Tuesday, November 30, 2010

10-11-30: "Diane"

CrossFit WoD for Friday, November 26th, 2010
21-15-9 reps of:
Michael Giardina 2:15, Dadi Reynir Kristleifsson 2:34, Chris Gosler3:18, Heather Bergeron 4:54 (185lbs), Kristan Clever 5:13 (225lbs), Michelle Kinney 7:15 (185lbs), Rebecca Voigt 9:03 (225lbs), Kevin Montoya 9:12 (freestanding).

Michael Giardina on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Dadi Reynir Kristleifsson on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Heather Bergeron on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Michelle Kinney on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Kevin Montoya on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]

Deadlift - Left, weak set up. Right, strong set up. (Better back arch, bar directly under scapulas, etc.) (crossfit.com)
Elevated foot pike push-up. Easier than handstand push-ups? Yeah. Easy? NO! (http://www.westlakecrossfit.com)

  Total Time: 10:10

Started out with jump rope again.  Focused on stringing together a ton of fast single bounces. Easily made 50-60 at a time, at a very fast turn rate.  I think I need to shorten the rope again, since it looks like I have several feet of clearance over my head, which is not ideal. According to some of the CrossFit Journal literature, (especially articles by Buddy Lee), that clearance should be in mere inches! So, maybe that'll end up helping my double-unders? Updates as they occur.

My active stretching was cut short when I realized I had started working out too late, and would soon have one of the freshman phys ed classes joining me. Fortunately (and for the first time ever), I had finally remembered to wear long pants for a deadlift workout. So, I grabbed my bar, made sure I had room for the pike push-ups, and tore into it.

I've been working on my starting position on deadlifts, and managed to keep a flatter back than I have in the past. I do tend to float a little more towards vertical as the workout progresses, just as Coach Rip warns, but I think I managed to keep a handle on it today. I was doubly impressed that for the first round, I actually managed to keep it unbroken! Sure, I thought my lungs were on fire, but still...

Oddly, I ended up trying to keep up my end of a conversation with the phys ed teacher during the third round of push-ups. Thankfully I was able to power through all 9 in between my responses, though I thought I was going to introduce him to Pukie the hard way... During my post-workout recovery, I also spent some time undoing some of his more atrocious teaching mistakes. Apparently, he was informed by Marines that when they do pull-ups, they only drop down until their elbows are at a 90 degree angle. I can't even begin to wrap my head around that... full pull-up flexion can't be too far past 60-70 degrees, which means their range of motion is only 20-30 degrees?!  You might as well not even do the dang things at that point, at least not as a functional exercise.

Other tidbits of mid-80s bodybuilding that he was passing off as strength & conditioning included having the kids try to do every rep of every exercise as "two seconds up, four seconds down."  They should also not workout again for at least 48 hours. The only two mandatory stations the kids had to hit were the squat sled and bench presses on the Smith machine.  I did what I could to correct his misconceptions on all these points, and at this point am daydreaming about taking over the weight-room classes for next year's phys ed classes. It would be easier to teach the kids correctly from scratch, rather than try to undo all of this ancient misinformation. This teacher can hardly be blamed: His sport is marathons, and though I've done everything in my power to interest him in CrossFit Endurance, as has a fellow coach of the track team, he clearly has zero personal experience in the weight room. (Which makes as much sense as me teaching thermodynamics to anyone...except me doing that wouldn't actually increase someone's chances of hurting themselves.) Sigh.

Monday, November 29, 2010

10-11-29: "Jackie"

CrossFit WoD for Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Mikko Salo 5:24, Austin Malleolo 5:34, Tommy Hackenbruck 5:42, Pat Sherwood 5:55, Kevin Montoya 6:13, Kristan Clever 7:13 (45lbs), Heather Bergeron 8:00 (45lbs), Rebecca Voigt 8:03 (45lbs), Katie Hogan 8:17.

