Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Max back squat and grownup push ups

Periodically our workouts are designed to test our limits in one particular movement.  One this day, we were focusing on back squats.  The workout is to work up to a weight at which you fail and then work backward from there to find your maximum possible weight.  And the only trick is you have to do this in a total of 7 reps.  You see a workout like this on the board and you wonder how on earth it will take up a sufficient amount of time in the hour.  The answer: I actually stayed late.

Part of the time was the difficulty of barbell math (ok, so the bar plus 25 plus 25 plus...how do I get to 125 again?) and swapping things out from my partner to me.  But part of it was truly that this took some serious time.

I took this warm up very seriously because I assumed the work out was going to be quick.  So I chose this day to switch from my girly push up crutch to grown up push ups.  I also did not take breaks during the warm up (which I will admit I often do.  Especially when burpees are involved).  I treated it like its own WOD and I enjoyed it.

5/16/12 WOD #50

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    4 rounds of Cindy: 5 pull ups (2 red bands)
                                                 10 push ups (not girly anymore!)
                                                 15 squats
  • WOD: 1*1*1*1*1*1*1
Each F stands for failure- I was unable to reach depth and drive back up at that weight.  Although if you look at my results I failed and redeemed myself twice.  Unfortunately it was all about form for me.  I used to think I was good at squats.  But since I bottomed out so much, now I am reworking my squat form and it is killing me a little bit.  Now I am not reaching depth, rocking forward to my toes, leaning forward...No good. Just no good.  So I am working now on my air squats to make sure my form is good and then apply it to the darn overhead squats and back squats etc etc.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Superman Socks Debut

I was pretty stoked for this workout primarily because I had broken down and ordered some amazing socks from thinkgeek.  Specifically: these ones. I am hoping they will make me faster and make my box jumps look pretty sweet.

Alas, they did not help me with overhead squats.

5/14/12 WOD #49:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    2x: 10 pass throughs
                          10 OHS
                          10 snatch balance
                          10 v-ups
  • WOD: 15 minute AMRAP
                15 OHS (35#)
                30 lateral jumps-over-bar (over and back)
                45 ab mat sit ups
I didn't realize this until just this very moment, but it turns out I didn't write down my result for this WOD.  I do know that it was not as good as I was hoping.  In fact, I think I was just short of two full rounds.  Maybe almost three rounds.  

My overhead squats were repeatedly not pretty.  I had to strip off a bunch of weight, I nearly threw myself backwards doing a snatch into position, I had to bail repeatedly.  My form was decidedly off.  And then the lateral jumps were surprisingly difficult!  I was pretty convinced that I was going to trip over the bar and crack my head open on a weight rack.  At least I am solid on the sit ups :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running and ropes

I got nearly all the way up a rope during this overtime workout.  Nearly to the top.  Not quite though.  It is super freaky swinging nearly 15 feet in the air and then looking down.  Next time I won't look down and I WILL make it to the top.

5/10/12 WOD #48:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    21 push ups
                    21 grasshoppers
                    21 back ext
                    21 seconds chin over bar (not so much)
                    21 jumping lunges
  • WOD: 3 rds for time
               800 m run
               200 flutter kicks
               Time: 22:49
I am working on my kipping pull ups and they are coming along nicely.  Hopefully sometime soon I will be doing pull ups without a band.  And my rope climb is almost to the point where I can actually say that I can climb a rope.  That means I need a new personal goal to work toward.  I think that goal is going to be: run faster.  Any WOD that involves running is abysmally slow and I would prefer for that to not be the case.

Otherwise how will I survive the zombie apocalypse?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to make burpees suck more

Burpees suck.  Everyone hates them.  But they are a full body workout and come up pretty darn often in CrossFit.  And we mix them up sometimes!  You can make them into burpee pull ups where you jump up onto the bar at the end of each burpee.  You can do what we did for the Open and have a target you hit at the end of each burpee.  Or you can do burpees-over-box and at the end of each burpee you do a box jump, then do another burpee, then do another box jump.  That's one rep.  One rep of suck.

