Saturday, April 28, 2012

Great burning thighs of fire

After Tabata hell my thighs were killing me.  Resting in squat position made my legs practically cramp up with death.  So imagine the joy in my soul when the workout two days later was all about lunges.  ...reading that back to myself makes me sound a little bitter.  But in truth, I love this stuff and my butt is going to look AWESOME because of it.

4/25/12 WOD #41:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    10 mountain climbers
                    10 sit ups
                    10 good mornings (35# bar)
                    10 HSPU
                    10 ring pullups
  • WOD: 100 overhead lunges (25# plate) for time.  Every time you drop the plate, complete 5 ring ball ups.
    Time: 8:16
  • OT: 2 minutes of kipping ring pull ups -> none completed, but I tried!
I set myself a goal for this workout: I wanted to complete 25 lunges at a time before I let myself drop the weight.  I succeeded!   By the end of each set, my quads and glutes were burning like the fire of a thousand suns.  And my shoulders were not in a very happy place either.  I should also point out that I did not actually get a ball up, I mostly just pulled my knees up as far as I could.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tabata hell

I fell a little bit in love with Tabatas when Jen came out to visit and I had my first Tabata.  I really liked the intervals and having an excuse to rest briefly.  This one may have ended my love affair...

Rather than rest during the 10 second breaks, instead we held an active position before going back to the workout.  This resulted in mild agony and less reps overall because I needed to shake out whatever body part was weeping with pain during the 20 seconds of work.

4/23/12 WOD #40: Tabata Hell

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    5 straight pull ups (2x)
                    5 turkish get ups (15# each arm)
                    5 HSPU (weight rack)
                    5 jumping squats
  • WOD: Tabata Hell
               Squats (rest at bottom)- 53 reps
               Push ups (rest in plank)- 60 reps
               Thrusters (rest with bar overhead)- 35# for three reps, then 15# for the rest- 34 reps
               Sit ups (rest with legs 6-12" above floor)- 64 reps
               KB swings (rest without putting the KB down)- 15#- 61 reps
               Total reps: 272
Poop.  I was hoping to break 300.

I really need to rest less.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My amazing bruise.

Started in the shin, moved down the ankle to the foot. It's possible there is a secondary nidus as well because there is a spot just below the ankle that is tender as well. Go me.

Deck of Death

Saturday workouts tend to be interesting and crowded.  And often painful.  This was no different!

The Deck of Death was a team workout.  Each team got a full deck of cards and had to complete the entire deck for time.  Each suit represented a movement with the number on the card dictating the number of reps.  Every member of the team had to complete the allotted movements on the card before the next card could be flipped (which ended up giving our team penalty burpees because some of the guys were getting a little gung-ho about flipping while the slower teammates were still trying to finish the movements.  And yes, I was the slower teammate.  This resulted in a lot of yelling: "NO I STILL HAVE THREE BURPEES LEFT, STOP FLIPPING THE DAMN CARDS."  But anyway...).

4/21/12 WOD #39:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    10 walking lunges
                    10 sit ups
                    10 push ups
  • WOD: Deck of death
               Spades: squats
               Hearts: burpees
               Diamonds: push ups
               Clubs: sit ups
               Jokers: 400 m farmer's carry (35# then 20#) or fireman carry
               Face cards: 10 reps
               Ace: 11 reps
               Time: 46:42
Even though every movement had equal reps, this felt like never ending burpees.  We may have cheated the joker cards, actually.  Our team did 200 m of firemen carry (getting carried is not actually a picnic.  My sternum felt bruised from the shoulder digging into it.  On the plus side, after approximately 10,000 burpees, it was nice to be able to breathe for 200 m) then we each did the remaining 200 m with a farmer's carry.  I started with the 35# weight but that was awful and the weight kept digging into my wrists and I had to drop the dumb bells every 50 ft or so.  I switched to 20# weights for the second joker card and, while it was still hard, it didn't feel like I was dying.  

Do you want photo evidence?  For once, I have that!  