WOD Demo with Tommy Hackenbruck at the Man Expo - video [wmv] [mov]
Mikko Salo on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Austin Malleolo on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Kevin Montoya on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Heather Bergeron on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]

Yup, probably better form than mine. Certainly better form than any of the students i share the gym with, despite my best attempts to edumacate them... (crossfit.com)
Annie. Thrusters. If anyone tells you they like thrusters, they're clearly going to try to sell you something. The video of Tommy Hackenbruk above has awesome tips for this most essential of movements. (crossfit.com)
Jumping pull-ups. A good sub when your own pull-ups aren't nearly fast enough... It'll make your full pull-ups better, AND run the risk of a scorching case of rhabdomyolysis if you're not careful! (crossfit.com)

Warmed up with a good bit of jump-rope... lots of solid single bounces, jogging, side to side, and front to back steps.  Still about zero luck chaining double-unders.  Not sure where this skill went, but it's freaking frustrating to not be able to do it again.  Worked on one-legged double-unders, but stopped the 3rd time failure was marked by getting whipped across the ass with the jump-rope after it tangled in one foot or the other. Owwie.

Active stretching, including the Sampson stretch. I've started working in more ideas from the Mobility WoD, one of which is trying to open up the hip capsule in the front of the leg, a bit that suffers while sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. I do that! I should probably work on that!  Enter the Sampson stretch! With the rear leg pinned on the ground, reaching up towards the ceiling opens up that hip capsule and encourages bits and pieces of your hips to move back towards their optimal positions, not those dictated by a lifetime of desk jockeying.

Hit the rower hard, and recorded one of my fastest 500m splits.  Unfortunately, I really ran out of gas around the 700m mark, and had to struggle to make it to the end with any sort of strength.  Total row time: 3:45.7.

45 pound thrusters.  So light, it should be easy, right?  Rotten massive distance the weight has to travel! I made it through 20 reps unbroken, then had to do a few mini-sets of 5 reps, then ended with mini-sets of 7, then 8 reps. Glad I was able to push those last few a bit. I tried to keep the rest periods as short as possible, just a few quick deep breaths to break some of the oxygen debt... man was I gassing!

At this point I was ecstatic that I had decided to sub in the jumping pull-ups.  Basically, my pull-ups are slow and painful, so using them in a brutal met-con workout like this misses the point completely.  I could have done 10 reps for an appropriate scale, or go for the volume with a slightly different approach.  I figured my legs were already getting hammered, why not hit them up, one more time?  Managed to do all of the pull-ups in two sets of 15. 

Total Time: 11:35

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

10-11-23: Handstand PushUps, Deadlifts, Pull-Ups, Double-Unders

CrossFit WoD for Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Seven five rounds for time of:
Austin Malleolo 7:51, Kevin Montoya 8:58, Rich Fronning Jr. 9:14, Travis Holley 9:42, Rob Orlando 10:19, Laurie Galassi 10:36 (125lbs), Kristan Clever 10:40 (135lbs), Chris Gosler 12:15, Danielle Edmundson 13:08 (125lbs), Rebecca Voigt 13:29 (135lbs), Elyse Umeda 14:08 (125lbs), Heather Bergeron 14:09 (135lbs).

WOD Demo with the women of CrossFit Santa Cruz - video [wmv] [mov]
Kristan Clever and Rebecca Voigt by Again Faster Equipment  on today's WOD- video [wmv] [mov]
Miranda Oldroyd on today's WOD- video [wmv] [mov]
Kevin Montoya on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Austin Malleolo on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Rob Orlando on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Heather Bergeron on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]

