Thursday, February 24, 2011

11-02-24: Push Jerks, Rowing, More Push Jerks

CrossFit Garden City WoD for February 10, 2011
Jump rope
Active Stretching
Burgener Warm-Up x2
Push Jerk or Push Press
 - Quickly build up to a heavy triple in 10 min
5 sets:
  • Push Jerk or Push Press depending on competency in Push Jerk. Use whichever allows for heaviest weight used with sound mechanics.
  • Complete an all out 1 minute effort on the rower. Immediately head over to your barbell and get it overhead.
  • Use your heaviest triple from Part A for your first set. Try to increase every set thereafter.

The sequence of the push jerk, with some added spiciness courtesy the addition of the split in the second part of the lift.(
I count at least 12 C2 rowers in this picture. That's at least 12 times as many C2s as we have. Jealousy!!!(

Very sore and tight in the chest and shoulders from yesterday's wall climbs, but willing to throw down again. Especially with a friend whom I'm trying to woo over to CrossFit. Today might have done it. Repeated cleans leading to push presses and push jerks, as well as rowing like crazy followed by more cleans and push jerks! Who wouldn't want to do that rather than some treadmill work followed by crunches and push-ups?!

Warmed up fairly thoroughly, and got to work. Having run the Burgener Warm-Up a couple of times, I was already feeling pretty comfortable with the bar, so jumped straight to 85# for a quick triple. I moved through 105#, 115#, 125#, 130#, and finally topped out at 135#. The weight was feeling heavy, the need to do a full push jerk was becoming more evident, and most of all, my wrists were really starting to hurt! Must look into lifting wraps.

I set-up the rowing machine to do a 1:00 interval, and made sure I had the 2.5# and 5# plates at both ends of the barbell. I know Graham Holmberg (CrossFit 2010 Games champion) has discussed the benefits of lifting while tired, but this would be my first time handling actually heavy weights in a state of fatigue. Each round of rowing was completed against the pace of the one preceding it, other than the first one, obviously. I kept the barbell at 135# to start, planning on moving up 5# each round. Results were as follows:

calories rowed2423252627
push-jerk weight135#140#145#150#155#

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

11-02-23: Wall Climbs, Toes-to-Bar and Box Jumps

CrossFit Garden City WoD for February 9, 2011
AMRAP in 20 minutes of:
Ring practice - dips, push-ups, pull-ups

Wall climbs. They seem so easy until you do them. Chest to the floor, then walk your feet up the wall as you walk your hands towards the wall. Chest to the wall. Reverse. Repeat. (
Excellent toes-to-bar form. Mine looks more like someone just tazed me in the butt, but I'm working on it. In the last two rounds, i really focused on trying keep my legs straight, to really differentiate the toes-to-bar from the the knees-to-elbow, which while similar, are definitely different.(
It would be nice to have proper boxes for to jump on. We have two real ply boxes, but they are each too short, but together are too tall. However, a wobbly stack of "step" boxes works just fine, provided you can find a flat spot on the floor to put them where they won't topple over as you soar up to the top.   (

Nothing like a nice simple triplet for a nice easy workout. No killer strength stuff, no super-complex skill work.  Just... climbing up a wall backwards, full body hanging sit-ups, and jumping kinda high. Repeatedly. Oh yeah, and I've never done wall climbs. Upshot is that the technique is just a stricter version of how I get set to do handstand push-ups, but still: they were freaking hard.

After doing one wall climb, just to check the reality of it (ie, make sure I could even do one), I set the clock running. Unfortunately, at about the 14 minute mark, as I was about to move into my 4th round (I was hoping for 5-6, but when the first took over 4 minutes, i realized how silly THAT goal really was.), a friend walked in who doesn't know about timed workouts or AMRAPs or any of that, and he wanted to take a minute to discuss me programming workouts for him. So as not to be too rude (and in the hopes of turning him into a potential client, I STOPPED THE CLOCK.

A few minutes of conversation later, plus a quick water break, I decided that, rather than restarting the clock, I would do an entire 4th round. Given my speed prior to the stoppage, that wasn't overly likely. This way, I would pay for my brief rest with increased output. Not perfect, but it could have been worse, too. At that moment, Slayer came to my rescue.
Slayer - Reign in Blood (Still Reigning DVD)

My goal was to finish the round in the time it took for the album version of Reign in Blood to play. With that in mind, I set to work.