5/9/12 WOD #47:

  • Warm up: Run 400 m
                    25 burpees
                    50 2ct mountain climbers
  • WOD: 5 rds for time
               10 box over burpees (20")
               20 hollow rocks
               10 alternating one-armed push ups
               Time: 35:32
For those counting at home, that comes out to 100 burpees and 100 box jumps.  Which explains how close I came to biffing it on the box jumps- Twice!  I just caught the edge with my toe as I jumped up and landed on my knees on the box.  No injuries, no bruises, but it made me go even more slowly as I continued: gathering myself mentally and physically before each jump.  And yes, I was going slowly.  Some people were finishing their 5 rounds before I started on round 3.  Depressing.

One-armed push ups are tricksy.  I was having some serious trouble with them as I kept torquing my knee wrong while trying to position myself correctly.  So I modified them to doing them from my knees and suddenly I was doing one-armed push ups, by God!  And I have to say, that is a pretty good feeling.  ...unlike burpees.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another day, another mile

For reasons that are unclear, I have been suffering from shin splints since the Open.  Which probably everyone is tired of hearing about because I think I moan about it every time we run for a WOD.  But in spite of this and also in spite of the fact that we are now forbidden from running around both buildings thanks to cranky neighbors, I still managed to cut down my mile time again.  For those counting, that means that instead of 4 laps around 2 buildings for your mile, it is 8 laps around one building which is harder to keep track of when you are trying not to throw up.

5/7/12 WOD #46:

  • Warm up: 500 m Row
                    3 min jump rope work
                    10 pass throughs
                    10 pull ups
                    10 back ext
                    10 sit ups
  • WOD #1: 1 mile run for time.  10:41 (13 seconds off!)
  • WOD #2: 20 minute AMRAP
                    5 push ups
                    10 pull ups
                    20 sit ups
                    40 DU (120 singles)
                    Total: 4 rounds + 15 reps
Actually, this workout was an awesome cluster of awesomeness because not only did I shave 13 seconds off my mile (that much closer to a sub-10 minutes baby!) BUT I went down several bands on my pull ups!  I have been sitting on green for a while (the second heaviest band) but Lori saw me on my first round and declared that I was more than ready to move down a band.  The next band is purple, followed by black, followed by red.  The purple and black bands were in use so Lori grabbed two reds for me to use together (we think that is somewhere between purple and black). And although it was WAY harder to fling myself up with those bands than it was with the green, I could still do it.  Of course, I had to stop between every other pull up to shake out my arms.  But still.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Following the example of Regionals

Everyone is watching the highlights from the Regionals which are happening right now.  One of the surprising events for the athletes was dumbbell snatches: 100# for men, 70# for women.  One arm at a time, going from the ground to overhead in a smooth motion. Pretty friggin' beastly.

So we got to do it too!  Of course, the heaviest dumb bell we have is 55# so rumor has it we will be getting some new weights soon.  Prescribed weight for women was 35# and 55# for men during our workout.  I did it lighter, but I still felt like a bad ass while I was hauling that weight up in the air!

5/3/12 WOD #45

  • Warm up: 500 m row
                    3 min jump rope work
                    2x: 10 OHS
                          10 Push ups
                          10 Back extension
                          10 second HS hold
  • WOD: 4 minute row for distance: 768
               4 minute AMRAP 5 HSPU, 5 strict pull ups (green band): 3 rds + 6 reps
               4 minute AMRAP 20 m farmer's carry (started with 20# and switched to 35#), 20 DU: 3 rds
               4 minute AMRAP DB snatch (20#): 16 snatches each arm
For some reason, the snatches made my feet cramp up.  Ah well.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Scaled bad-assery

The warm up for this WOD involved doing rope climbs.  I have not done a rope climb successfully before but I figured a warm up was a great opportunity to give it a shot.  I managed to get myself halfway up a rope!  ...I don't know how it looked from the ground, but I am sticking with halfway.