Yes, that does suck as badly as it looks. I can't even kick up correctly, so I end up doing mine facing the wall after scrabbling up backwards like some sort of sweaty, pale crab. Exercise makes you dead sexy. (crossfit.com)
Eva T. in perfect starting position for a deadlift. Note the *utter* lack of back rounding and the completely extended arms. Rounded back and bent arms are both signs of very bad deadlift technique. I fight both every single rep. (crossfit.com)
My kingdom for a pull-up bar with the clearance to allow either a kipping pull-up or a chest-to-bar pull-up. (crossfit.com)
Buddy Lee Coaching the double-under. This form is fantastic, as she doesn't appear to be jumping much higher than she would for a single bounce. I'm still working on this, along with most of the rest of the CrossFit Universe. (crossfit.com)
Decided to try to tackle this little beastie, but hit CrossFit Brand X for a suitable scaling.Went with "the pack" scaling, as above. After warming up and active stretching, I spent a good amount of time (10-15 minutes) trying to figure out how to kick up onto the wall into a good handstand push-up (HSPU) position.  In all that time, I think I managed to actually try to kick up fewer than 10 times, and most of the rest of the time was spent in me hissing 'F'ing Pansy!' at myself. Utter failure. So, I stretched a bit more, and resigned myself to doing my usual embarrassing scramble up the wall so that I face it (I'll need to get it recorded, since it is my goal to NEVER have to do it again sooner rather than later...).

Hit the HSPUs as hard as possible, still nowhere near a full range of motion, but definitely MORE range of motion than I've ever done before, which is a very good thing.  Could I have saved some time just going with a HSPU progression (check the video above in the workout description, they show several variations, included foot-elevated pike push-ups) as a scaling?  Probably. But I know HSPUs ought to be in my reach, so I'd rather loose the time and deal with a more limited range of motion for now, knowing that it should pay off overall. I hope.

Deadlifts were ok. 135# is light for me, even for a set of 10. However, having just done twenty of them at 245# yesterday definitely left me with a few sore spots that revealed themselves a few reps in. I'm still working on my set-up position.  Again, check the video above (or here, you lazy shit), and note that I think, in hindsight, that my back may have been too vertical. I think I definitely need outside coaching on this, as it seems like I have to go vertical to get my back into correct extension. While that may be true for my physiology, I'd like to have someone else ascertain that, or bark out a 'bend the knees more' or 'raise your butt, dummy!' where needed.

Pull-ups.  I just didn't have these today. I did one set on our pull-up monstrosity, and realized that if I kept up with that, I would end up failing in the second round.  I ended up doing the rest of them as jumping pull-ups on the frame of the Smith machine. Admittedly, at first I focused on drawing out the negatives (the downward motion out of the pull-up), but for the final few rounds, I was just trying to get my chin over the bar as fast as possible.

Double-unders. I am your medieval biotch. There, I said it, ok?  Can I *please* string just two together now, please and thank you?  Terrible day with double-unders. I had more luck nailing one from a literally dead stop (I had enough to practice today...), but couldn't manage to get even two to string.  Well, that's not entirely true. At one of the later rounds, I did get 5-6, but I was already so gassed that I could barely keep count.  Coulda been just four reps for all I know.

Total time: @28:30

There was a lot of sucking wind time between rounds, and I lost just a ton of time sucking at double-unders. i seriously feel that, had i been more concerned with a good time and gone with tuck jumps, I could have shaved at least 5, if not 10 minutes off my total time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

10-11-22: 400m runs and deadlifts

CrossFit WoD for Sunday, November 14, 2010
Complete as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:
  • 400 meter run
  • 5 Deadlifts
Rob Orlando 405lbs, 5 rounds + 3 deads.
Tim Burke 405lbs, 5 rounds + 300m.
Pat Sherwood 405lbs, 5 rounds + 100m.
Kevin Montoya 345-415lbs, 5 rounds.
Rebecca Voigt 285lbs, nearly 5 rounds.
E.C. Synkowski 195lbs, 4 rounds + 300m.
Dave Lipson 500lbs, 4 rounds.