I missed it by ONE boxjump. That one got done to the intro to some DragonForce song or other. All in all, not too shabby.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

11-02-22: Power Cleans and Front Squats

CrossFit Garden City WoD for February 8, 2011
Active Stretching
Burgener Warmup x 3 (35# Barbell)
Power Clean
 - Build to a heavy triple in 20 min
Front Squat x Max Reps x 3 sets
  • Set 1: 100% of heaviest Power Clean triple or 185#/135# (same)
  • Set 2: 75% of heaviest Power Clean triple or 135#/95#
  • Set 3: 50% of heaviest Power Clean triple or 95#/65#
Rest 5 minutes b/w sets. These are each maximum effort sets.

Full body extension, arms are just chains with the weight hanging from them. All the energy from the legs and hips is being transmitted straight to the bar, without pesky bent elbows absorbing some of it, slowing down the bar. Don't pull with your arms!! (
Awesome front squat arm position. Note that the upper arms are parallel to the floor, with the hands serving to pin the bar to the front/top of the shoulders. This can be very hard for us older, crusty folks to get into. Cue the tiny violins while I start stretching. (

Warmed up with the usual active stretching routine (shoulders, core, back, legs, etc) that I now seem to require to feel loose and warm. Oh yeah, before that, experimented with some of the weighted jump-ropes we have in the gym. Realized one head-shot later that the ropes are made for Andean midgets. Ow. After all that, went on to the Burgener warm-up, three times through.

Having learned in a previous workout not to spend too much time warming up on the easy weights, I played around with the 35# bar for a few reps of power cleans, then immediately started loading up. My optimistic goal was to hit 200# total. To that end, I started at 85# for three, jumped to 125# for three, and up.

Power Clean for a heavy triple: 85# / 125# / 145# / 165# / 175# / 185# / 195#(F) / 195#(F)

I failed my final two attempts at 195#, but I'm fairly sure it was all in my head. The first fail didn't even get all the way up before my left grip slipped, sending the bar crashing to the ground. The second attempt almost made it to the rack, but I just couldn't lock my arms up to pin it there. Possible I could have made 190#, or (if we had a real weight set) 187.5# However, I was out of time for experimenting anyways.

Up next was the conditioning part of the workout. Take the weight you last succeeded on (or 185#, whichever was lighter...damn!) and do front squats. As always, its time to be a little baby and cry about the lack of proper gear in the gym. With no squat stands, I would have to do yet another clean from the floor to get the bar into proper squat position. Definitely not fun when that clean would be my 3RM. :S Unfortunately, it turned out that lack of flexibility would be a bigger stumbling block. Proper front squat arm position looks like the picture above, with the elbows up, hands pinning the bar to the delts. However, each time I racked the bar (all three weights), my fingers would inevitably slide out, forcing me to quickly catch the bar in the position shown below:
Correct form on the left. Cross-arm grip on the right. Not nearly as safe, as the ability to control the bar is greatly diminished. Arguably better than just dumping the bar, but not a whole lot. (
So, I cleaned the weight (took two attempts back at 185#, having been completely freaked by failing at 195# twice), and almost immediately lost my grip, requiring a quick switch to the cross-arm grip. I managed to squeeze out two squats before dumping the bar off the front. For 135#, the clean was obviously easier, though the same grip issue presented itself.  Cross-arm "locked" in (I did have enough of a grip on it to be able to slow down the bar from rolling forward, keeping it from building momentum away from me), I banged out 10 reps. I was at the bottom of the squat for the 11th rep when I finally lost the bar. For 95#, the bar felt almost empty, and I managed to keep the clean grip at the top at first, but as soon as I started to sink into the first squat, the bar started to shift forward quickly, so I just as quickly slapped on the cross-arm, and banged out 21 reps. Not too shabby, but the grip thing has annoyed me completely. :S

