Thursday, January 6, 2011

11-01-06: AMRAP 20 Kettlebell swings, box jumps, and toes-to-bar

CrossFit Garden City WoD for Thursday, January 6th, 2010
AMRAP in 20 minutes:

Hell of a kettlebell swing. Note the fantastic back arch, even all the way down in the hole, and the massive amount of hip drive that fires the kettlebell up overhead. This is NOT a shoulder move, and if they get sore, you're not doing it right. (

New favorite box jump pic of all time. You jump from the floor to a higher level. Then jump or step down and repeat. Look, its so easy, a toddler can do it! (
Heather from CrossFit Long Island City rocking great T2B form. Oddly, while searching for a pic, I found waaaay more supposed T2B pics of people with crappy form (like me) where it was hard to tell if it was really a T2B or a knees-to-elbow sort of deal. Either way, it'll hammer your abs, lats, and hands. (

I've decided to go with my gut (literally) and try experimenting with a 5 on, 2 off work/rest schedule. I'm terrible about getting in workouts on the weekend, so I'm usually lucky to get 3-4 workouts in during the week. Working out at during my "lunch hour" gives me ample reasons/excuses to NOT workout, so actually trying to commit the time is a big difference. Though I was feeling a bit sore and tight from the previous three days, I wasn't feeling so beat up that a bit of active warm-up wouldn't cure it leas temporarily.

So, some active warm-up it was, with all sorts of joint mobility and dynamic stretching. Most of the recent research (for all the issues with exercise science, which can usually be summed up as 'uneducated guessing') shows that static stretching PRIOR to exertion actually increases the chances of injury, though to my knowledge no solid, or at least provable, theories have yet been proposed.  Either way, running every major joint through its range of motion at a medium tempo, and making sure to focus on trouble spots, has made me feel better going into workouts, and recover better after.

Got myself set up for the triplet, with one of our "kettlebells" ("Power Systems Grip-Ball" - what happens when the baseball coach, who knows NOTHING about the weight room, orders equipment from the high school sports equipment catalog. We also have TWO of these atrocities: Balance boards! Perfect for the "athlete" who wants to pretend to workout while not actually doing ANYTHING useful with their time.), the box for the jumps, and the ever trusty if evil Smith machine rack for the toes-to-bar. Set the iPod to rock some Porcupine Tree, set the timer, and got ready to boogie.

First round took a little over a minute.  Kettlebell swings were fast and easy (one handed, switching hands every rep), box jumps were a little slow as I'm still stepping down rather than jumping down. Kills my time, but saves my knees, which is perfectly fine by me!  The slowest bit was the toes-to-bar/knees-to-elbows.  Admittedly, since the Smith machine frame is kinda short, I end up touching my feet down after EVERY rep, which compared to the video up above, is total crap. To make sure I wasn't kicking up into the position (which I've caught myself doing on occasion), I made sure I was starting out with my feet a little behind me on the floor when I started to squeeze up, to minimize the amount and effectiveness of any kicking I might have been doing...

Having seen the first round at 1:xx, I immediately started framing out my goals as I moved into the next round. Without a doubt, my rounds would get a bit slower (or a lot slower, at least by the end), so 12 rounds sounded like a good "aim high" kind of goal.  Reality predicted more like 10 rounds, and I knew I wanted more than 8.  8 rounds would be a sort-of 'trapped in second gear' kind of failure. So, I got to work.

20 minutes later, I had just finished my 11th set of kettlebell swings, meaning I scored 10 rounds plus 10 kb swings.  Not bad! A 1/3 of a round better than my realistic goal, and on the high side of that realistic goal compared to my 8-round=failure cut-off point.  All good!

As I noted by the picture, in addition to having my feet touch down on every rep of the T2B, I also had a lot of keeping my legs even vaguely straight, with most reps actually looking more like Knees-to-Elbows.  Certainly not the worst failure, but in a competition, it's likely that not ONE of my reps would have counted, and I would have finished up with 2/3rds of a set at the end, without even one completion.  More stuff to work on!

Total score: 10 rounds + 10 kb swings

I was optimistic about working on my rings again, but a few seconds in control was enough time for my elbows to SCREAM at me.  Working on them now with my trusty lacrosse ball (actually its some weird rubber baseball practice ball... same coach as above), and it appears/feels like sore ligaments/tendons, which is totally not a surprise, given two days of ring work before-hand, as well as work with the hang power clean only a day or two earlier.  Since that destroys my arms due to flexibility issues, etc. The lower insertions of the triceps (above the shoulder) are especially tender. Hopefully getting a few hours sleep (5.5 at this point... um, that's not enough!!) will help them chill out!

Porcupine Tree!
There used to be several Porcupine Tree videos here... all have been removed from Youtube. So, you know, go google them yourself or something. ;)

(I wish they had more real videos, but check out the live shows... their bootlegs are amazing, so the live videos are probably really good too, unless they were recorded on some dipsh!t's phone, as so many seem to be...)

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