WOD Demo with E.C. Synkowski - video [wmv] [mov]
WOD Demo with Dave Lipson and Rebecca Voigt by Again Faster Equipment - video [wmv] [mov]
Rob Orlando and Tim Burke on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
Kevin Montoya on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]

Pat Sherwood, pickin' them up and puttin' them down. Left foot, then right foot. Repeat for a while. (crossfit.com)
Rob Orlando lifts more weight than I can even count. Deadlift = most functional lift in the world. (roguefitness.com)
 I felt pretty good going into this one.  Due to an over-abundance of kids in the weight room, I short-changed my warm-up so I could grab not just the one straight bar in the room, but also the 45#, 35# and two of the 25# plates for the bar.  I opted for 245# total, which is about 30# below my 5-rep max, but I haven't done deadlifts alternating with running yet, so I figured I'd play it a little safe.  Good thing, too, since my form on the last few reps included some seriously rounded back action, so heavier weight would only have exacerbated that.

Set the treadmill to 8mph, up a bit from my last interval running.  I was happy that I managed to complete every 400 at that speed, even with some seriously heavy breathing and panting.  (Note to self, finally start doing the recommended intervals from CrossFit Endurance and stop being such a cardio pansy already!)  Probably could have pushed it a bit faster, but not a ton, and any extra speed probably would have resulted in more standing over the bar trying not to vurp up coffee from several hours earlier, so that may not have mattered. I'd like to get the treadmill up around the 9.6 - 10mph mark, as that seems to be a fairly moderate run pace, which would have left me more time for either more rounds, or just more time to lock in my deadlift technique.  Either way...

Total Rounds: 4

After cooling down a bit, I proceeded to jump rope to warm back up, and couldn't string even a pair of double-unders together, and then finally did my active stretching routine.  I focused a lot on my shoulders, as my right trap was already getting tight and sore from the WoD, and I need to increase my shoulder flexibility in general, in terms of the Olympic lifts and overhead squatting, etc.  After warming up, I decided to play with GHD wall-balls, as shown in a recent CrossFit Journal video. I can't find a preview for that one, unfortunately.  Basically, you get in the GHD as though to just do sit-ups (just... right...), but when you reach back, you grab a medicine ball, and as you come up in your sit-up, throw the ball at the wall in front of you, catch it, then reach back down behind you with the ball to tap the floor. These SUCK. But they are also oddly fun.  I ripped out 20 of them in short order (ok fine, 15, then 5 more to round up) and have decided these need to go into heavy rotation.

I went to work on planche push-ups, where you do a few regular push-ups, then turn your hands out, do a few more, turn them so that your pinky is facing backwards (ie, towards your feet), do a few more push-ups that way, then start working your hands closer to your waist, doing a few push-ups in whatever resultant hand position you end up in.  These are WEIRD for those of us with no gymnastics experience.  The very awesome thing is feeling your toes floating a bit on the ground as your hands near what is effectively a balance point beneath your center of balance...if only you're strong enough to hold it. I'm not. YET.

I finished with some work trying to attain a good rack position with the barbell, with the bar resting on my delts. I'm not there yet...i can't maintain any sort of grip on the bar yet, which speaks of inflexibility throughout my arms and wrists, so I worked on stretching all of that out. Not fun, and very NOT glamorous, which is a pretty good sign that its probably VERY important! ;)

All in all, a pretty good workout, with some good tunes courtesy Metallica, DragonForce, and Amon Amarth. \m/ xux \m/

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10-11-17: "Nancy"

CrossFit WoD for Friday November 12th, 2010

5 rounds for time of:
(Scaling courtesy the fine folks at CrossFit BrandX.)
    Austin Malleolo 10:16, Dave Leys 11:05, Karianne Dickson 11:50 (65lbs), Kevin Montoya 13:20.