Front squats for reps:
  • 185# - 2
  • 135# - 10
  • 95# - 21

Friday, February 18, 2011

11-02-18: Strict Pull-Ups, Dumbbell Swings, Ring Dips & Push-Ups

CrossFit Garden City WoD for February 7, 2011
Active Stretching
Strict Pullups
Beg: 5 sets of 5 reps
 - Scaling: Used stretch bands to assist
Rest 2 minutes b/w sets
10 6 sets of:
  • 15 KB Swings (24kg/16kg)
  • 10 Ring Dips
Push Ups instead of Ring Dips. (I ended up interspersing the two to get the most ring dips out of the workout)

Can't kip the pull-up with precious cargo aboard. And yes, this IS pretty much the final goal. ;) (

Dumbbell swings. All the motion comes from opening the hip with a rigid lower back...the arms are just chains transmitting that force to the dumbbell. If your shoulders hurt from *this* move, you're doing it wrong.(
Ring dips. Man these suck. (I think the picture is actually of the top of a successful muscle-up, which is basically a ring dip, so there. Except I can do a ring-dip, but not a muscle-up. working on it!!) (

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this workout. My arms and shoulders were still sore from Wednesday's workout (mostly (I think) the double-unders, and the sheer amount of time I spent jumping really kicked the crap out of my shoulders), plus I had gotten a DTaP booster the day before, which had really made that shoulder even more sore.  Undaunted (ok, a little daunted) I started loosening up.

I quickly realized that I didn't have the strength to do the pull-ups completely strict. I may not have room to do kipping pull-ups, but I definitely have a leg motion worked into my "normal" pull-up, and without it, I don't have much in the way of pull-ups at all!  I did the first set at body-weight, but opted to try to figure out a way to scale it slightly.  I settled on using large stretchy rubber bands like these to help get me out of the hole at the bottom of the pull-up. I suspended the band from the dip handles on the pull-up machine, which had one awesome side-effect: when I had risen about a foot, the band was more or less slack, requiring me to finish the movement at full body-weight, rather than scaled the whole time. I used the very light band for sets 2-4, but having nearly failed the final rep of set 4, I opted for a heavier band for the final round.  Again, it gave me a slight boost out of the bottom, and almost nothing after the first foot or so. Not too shabby.

Having thoroughly annihilated my shoulders, I prepped for the rest of the workout: rings set up on the Smith machine, and a 50# dumbbell.  Going into it, I knew I didn't have anywhere near 100 ring dips. Or push-ups for that matter. I didn't know how many rounds I was going to do, I just knew I wasn't necessarily shooting for 10 full rounds. 15 swings later, I approached the rings. 10 ring dips later (6, 3, then a final 1) I was done with the first round...and it wasn't as bad as I had thought.

Round 2 kicked my ass. 15 swings, no problem, but my shoulders were still shaky from the ring dips, so I busted out push-ups instead. By the tenth push-up, I was so gassed I could barely get off the floor. 15 swings again, then back to the rings. I banged out 3 dips before falling off the rings, so i decided to finish out the round with push-ups.  By the fifth round, I couldn't even get a single ring dip, my shoulders and pecs were so sore. Massive tricep agony had kicked in as well, which certainly didn't help. I ended up doing all 10 reps as push-ups, mostly broken up into 1 or 2 reps at a time. I really thought I was done.

I staggered over to the dumbbell, got it going, thinking maybe I'll be done after this... 6 rounds of swings, 5 of ring dips and push-ups? Not too shabby.  After finishing with the swings, I made my way over to the rings...gave them a nice long look, stretched out a bit around the frame of the Smith machine, and hopped up onto the rings. 4 ring-dips later, I was back on the floor finishing the push-ups. THAT was the end of the workout. I was so exhausted I could barely get up, but it was totally worth it.