Push ups (girly style)

I am not adjusting my pants, I am just adjusting the weight.
This was my rally face as I knew I was being photographed.  Rally face fail.  I still look awful.
This is my "praying dog position of please-no-more-burpees"
The Team!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bit by the Box

I believe I have mentioned before that box jumps are notorious for causing injuries in CrossFit.  If you don't have a solid landing, you can slip off and really tear up your shins.  Well I did a bunch of 24" box jumps with no problems, and yet on this work out I managed to hurt myself on the box.  *headdesk*

4/18 WOD # 38

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    2x: 10 walking lunges
                          10 sit ups
                          10 push ups
                          10 back extensions
  • WOD #38.1: Death by sprints
                         One minute intervals- 1st minute one 50 m sprint
                                                          2nd minute two 50 m sprints
                                                          3rd minute three 50 m sprints
                                                          ...and so on until you can't finish the allotted distance in the allotted time.
                         Result: completed round 3 and was steps away from finishing round 4 successfully.
  • WOD #38.2: 10 min AMRAP
                         10 HSPU
                         10 pistols (alternating)- I used bands as assistance
                         Total: 3 or 4 rounds (lost track) + 5 reps
So how did I hurt myself?  Well the scaled progression for HSPU is to either hook your feet up over a bar on a weight rack and get your torso as vertical as possible, or to get your knees up on a box and do the same.  I had done the bar before, but there were enough people at the bar level and few enough weight racks that I figured I would just do the box.  It happened as I was pulling myself down off of the box to head over for pistols (one-legged squats). I am not the most graceful person in the world, and having your knees up on a box and your hands down on the ground is not the most graceful position to be in, so I managed to smack my shin into the corner of the box.  I gave myself a mild scrape and then a surprisingly large goose egg.  Now, about a week later, I just have a colorful and large bruise spanning my lower shin and ankle with some nice gravity-dependent spread down to my foot.  

Smooth.  That's me.  At least I didn't need to go to the ER, like the last two box jump injuries!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In which I got what I asked for

Every day CrossFit HQ posts work outs.  Often they look insane, but one caught my eye and looked like fun.  So I tagged Lori in a comment requesting the work out and sure enough we did it!

4/16/12 WOD #37:

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    25 burpees (I only did 15)
                    10 jumping squats
                    10 sit ups
                    10 grasshoppers
                    10 pull ups
                    10 jumping squats
  • WOD: For time: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
                              Chest-to-bar pull up (green band)
                              Box jumps (24")
                              GHD sit ups
                              Time: 23:35
I liked the looks of this one because it took normal movements and kicked them up a notch: instead of normal pull ups, you do chest to bar; instead of box jumps at the normal women's standard of 20", do them at the men's standards of 24" instead; instead of ab-mat sit ups, do them on the torture machine known as the GHD.  The decreasing rep count is nice because by the end you are exhausted but you only have to do 3 more of each, then 2 more, and then just one rep of each movement and you're done!

This work out sucked while I did it.  At one point on the GHD I looked up at Lori and said, "What crazy person requested this WOD?"  But as always, it was awesome, it was fun, and it felt great to get through it! This was also a milestone for me because I was nailing my taller box jumps without a problem.

Here is the official demo of this WOD:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Helen again

This was an exciting benchmark WOD, because way back in February I did Helen for the first time.  So almost exactly 2 months later, I got to see how much I improved!

4/11/12 WOD #36:

  • Warmup: 400 m run
                   50 double unders (or not)
                   5 pull ups
                  10 push ups
                  15 squats
  • WOD: Helen!
               3 rounds for time: Run 400 m
                                          21 KB swings (started with 20#, 15# on the last two rounds)
                                          12 pull ups (green band)
                                          Time: 15:34
I knocked more than a minute off my original time and did it with a green band this time rather than a blue!  I also did a heavier weight for the first round although I backed it back down.  Also exciting about this work out: I wasn't the last finisher.  It is never a thing to be ashamed of when you are the last finisher, but it is sort of nice to actually finish before someone once in a while.

I know I am woefully behind on my posts, but I will try to catch up again!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wanted: wrist straps

We do a lot of met-con style work outs at our box (and yes, I had to google met-con to make sure it meant what I thought it meant.  Metabolic conditioning with lots of cardio and body weight exercises).  So it is always a special treat when we have a weight lifting work outs!  I guess this means I should pony up my extra $20/month so I can start going to the barbell club and get in some more lifting-heavy-shit time.