    Dave Leys on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
    Dave Lipson on today's WOD by Again Faster Equipment - video [wmv] [mov]
    Austin Malleolo on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
    WOD Demo with Dave Leys and Brendan Gilliam - video [wmv] [mov]

    The overhead squat. Greg A (Original CrossFit Firebreather) demonstrates just how far down in the hole you have to go for full depth. (crossfit.com)

    The POSE method of running is fast and efficient. Someday I hope to learn how to do it. For now, I'm focusing on having a high foot tempo, striking with the mid-front of my foot, and minimizing head-bob. Hopefully all of that more or less equals POSE. (http://www.amatterofwill.com/)

    I felt a crap-ton better going into this workout than I did on Monday.  While the toddler-inspired sleeping situation had NOT improved at all, I did a much better job of fueling going into it.  I also pulled the scaling from a real site (CrossFit Brand X), which, until I get my Level 1 cert in December and become a bad-ass myself, at least means that whatever scaling I'm doing makes some amount of sense and isn't just me avoiding my weaknesses completely! 

    Warmed up with some active stretching, then jumped right in.  It was thankfully a somewhat slow day in the weight room, with only a few kids working on their biceps (don't get me started...).  I opted to set the treadmill to a fairly slow pace, knowing my tendency to completely die at about the 200m mark when I go too fast.  So, 6.8 mph it was, and it wasn't bad.  I actually managed to run all 5 rounds unbroken, which is pretty good. Next time a workout has 400s worked in, I'm definitely going up to 7mph, and working it up from there.  If I ever get off my ass and try to work in some CrossFit Endurance interval work, I'm definitely starting at 7.

    The one huge downside to using the treadmill was the time spent getting back up to speed each round... which was probably good for my recovery, but meant I was spending between 20-30 seconds waiting for the belt to speed back up. Not that it impacted my overall time THAT much... but still.

    First three sets of overhead squats were all unbroken, and the last two I merely racked the bar on my back to give my shoulders a break.  My legs were still fairly shot from Monday's dumbbell swings and wallballs, so after a few rounds, my quads were completely smoked.  I know I was going deep into the bottom on the squats, but compared to the videos below, its possible I had some more room to drop. Hopefully working with a coach at the certification will reveal the opportunity for even more work! :S

    I ended the workout with some gymnastics-style push-ups, working my hands back towards my waist, fingers pointing back towards my feet. Man, those sucked!  I also tried a frog stance that resulted in something in my right hip cramping...so I ended it there. :D  More of that to come!

    ViiVi - viivi

    Video showing some of the progressions to a full planche. Do I think I'll get there? Probably...but its gonna take a crap-ton of work!

    Total Time: 23 minutes
    Run at 6.8 mph on the treadmill

    Soundtrack: Slash's solo album. Great workout music!

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    11-15-10: Dumbbell swings, wall balls, and pull-ups

    CrossFit WoD for Monday November 8th, 2010
    Three rounds for time of:
    • 30 (25-20) Kettlebell swings, 1.5 pood
    • 25 (20-15) Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
    • 20 (15-10) Pull-ups
    (After nearly failing during the 1st round, I opted to drop 5 reps per movement per round.  As Rx'ed, the workout was just the first number of reps per each movement. The parenthesized numbers show my reps in round 2 and 3.)

    Rich Froning Jr. 7:40, Pat Sherwood 9:49, Lisa Ray 10:16 (1 pood KB, 14lb ball),  E.C. Synkowski 10:32 (1 pood KB, 14lb ball), Miranda Oldroyd 10:53 (1 pood KB, 14lb ball), Joe Alexander 11:09, Bobbi Milsaps 13:18 (1 pood KB, 14lb ball).

    Annie showing great kettlebell swing form. (crossfit.com)

    Deep squat, then explode to get the heavy ball up the wall. Ugh. (crossfit.com)
    Pull-up form. Note the straightened arms on the left. Yes, its harder. Its because you're doing more work. Most people never get their elbow past 90 degrees in the bottom, limiting the necessary work dramatically. (crossfit.com)

    First things first, I bonked HARD in this workout.  As a matter of fact, 15 dumbbell swings in, I was completely ready to quit.  I just had no energy.  I managed to get through the first round as Rx'ed, and decided that if I wasn't going to quit right there, I needed to start scaling dramatically.  First off, this was my first workout in 10 days, and my first since a harrowing time in the hospital with my daughter.  During those 3 days, my diet was WAY out of whack, with a vast preponderance of carbs going in, and very little sleep, and what sleep I did get was interrupted by the (thankfully) regular visits of nurses and doctors checking in regularly.  For the record, acute bronchial events SUCK the sweat off a dead camel's nuts.