Round 123456Totals
Dip/Push-up Split10/00/103/72/84/60/1019/31

Of course, now the DTaP arm feels like I got hit with a baseball bat... so that kind of sucks...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

11-02-16: Overhead Squats, "Annie!" (Double-Unders and AbMat Sit-Ups)

CrossFit Garden City WoD for February 4, 2011

3 sets of 10 OH Squats/1 min DU practice
Overhead Squat (3211 tempo)
Beginners or those with limited mobility/poor OH Squat mechanics - stay LIGHT and focus on good position, depth and tempo. Use PVC, training bar or light barbell and complete 50 repetitions.
Benchmark!: "Annie"
50-40-30-20-10  25-20-15-10-5 reps of:
  • Double Unders
  • Situps (Anchored, AbMat)

Note the full grip on the bar. For my lighter sets, the grip was open, with the bar really sitting on my fingers. I have pretty good grip strength, but at higher weights, that would just be silly. And so amazingly stupid that I would totally deserve whatever fate befell me. (
No, its not a blurry photo... the rope is just moving THAT DAMN FAST. My legs are still shot from this about 36 hours later as I'm finally finishing this post. Knees? Crackly and sore. Right calf? Feels like I have a baseball rammed in it. (
AbMat sit-ups. Notice the awesome low back arch.  These things are golden. (CrossFit Milford)

Did this one while overseeing a track/baseball workout that included some CrossFit style elements. Warmed-up using the jump-rope for the overhead squat form, then practicing double-unders. Sadly, I had almost NO double-unders...not good for the benchmark! Was it doing it in the much larger Lower Gym, with its oddly hard floor? Or just doing them in front of a slightly different group of students than usually gets to see me struggle with them? No idea. It definitely sucked though.

Since I've struggled with form, but have had some modest success, I decided to walk the line between the Rx'ed workout and the scaling. I would do the 5x5 work sets, but using light and increasing weights, rather than just empty bar or jump-rope unweighted for 50 reps. I started light, first with the empty bar (35#), then with two 2.5# plates on it (I wasn't paying attention, and assumed they were 5#), totaling 40#. These two sets weren't done exactly to the the 3211 tempo (down for 3 seconds, hold at the bottom for 2, then back up in 1 second (not max speed), hold at the top for 1 second, repeat), so I opted to start my work sets at 40#, paying super close attention to the tempo. I definitely need a slightly longer bar (ours is a 5' long beginner's/women's/practice bar, with a notably shorter grip-width as well. for the empty bar warm-ups, I actually had the best success with my pinky and ring fingers up and over the weight collar! Can't really do THAT with weights on the bar!

With the lighter weights, I was able to carry the bar back on my fingers, arm bent back at the wrist. This served to place the weight a few crucial inches further back, keeping the weight over my center of balance. Obviously, this is a *terrible* way to do it while working with heavier weights! However, at these weights, it really wasn't too much of an issue... other than training improper technique and neural patterns and muscle recruitments! With that in mind, I definitely fought to maintain a proper grip, especially as the weights crept up.
I did well through every set, until the final one, when a combination of arm/shoulder fatigue and my struggle to keep the weight well gripped caused me to fail forwards at the bottom of the 4th rep. I repeated the rep and tried to finish strong, but on coming out of the squat, found myself coming up and forwards, up on my toes, revealing my balance was completely shot in the bottom.

Overhead Squats x 5: 40# / 45# / 50# / 55# / 60# with one fail

Annie was just a total disaster. I forgot to start the clock running for the first set of double-unders, which took frickin' forever anyways. I barely managed to string any together, so it took forever to get the count up, and all the extra frantic single-bouncing between double-unders didn't help. Nor did repeatedly whipping myself with the jump-rope by accident, leaving welts and bloody knuckles on my right hand. Fun. However, the worst bit was the growing ache in my knees... which is still raging today. Joy of joys.

Ab-mat sit-ups are downright fun and easy comparatively.

1/2 Annie: 12:30 not including first round of double-unders, so closer to 20. Seriously.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

11-02-15: Turkish Get-Ups, Rowing, and Lots of Hot Dumbbell Action

CrossFit Garden City WoD for February 2nd, 2011
Warmup:3 sets of:
  • 10 OH Squats
  • 1 min Double Under Practice
Strength:Turkish Get Up
 - 10 heavy reps per arm in 10 minutes.
25# x 2 / 30# x 2 / 35# x 2 / 40# x 2 / 45# x 2
  • 15 Dumbbell Push Press
  • Row 500 meters
  • 15 Dumbbell Front Squat
  • Row 500 meters
  • 15 Dumbbell Thruster
  • Row 500 meters
  • 15 Dumbbell Front Squat
  • Row 500 meters
  • 15 Dumbbell Push Press
RX'd weight for KB/DB is 53#/35#. Choose a weight that allows for all sets to be unbroken but VERY challenging. 25# dumbbells