4/10/12 WOD #35:

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    2x: 7 squat jumps
                         7 back extension
                         7 GHD sit ups (I'll explain GHD in a later post)
  • WOD: 100 Overhead Squats for time.  Each time you drop the bar, you must do 7 over-the-bar burpees (aka your burpee ends by jumping over the bar you just dropped).
    35# to start, dropped to 15#.
    Time: 12:47

To put this WOD in perspective, this was just a portion of one of the official WODs from a previous year's Regionals competition.  That particular brand of torture involved 100 pull ups and 100 kettle bell swings and 100 double unders as well.

We do OHS a lot in warm ups, but that is usually with just a PVC pipe so the feel is very different. You get the bar up by doing a snatch so we did the Bergener's warm up to get the movements ready for that.  Then you hold that bar up over your head with your arms held wide and your head through your biceps (aka the bar is behind your head).  Then you stick your booty out and start squatting, keeping that bar in a "sweet spot" that allows perfect balance as the rest of your body is moving.

My goal was to minimize my burpees because I truly hate them.  I wanted to get through 25 squats at a time.  Well I managed the first 25, barely, but my wrists were starting to kill me from holding that heavy (for me) bar in place.  So on my next attempt at 25 I could only get through 12 before my wrists, shoulders, and elbows all rebelled on me and failed.  Then I did 12 more and had to drop again.  I was extremely frustrated.  I felt like I could do the movement, but the weight and something about my form was putting the pressure on my joints and I couldn't handle it.  I was nearly in tears as I pulled my weights off the bar so I could finish.  In penance I guess for having to drop the weight, I was determined to get through the rest of the squats in one go.  I barely did it, but I by God I did make it through without having to do more burpees.

The lessons I think I need to pull from this WOD are all about form.  I think part of my problem was I didn't get my weight in that sweet spot and that made the movement difficult and put extra pressure on my joints.  I also decided I need to get some wrist straps to help keep my wrist from hyperextending on long, weighty work outs like this- that way I can concentrate more on the rest of my form and less on how much my wrists hurt.  Finally, I don't usually get frustrated during WODs.  Exhausted, yes.  Disbelief that I might make it through, always.  But usually not near-tears-anger at myself.  So on the rare occasion that that might occur, I think I need to step back, look at what I am doing wrong, take a deep breath, and modify so that I can complete the work out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hug a twinkie!

This WOD had quite the turn out- possibly because people were hoping there may be actual twinkies involved.  Or, like me, they couldn't resist giggling when they thought of "hug the twinkie" so everyone just had to come and see what it was all about.

This was a WOD posted by CrossFit HQ and slightly modified for our box in deference to the amount of torn hands from the previous day's max pull ups.

4/6/12 WOD #34:

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    2x: 10 pass throughs
                          10 burpee box jumps (because actual burpees just aren't evil enough sometimes)
                          10 good mornings
                          10 sit ups
                          10 push ups
  • WOD: for time
               800 m run
               10 rounds of: 10 tuck jumps
                                    10 hug-a-twinkie
               800 m run
               Time: 22:20
Hug a twinkie has its origins in gymnastics where a pommel horse is used (hence the twinkie reference).  To do this move you lay on a "twinkie" (aka a box or a GHD machine, or something where the crease of your waist is at the edge of the object).  Then you brace yourself and, in a controlled manner, bring your legs straight up to the point where your hips are open, then back down again.  My "twinkie" was a weight bench with a bunch of weight plates stacked up on it.  Pretty early on in this work out it became apparent that the limiting factor was not going to be my athleticism (although God knows it was a factor), but my ability to breathe while lying flat on a hard surface after a bunch of tuck jumps, and the bones of my pelvis digging into the edge of the plates.  I ended up with some impressive bruises in places that I cannot show off in public.

Here is a video of the unmodified WOD (knees-to-elbows instead of tuck jumps) that will probably explain the twinkie thing better than me:


Friday, April 6, 2012


For the first time since I had to take a week and a half off for being sick in February, I decided to skip Monday's class.  My theory was that I was still nursing some shin splints that started during those damn wall balls so an extra rest day would probably do me some good, and that I would still be able to get my three weekly WODs in on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Lo and behold I ended up working the 7:30 shift at work and therefore couldn't do the 6 am class on Tuesday. Crap.  So my first work out of the week ended up being on Wednesday.  And I got to meet another one of the mean girls of crossfit: Nicole.