    This was all followed up by a few nights of setting the alarm at home for such fun times as 1am and 3am to continue the post-hospital respiratory therapy, and still not great nutrition. After that all calmed down, I added in a few more doses of bad juju: a flu shot, a platelet donation, and finally forgetting to have ANY fat with my last pre-workout meal, and basically I couldn't have tried any harder to sabotage this workout if I tried.

    I ended up with an "untimed" workout.  I know how long it actually took, but with everything that played into it, I'm not too concerned with the time.  I was just glad to have the brain-space to force myself through the rest of the workout.

    My warm-up included jump rope and active stretching.  My cool down included a bit of work on arm and wrist flexibility, trying to improve my rack position for the clean and its related exercises, like the front squat. Irritatingly, while it feels like I can easily get my wrists into position one at a time using dumbbells, clearly the physics aren't really lining up, since as soon as I use the barbell, form goes out the window. I can barely get the bar to touch my chest, much less get my shoulders up front enough to rack the weight on my delts like I should.  Ugh.  So, that's an on-going project.  Wheeeee!

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    10-11-05: Snatches

    CrossFit WoD for Thursday November 4th, 2010
    Snatch one rep every minute on the minute for 15 minutes.

    James Hobart 195-230lbs, Chuck Carswell 185-215lbs, Austin Malleolo135-220lbs, Heather Bergeron 95-140lbs.

    James Hobart, Chuck Carswell and Heather Bergeron on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
    Austin Malleolo on today's WOD - video [wmv] [mov]
    Olivia Cheriton on today's WOD while pregnant - video [wmv] [mov]

    Awesome snatch technique, including the squat position that totally evaded me today. (crossfit.com)
    So, the point of this exercise is to try to find your one rep max.  There is little to no "cardio" involved here, though it turns out (at least for me) that several max efforts in, I started sweating like a pig, and those minutes seemed to be just FLYING by.

    I haven't yet put in a ton of work on my snatches, having so far just done light loads in more met-con oriented workouts, so I was actually excited going into this one.  I ran through the Burgener warm-up twice, did active stretching, the Burgener again, and put 105# total on the bar. First snatch was a power snatch, and pretty damn easy, I might add.  Power means there was no need to squat to get under the bar. I went up in 10# increments, nailing 115#, 125#, and 135# in short order. My first attempt at 145# I called a fail, because I ended up with the weight on bent arms, and totally pressed it out to extension, which is definitely an Olympic fail, even if the weight did get overhead.  I tried 145# again and nailed it.

    However, at this point, I started to notice my lack of snatch experience creeping in.  So, I had hit a weight I couldn't just heave overhead, and yet I had almost no squat in my catch position. I was still trying to power snatch it.  Having hit my second attempt at 145#, I went up to 150#, and this time tried to think about getting under the bar... and failed, with a press-out completion.  In the rest interval, I ran through an empty handed Burgener warm-up, and realized I had almost ZERO shoulder flexibility left from working out the last two days, and without the ability to get my arms safely back enough to bring the bar in line over the middle of my feet in a squat, there was no way to add the squat in! So the bar had to keep going high... and now I was getting tired. :D

    Being a bit more aware of my limitations, I tried 150# again, knowing it had to be a power snatch, and got it up all the way. I went to 155#, and the same pattern repeated....sort of.  I had a total fail on my first attempt, with the bar barely getting past my nose before I lost it. The joy of dropping a fairly heavy bar with IRON (or whatever metal) from face-height onto a floor with a little rubber and some crappy ash concrete below that... I thought I had just made some more ankle-breaking holes in the floor.  Apparently not, but it had to have done SOME damage.  Oy.