5/2/12 WOD #44

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    2x: 7 strict pull ups
                          7 jumping lunges
                          7 burpees
                          7 HSPU (scaled)
                    1/2 rope climb
  • WOD: AMRAP 12 minutes
               15 ft rope climb (scaled)
               15 push ups (girly)
               9 rounds + 1 rope climb + 7 push ups

Scaled rope climbs are lowering yourself down to the ground and back up to standing three times for every prescribed rope climb.  Normally this takes me a little bit of time, as I slowly lower myself down and come back up.  For some reason I started this workout with a sense of urgency- I wanted a lot of reps and a lot of rounds.  I move fast at push ups anyway (note to self: I should probably switch to non-girly push ups soon) and I just attacked the scaled rope climbs as fast as possible.  I felt like I was finally in beast mode!  It was sweet!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Manion was a marine killed by sniper fire in Iraq on April 29th, 2007.  He was 26. This workout was created in honor of him.

5/1/12 WOD #43: Manion

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    3 minute jump rope work (perfect!  This gave me a set time to just practice my double unders.  I didn't get any, but I feel like I am getting close.  The rope hits my toes on the second round so I either need to jump higher or spin faster.)
                    Bear crawl
                    Crab walk
  • WOD: 7 rounds for time (30 minute cap)
               400 m run
               29 back squats (55#)
               3 rounds + 400 m run + 6 squats
My squats have a problem that is not common.  I am too flexible.  I drop down into my squats fast and hard and bottom out.  Then it is hard to come back up- I pull my knees in and tip slightly forward onto my toes in order to complete the movement. None of of this is good for my knees, or likely the rest of me either.  So thanks to two very good coaches I worked on my form.  

I think I made some improvement, but it is a lot to concentrate on all at once: elbows back, shoulders strong, butt out, don't bottom out, knees forced out, keep everything tight, chest up, don't collapse on the floor...you get the picture.  

The runs rather quickly became staggers after the first round.  Squatting with weight 29 times makes your legs all wibbly wobbly so I had some trouble forcing them into normal movement for a run.  I kept myself going on the run, honestly, by remembering that scene in Forrest Gump where he is carrying his entire injured platoon out of the jungle one by one.  Sorry guys, I just watched that movie the other day and it became my mental military reference for the work out.  Don't hate me.  And don't hate Tom Hanks- he is the nicest guy in Hollywood from what I hear.  And he loves his volleyball very much.

Nooners are fun!

Yup.  Dirty jokes abound in CrossFit.  Snatches, nooners, and yesterday we had a discussion about squat form that degenerated into poop references.  I promise we are, most of us, adults.  At least physically.

This particular workout was on my Thursday off so I took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in and hit the noon class instead of the 6 am.  I enjoy hanging out with a different group of people- each class has it's own personality and it is nice to mix it up.  This time I got in early enough that I got to watch one of my friends finish the workout- always dangerous because I got to see how hellish it looked before I even started.

4/26/12 WOD #42:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    50 m: high knees
                             butt kickers
                             lateral shuffle
                             broad jump
                   10 pass throughs
                   10 OHS
  • WOD: 3 rounds for time
               400 m run
               15 OHS (35#)
               30 weighted sit ups (25#)
               Time: 21:13
  • OT: Max overhead hold 25#: 2:30
For the sit ups you grabbed an appropriate weight plate and held onto it while going through the sit up motion, bonking the weight against the ground both when your hands go back and when you sit back up.  And yes, they suck as much as you would think.  By the end I was having to do them in sets of 10 to get through them.  I was the final finisher in my class, BUT I actually beat the time of two of my friends in other classes that day, so I felt pretty good about that.  

I don't always do the overtime, but since it was my day off and peer pressure had everyone doing it, I sucked it up and held another 25# plate over my head.  My goal was to not drop first and I accomplished that goal.  I actually think I was the 4th or 5th to drop, and it was more because my arms were going numb either from lack of circulation or a grumpy nerve in my shoulder or something.