Ah, PVC pipe makes the learning (and warming up) so much easier! Note the weight is directly over the middle of the foot, even in the full squat position, and the shoulders are shrugged up and active, carrying the weight on the lats, rather than letting the shoulder grind together. (
Double-unders. Since this was taken at the CrossFit Games, I presume she's better at them than I am. Darnit. (
Turkish Get-ups. This position is important. Someday I'll know if I'm hitting it or not. (
Note the very unhappy faces on the guys doing dumbbell thrusters. Even doing it with half-the weight didn't make it any better, trust me. OK, I could have gone heavier... (
Rowing... metabolic conditioning fun for all ages! (Seriously.) (

After a surprisingly long and bad-food filled weekend, I wasn't feeling super great today... sounds like the *perfect* time to do a nice long workout! However, I did throw in a few extra dips and lat pulls to start out, just to loosen up... um... prior to loosening up with the warm-up. Sigh.

I definitely found myself wishing we had stuff like broomsticks or PVC pipe for the overhead squat bit of the warm-up. Going in kind of cold (and having sucky shoulder mobility), 10 squats with the 35# bar overhead got pretty heavy pretty quickly! After the minute's worth of double-unders (at which I sucked, by the way), I took some time using the jump-rope to perform shoulder dislocates, trying to loosen up said sucky shoulders. However, by the time I was done with the warm-up, I was definitely warmed up, so that was pretty awesome.

I know I've done a lot of Turkish get-ups, and a lot of those were with the 35# barbell... so theoretically that should have been a good starting point, but I decided to be safe and start a bit lower, and work up through and past it. 5 rounds of two reps per arm each sounded about right, increasing the weight for each round. 25#? Easy. 30#? Easy! 35# Easy! 40# Really kind of hard. 45#? Failed my first few attempts to sit-up in the first place, but after taking a few seconds to regroup, managed to fight through it! I know I need some coaching on the TGU, as the placement of the hand while getting up completely defines the rest of the movement... and I have NO idea where I'm putting it while actually under a weight. That is NOT good. :S

After recovering for a bit, and feeling a new kind of shoulder weakness/soreness/fatigue, opted to go a bit lighter on the weights for the final conditioning workout. 25# dumbbells would be more than enough to suck, especially on the thrusters. Daring? No. Sure to keep me from killing myself? Probably. All in all, the weights were probably a bit light, as the harder part of the workout seemed to be keeping the time decreasing on the rower (hooray for the ability to compete against your previous row), though I did get my ass handed to me on the final row. The thrusters, my main fear going into this, were indeed awful, but the rest of the sets were only marginally bad... ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

11-02-11: Power Cleans, Dumbbell Swings and Jumping Chest-to-bar Pull-ups

CrossFit Garden City WoD for February 1, 2011

Power Cleans
 - Build to a heavy triple in 15 minutes

Conditioning:3 rounds for time:

The power clean. Floor to shoulders. Fun in small doses. Not that much fun 40 some-odd reps in. (
Dumbbell swings. Like kettlebell swings, but without the handy handle. (
Now THAT'S a chest-to-bar pull-up. Awesome. (

Went into this one with a very thorough warm-up, as my legs were completely shot from yesterday's air squat assault. Jump-rope focused mainly on simple techniques, with only a few double-unders worked in to finish out the set. Full active-stretching, making damn sure my quads got some good loving. After that, two run-throughs of the Burgener warm-up made sure that most of me felt good to go.

For the power cleans, the idea was to shoot for a heavy set of 3 power cleans. I forgot to look at my previous records for cleans, so I didn't actually have a good idea of what I was shooting for. I did know off-hand that my heaviest *squat* to date, which required a clean & jerk to actually get the weight onto my shoulders in the first place, was 185#. Therefore, that became my goal. However, I also failed to plan out HOW to get there, and ended up taking too many small steps on my way to my goal, and ended up running out of time. After warming up with the empty bar and 55#, I successfully completed triplets with all of the following weights:

Power Clean Triple: 75# / 85# / 105# / 125# / 135# / 145# / 155# / 165# / 175#

In the attempt to get to my goal of 185#, the final three rounds ended up being nearly a met-con, since I wasn't resting nearly enough between sets. Truly stupid. The only upshot is that if I was able to complete triplets of 155#, 165# and 175# in about 2 minutes total, I could theoretically have easily hit 185# with a more well-planned out workout. Next time, Gadget, next time.