    Second attempt at 155# was a success (mostly... I think there was some press-out at the top, but I was so happy to have gotten it overhead, I decided to count it.  Probably would NOT have flown at the USAW (dead video feed? bummer...) competition, but whatever. I upped the weight to 160#, and failed out three times with VERY pronounced press-outs, dropped to 155# for my final rep, and failed with a press-out completion.  Just for shits, I went back to the original 105# and nearly threw the bar into the air.  It seemed a lot heavier when I started than at the end, which is probably a very awesome thing.  So, now I know my comfort zone on the snatch is around 145#, and my PR was 155# (or 150#, in strictest terms).

    What irritates me is that it only just occurred to me, some 8 hours later, that I could have tried catching the bar in the split position, which isn't nearly as difficult to attain, and which I found some success with during an earlier workout...last week, I think.  Lameness to let an option like that escape. Especially since one of my all-time CrossFit heroes, Josh Everett, is one of the kings of the split snatch, and is usually the first person I think of when I picture Oly lifting...and it never even crossed my mind.  TGIF, mang.

    I followed up the workout with some jump-rope, mostly single bounce, alternating leg variations, but then finishing up with 25 double-unders, which included a chain of about 15-16 unbroken. I was pretty psyched up about that. Not. Too. Shabby!

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    10-11-04: Barbara

    CrossFit WoD for Tuesday, November 2nd 2010

    Five rounds, each for time of:
    • 20 10 Pull-ups
    • 30 20 Push-ups
    • 40 30 Sit-ups
    • 50 40 Squats

    (Scaling courtesy the fine folks over at CrossFit Brand X.)
    Rest precisely three minutes between each round.
    Austin Malleolo 25:51.
    Jason Khalipa: 2:53, 3:05, 3:23, 3:46, 3:54 = 29:01.
    Kevin Montoya 31:29.

    So yeah. Apparently Austin, Jason, and Kevin are all complete and total monsters. Sigh.  ;)

    Pull-ups!!! (crossfit.com)
    Push-Ups!!! (crossfit.com)
    Sit-ups! (I promise, I try to look like less of a douche.) (crossfit.com)
    Perfect squat form. Notice the depth of the squat. (crossfit.com)
    I went into this with a fair amount of residual tightness in my lower back from yesterday's clean and jerk workout. No amount of warming-up or stretching seemed to touch it. However, I figured that, despite the core-centric nature of this workout, it probably wouldn't be too much of a problem. I was right. I was just wrong about why. It turns out this workout was just going to devastate me so completely, a sore back was seriously the least of my worries.

    I opted for the BrandX scaling because 100 pull-ups in one workout is still WAY outside of my comfort zone, but 50 seemed doable...if optimistic. That left 100 pus-hups... ooookay, 150 sit-ups (uh oh), and 200 squats.  Well, that last didn't sound toooo bad.  I went with doing decline sit-ups on a bench, as we have no ab mat (go go gadget amazon list!), and that number of GHD sit-ups would have been sheer insanity. Maybe. In hindsight, a lesser amount of muscle isolation might have gotten me through the sit-ups more easily. Maybe not. I definitely tried to tense/flex my full leg musculature to assist on each rep, but I have no idea if having the knees locked at a 90 degree angle hinders that or not.

    Either way, my first round took 5:40.  Having looked at the times posted above, this irritated the ever living crap out of me, and for the second round, I knocked it down to 5:10.  However, I had pretty much already blown up on pull-ups and push-ups, so times started increasing drastically from there on out.

