Sunday, September 26, 2010

Muscle Up, Again!!!

So it's been over sixteen months since the happiest day of my crossfit life, and although it's been a tough drought I've finally gotten another muscle up! They had us do some skill work before a workout, and I tried to get one three or four times. I was so close, I was getting my head through but I just wasn't getting the height that I needed to be able to push myself up.

As everybody headed over to the white board to go over the workout, I handed Meg the video Camera and told her, "here, I'm going to get one." I was not going to let this continue, I was getting a muscle up no matter what.

Grabbed the rings, cheating a little by keeping my arms bent, pulled as hard as I could and kipped at the same time. I found myself in a deep ring dip, and pressed out of it.

I got another muscle up.


I got it on tape and it's on facebook, but I can't figure out a way to share it on my blog. Unlike last time, where my tendonitis prevented me from continuing on working on the muscle up, I am determined to keep this.

My "first" muscle up was done about a week ago, and since then I've done a muscle up every day during the warm up. For the days following a rest day, I do two of them. Now I can do (at least one) on command. They're not official, I don't know if I can do one starting from my arms starting fully extended. But it's a much, much better starting point then where I was ten days ago.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


So I did FGB. I had no plan, I didn't count at all, I let Kristin do the counting for me. I pushed as hard as I could. I ended up getting a PR, but not by much. For some reason I keep thinking my PR is 228ish, but in fact it's 246. Well, it was 246, now it's 253. Here's how it broke down

Box Jumps 38, 14, 12
Push Press 16, 20, 13
Row 11, 10, 16,
Wallball 16, 16, 13
High Pull 25, 16, 17
Totals 106, 76, 71

Obviously, Box jumps need a little more consistency, cause I rocked out on the first round. I feel like I really did better on the push press, but my form is crap (i.e., my core is too weak to keep my spine natural). The wallballs sucked, but not too bad.

My shoulder definitely felt a little off, but that's just something I have to deal with. Thankfully it was something I could ignore.

I wish I had more instances to do this wod, because I want to get used to figuring out how to push myself. Last year I stopped out more because of physical strength, and today I felt like it was more mental strength. I just am not used to pushing myself in a met-con sense. I mean, I'm getting better everyday, but it's so foreign that I'm just not happy with the improvement, I want more.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Level 1 cert experience, Day 1

Day 1
I showed up and was calm, but there were so many nervous people around that I started to get a little wound up. They had some real interesting lectures and demonstrations of exercises. Tonya Wagner was the demo girl (PS she's three months pregnant), and it was interesting to see that even she had some kinks in her movements. The opening lecture was given by Todd, and I thought he was awesome. While I didn't really learn anything mind-blowingly new, hearing about what makes crossfit awesome from different, new people was very interesting, made a lot of little things click. One thing I really liked was the talk about functional movements and what makes them awesome. You can have a guy be great at bicep curls and lat pull downs, but he might not be able to do 20 pull ups. You have a guy that can do 20 pull ups, and you know he'll be able to handle bicep curls and lat pull downs.

When we had Todd instructing the small group I was in, he made a really good point with regards to coaching. Simply telling someone to push their knees out might not be enough. We had just seen 20 min of demoing how the air squat should look like, and yet here's Matt* struggling to keep his knees out. He knows what he's suppose to do, and he trying his damnedest to do it. Yet, he isn't doing it, so what can you do as a coach to help? We came up with the idea to place your hands on the outside of the knees and telling him to push against them. This tactile cue gives great feedback as well as forces him to establish that neural connection to the adductors.

in the small group with Todd I was selected to be the demo for the overhead squat. So I grabbed the PVC Pipe, sucked in a breath, thought active shoulder, and lifted that pipe over my head. Before anything else happened, Todd asked the group if anything was wrong. First, my active shoulder could be more active, but second, and more importantly, I had an unnatural curve in my spine. Todd could tell I had an unnatural curve in my spine because my rib cage was poking out. This has happened with me for such a long time, and I've known about it for a while, but the way I was thinking about it made it hard to fix. Todd told me to use my abs to lock down my ribcage, and this made everything click. I did as I was told, kept my shoulder active, and then I squatted twice. After that, Todd looked around and asked if anyone saw something that I did incorrectly. There was a pause, and some one suggested that I didn't hit depth on the first one, but then there was another, long pause. Todd said that sometimes if you fix problems up front you don't have any afterward. In other words, my overhead squat was pretty much perfect.

We then worked on the strict press and it's variants, the push press and then the push jerk. These weren't as memorable, partially because it was in the middle of the day and partially because I didn't click with the other instructors like I did with Todd.

We ended the day with Fran, and I was not looking forward to it. I was already a bit worn out from the day of PVC work, and my grip just didn't feel very strong. I was tempted to scale back the weight, but I decided that I had to do it Rx'd, like I did the first time. It sucked, my mind just wasn't ready for it. I thought a couple times about just stopping, that's how bad I felt in the beginning/middle. When I got to the set of nines I had the resolve to finish, but I was only able to bang out 2 pull ups at a time. My time ended up being 8:50. If you've been following my blog, this is the first time my Fran time has ever gone up. My whole crossfit-way has been "every time I do Fran I will do it faster", so as I sat there, arms burning like nothing else, I was a bit... disheartened.

In the next heat I got to see Ben Smith, who got eighth in the 2010 games, do Fran. He almost never stopped, getting a time of 2:34. There were a couple other guys who got sub 3 times, and on one hand it was inspiring but on the other hand realizing how weak I am, after over two years, was a little discouraging. I've come so far, but I have so far to go from where I want to be.

* I don't think Matt was his real name, can't remember his name at all, actually.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

3 rep OHS max, PR

I know I have been ignoring my blog for some time now, but I have limited time today (the end of the fiscal year is upon us patent examiners). So instead of writing up the long essays I have in my head I feel like I only have time for a short entry. I no longer see this blog as a means of keeping a record of my workouts, I now use the official CFOT blog to record my performances. I also have always wanted this blog to be more then that: I want my posts to offer content that would be useful to others, such as my "adventures" with my hip. I hope to post soon about my exercise outside of crossfit, my level one cert I just attended, and my preparation for the mid Atlantic hopper challenge, to name a few off the top of my head. But for now a small victory dance for today's performance.

Today was find your 3 rep overhead squat max, and I love me some OHS's. When we did this in May I got up to 170, with my shoulders not being an issue. I came in today with 185 being my goal, and I was able to hit that without too much trouble. I then tried 190, but failed to get it overhead twice. I then tried a third attempt with help. Once it got up there it was much lighter. I sucked in a breath and did a rep. Wasn't sure I hit depth, but no one commented on it. I sucked in another breath, and made sure to hit depth. The third was no different. I could tell that I was trying to rock the weight forward, so that I could use my quads to push up. I fought to keep my hips back and my glutes/hams engaged, and found limited success. Regardless, I just broke, my PR by 20#s.

My next goal is to get a bodyweight (200#) OHS, I know I have it in me.

I also wonder about the snatch, if I can figure out how to get more than 140#. Hopefully we'll find out soon.

I post this because I have forgotten what it feels like to really smash a PR. Sure I've been getting small PR's and it's natural for the gains to decrease in amount as I get stronger, but this feels great. The sense of accomplishment and meeting/beating a goal are so addicting. Now all I need are muscles ups and hand stand pushups, and I will have met all of my goals for the past two years in terms of mastery of movement.