I need to figure out a way to find $1k for the class, and I think after some figuring things out on, I think will be able to do this.

Second is to figure out a schedule where I will be able to coach more classes. It's hard to figure this part out since I'm working 56 hours a week now, but I will figure out a way.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First Friday: DT revisited

So it's been a year since I did a scaled version of DT, so I decided to do it again, see how much better I am.

This was not the best experience.

Throughout the whole time I felt weak, tired, and confused. After finishing the first round, I suddenly couldn't remember if I had done the Jerks or not. So I did them again. I then suddenly had issues remembering the hook grip. Was it thumb over fingers? Fingers over thumb? Early on I tore the skin off my right thumb. Stopped to tape up, but it just added to the frustration I was experiencing. I kept getting distracted, and it wasn't good.

I couldn't find that desire, that need to finish asap. I seem to only find this with Fran, and Fran scares me to death.

I video taped it, and when I saw it to be honest I was expecting a whole lot more. Then I did research and I found out that a year ago I did this at 125, and the weight I did for the anniversary was 115.

Just seemed like nothing went right with this wod. Will probably try this again next month.

Thursday Squats

So we got to worked on the front squat.

7 rounds
2 minutes do 2 reps of front squat with chains

I really like the front squat, but it felt a bit rusty on the hips. I know with 80# of chain my 1 rep max is 205, so I started off with 155#, then bumped it up to 165# after the third set.

I was thankful my re-intro was a strength day, I don't think I could've done a full out met-con very well.

However, I was able to do the "after-party" for two rounds

500m row
40 squats
30 sit ups
20 kb swings

I liked this one, but my lord the second round was tougher than the first round. Both were somewhere around 5 minutes.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Almost a week without crossfit...

It's been six days of not crossfitting. And I am really chomping at the bit here. I was in NYC for memorial day weekend, and Tues/Wed required me to attend to other matters. This is going to suck, but thank God today's wod isn't a met-con.