    The third and fourth rounds were both in the 6:30+ range, but things didn't go all pear shaped until most of the way through the 5th round. I was only working my way through the 5th round because I have an actual CrossFit Level 1 class and certification coming up in December, so I wanted to have a completed (if scaled0 Barbara under my belt. I felt run over at the end of the 4th round, and only the thought of the seminar got me back on the pull-up bar for the final round. I made it through the 10 pull-ups, broke the push-ups into two mini-sets, and then moved onto the final set of sit-ups. This was bad. I nailed maybe 10, but everything after that was in sets of 2 or 3, tops, and for the final several reps...I had my hands under my legs, helping to pull me back up. I was so far done, I was cheating in mostly ineffective ways!

    I stood up from the sit-ups, and suddenly realized I felt TERRIBLE. My previous over-heating sweat was suddenly replaced by cold sweat, and I was suddenly battling with Pukie for the remains of my breakfast, or whatever was still left. I ended up making sweat angels for anywhere between 6-10 minutes. I wasn't sure how I was even going to get back upstairs to go back to work, much less finish the workout.  By the time "te spell" has passed, I had definitely recovered, so I banged out the final squats in sets of 10.  Those were the one exercise I kept pure the whole way through.  There were no quarter squats, or relaxation of the back flex.  I had to adjust foot positioning once in awhile, but my squats seemed to be pretty solid.  Final round time: 14:45.

    Total time: 49ish minutes. I don't have my notes in front of me, that's pretty much ball-park. Man I wanted to die.

    Musical accompaniment: Blind Man's Sun, the best band you never heard in your life.

    11-03-10: Squat Clean n Jerks

    CrossFit WoD for Sunday October 31, 2010

    155# 125# Squat Clean and Jerk, 30 reps (Sage Bergener demonstrates great technique...it looks so easy!)

    The barbell goes from ground to overhead, passing through a front squat in which the crease of the hip passes below the height of the kneecap. The finish position is with the arms, hips and knees fully extended, arms overhead, with at least a portion of the ear visible in front of the arm. Dropping the barbell is acceptable.

    Austin Malleolo 3:01, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet 3:53 (105lbs). - video [wmv] [mov]

    Pat Barber in the full squat clean position. Essentially the bottom of a front squat. Both suck. (crossfit.com)
    So, the squat clean and jerk.  Easy enough.  The bar starts on the floor. You take a medium-width grip, and deadlift the bar off the floor, squeezing it under control, not yanking it off the floor.  When the bar hits about mid-thigh, you jump it up. You don't pull with the arms or shoulders, you explode with your legs and core, and the arms just rotate underneath, and pin the bar on your delts. To facilitate doing this with heavier weights, right after you explode, you IMPLODE and yank yourself under the moving bar (which will be slowing down as soon as you stop accelerating it), and catch it in the full squat position. What this accomplishes is that you don't need to explode the bar so HIGH, allowing you to safely and effectively clean much heavier weights than otherwise.

    When you receive the bar, you catch it on your delts, and your arms (which are hopefully out in front of your body, parallel to the floor) merely PIN the bar there. You should NOT be carrying it in your hands, and certainly not on wrists that are perpendicular to the floor. If you are making that mistake, when you stand up from the squat, or when you jerk the bar overhead, utilizing a short explosive hip drive and extension, you'll end up absorbing that energy in your elbows and wrists, rather than communicating it directly to the bar. This is wasteful. It also hurts a lot. This is stupid.

    By about rep 14, I was being wasteful and stupid. Most of my reps were NOT squat cleans, because my right wrist got angry at me very quickly.  It is both a lack of flexibility (seriously, look at Pat's forearms in the picture up there!), as well as a lack of clean technique.  I could feel the extra pulse of pressure every time I jerked the bar overhead, and it kept getting worse and worse. Pretty quickly, I realized that trying to incorporate the squat was increasing the amount of time I was keeping my arms in agony...so I flubbed the technique a bit in favor of trying to keep the MetCon part of the workout going. By the time I was down to the final few reps, I was resting between every two or so, just to keep stretching and massaging my forearm.  A fire-breathing workout it was NOT.

    Total time: ??