4/4/12 WOD #33: Nicole

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    2x: 7 turkish get ups (TGUs)
                          7 K2E
                          7 HSPU
                          7 Pull ups
  • Challenge: max one rep weight for TGU: 15# (failed twice on the 25# kettle bell)
  • WOD: 20 min AMRAP
               Run 400 m
               Max pull ups (each time you drop from the bar, you go do another 400 m)
               Reps: 38 pull ups and 5 runs
This was a great opportunity to work on my kip.  I am still on the green band which challenges my strength but not so much that I can't work on my form at the same time. I do think my kip is coming along fairly nicely.  When I actually get a good one I can string a few together with ease, although much of this work out was spent hanging from the bar, trying to breath, and gearing myself up for one more kip.  I did beat my initial "max pull up" challenge from before the Open (which was on blue band)- back then I did 11 before dropping, and during this work out I did 12 with the green.

I suppose I should explain the Turkish get-ups.  Conveniently enough, I was explaining them to Andrew the night before this work out so I nearly laughed out loud when I saw them on the board.  So a TGU starts with you on your back, holding a kettle bell up above your head.  The key is to never break eye contact with the kettle bell, or you will lose your form and possibly smash your nose.  The knee on the same side as the KB is bent and your opposite arm is thrown out.  You sit up, always with the KB straight up in the air, and plant your opposite hand so that you can get your hips underneath you, bringing the non-KB leg back so you end up in a lunge position.  Then you stand up.  Ta daa!!  But to complete the rep, you need to do the whole kit-and-caboodle in reverse so you end back on your back, dangling that KB over your breakable face.

Here is a video that will likely explain it better....although he is using a dumbell instead of the kettle bell, the motion is exactly the same.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Proof of concept

I was tempted to skip Thursday.  I was supposed to be cleaning our rental house and because I am lazy I didn't get an early start as planned so I only had a few minutes to gather some bags o' garbage at the house before I needed to leave for the WOD.  But I knew I would regret it if I skipped and would only feel better if I went to CrossFit.

And I was right.  This was a 2-part WOD with a small group of awesome athletes.  We played it Bro's vs Ho's.

3/29/12 WOD #32:

  • Warm up: 500 m row
                    40 squats
                    30 sit ups
                    20 push ups
                    10 pull ups
  • WOD #1: 2k row for time
                    Time: 10:40
  • WOD #2: 1 mile run for time
                    Time: 10:53
This was a PR for me.  Perhaps my best mile time since 8th grade when I was running track (I use the word "running" fairly loosely): my first sub-10 minute mile.  

I would like to hold this mile time up as proof of concept that CrossFit works.  The last mile I ran was the very first day of CrossFit back in January.  My time that day was something over 12 minutes.  Even though I had not run a consecutive mile since then, I had participated in over 30 work outs of high intensity and become a stronger, better person.  And my mile time improved by around 2 minutes!  The proof is in the pudding, people.  Or at least, in the PR.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Doc's birthday WOD

If you have such a mind and it is your birthday, you can make up your own WOD and submit it to Lori for approval.  I think we can all agree that we are glad Doc was only turning 22.  This was a long WOD that got cut off at 40 minutes for those of us who needed to run home and shower before heading off to work.

3/28/12 WOD #31:

  • Warm up: 50 DU (150 single)
                    10 burpees (actually, we were supposed to do 25, but my pants kept trying to fall down and I just was feeling grumpy so I said "fuck it" and stopped).
                    10 squats
                    10 push ups
                    10 pull ups
                    10 back extensions
  • WOD: 3 rds for time (or 40 minutes, whichever came first)
               Row 22 calories (it takes a depressingly long time to row 22 calories)
               22 wall balls
               22 box jumps
               22 back extension
               22 sit ups
               22 push ups
               22 knees-to-elbows (modified to just tucking my knees up)
               400 m run
               Completed 2 rounds and 18 calories of rowing into round 3
This was a day of wardrobe malfunctions for me.  First my pants wouldn't stay on for the burpees, then my amazing sports bra that I bought from REI YEARS ago and I just LOVE because it is the best sports bra in the world...started to fail on me. The straps are adjusted with a little velcro-style closures.  But on this day every time I jumped or ran or did anything that might be higher-impact, the left strap started coming undone. So every 3 box jumps or so I had to reattach my bra.  And on the run I had to just hold onto my strap.  So this entire work out was overlaid with irritation at everything I was wearing.  

On the plus side, my wall balls were MUCH BETTER after the agony of 12.4.  Nearly every single rep hit the 9 ft mark.  It took me a while, but that's okay because it was something of a redemption.