After a whole lot of rest, I tackled the conditioning element. Not having kettlebells that rank as heavy, I opted for a dumbbell. I at first figured I would go kinda/sorta light, but everything under 50# felt way too light. Fearing for what was left of my quads, I set the timer running.  About 10 minutes later, I was so happy to be done it HURT. Seriously...

Total Time: 10:10 (Split times: 3:15 / 5:55 / 10:10)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

11-02-10: Push Jerks and a Crap-Ton of Air Squats

CrossFit Garden City WoD for January 31, 2011
Active Stretching

Strength: Push Jerk 3-3-3-3-3

Conditioning: For time:

Though this picture is apparently of the end of a push press, the point still stands: If you don't stand up all the way with the weight overhead, you haven't completed your rep. I've seen several people do a push jerk where they use a good dip to get the bar overhead, catch it in a second dip, but lower the weight before they stand up. Failed rep. Every time. (
Three good squats! Depth, vertical back... brilliance! (

I ended up skipping ahead a few scheduled workouts, as the very next one that I should have done (as programmed by the fine folks over at CrossFit Garden City) would have included a whole lot more Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls, which I just did yesterday. I understand that you can, and often will, double-up on exercises in randomish programming, but frankly, I'm 2 weeks behind in their programming, and even more frankly, I didn't want to do any more SDLHPs yet.  So, I scanned ahead a few days and found this beauty.

After working on fast singles and running step, I went for 10 double-unders to finish up. I managed to string the last 5 together, which is more than I've done together in months. So, that was pretty cool. Active stretching, focusing mainly on my tight, sore shoulders and upper back, both of which were crushed after yesterdays dips and knees-to-elbows. Then I did a few warm-ups, running through presses, push presses and push jerks, 5 of each, first with the empty bar (35#), then with 45#. Finally, I moved onto work sets. As always, each was preceded by a clean from the floor to get it going. I've been trying to pay lots of attention to my clean form, making sure I don't embed any nasty habits while focusing on the "real" exercise to be worked out.

Push Jerks: 85# / 105# / 115# / 125# / 135#

For the conditioning bit, I chose to use the nearly empty bar (45#) since that would mimic an empty Olympic bar. I wasn't sure about my ability to crank out 21 presses in a row with heavier weights, much less the push presses after a total of 175 air squats, or the push jerks after a total of 225 squats. In hindsight, I should have shot for at least 55#, as 45# really felt like the "easy" part of the workout.

Man, 100 squats is a lot. Taking only the shortest of breaks, I broke it up into sub-sets of 35, 30, 15 and 10 reps. The presses felt very easy, but I could feel my legs starting to tighten up from the comparatively long time spent just in stabilizing contraction.  The next set of squats was agony, broken up into something like 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5, or whatever the break down really was. I did the full 75, I just wasn't overly conscious of when I was stopping. Again, though, I tried to keep each break as short as possible. The last few breaks weren't all that short. Push presses were ok. I could definitely feel the soreness in my quads with every dip motion, but it didn't slow me down too much. Not when there were even MORE squats to do.

Final set of squats got a bit hairy. A goal of 25 was reduced to 20 when I couldn't convince my quads to unlock any more. After a few seconds of recovery, I started pounding out the final 30 reps 2 and 3 at a time. But I made it, dammit. Finally, the push jerks. A motion with TWO dips built in, on completely shot legs. Sweet. I ended up missing a few reps that were just push presses, so I made all of those up with proper form. I think this got broken up into 10 reps, then 7, then a final 4. This was awful...I was so happy when it was over, and fairly proud of myself for making it!

Total Time: 12:25 (Split times: 3:30, 7:55, 12:25)

Music for the met-con (very important!)
Amon Amarth - Runes to My Memory

Metallica - The Struggle Within

Metallica - The Thing That Should Not Be

Not a bad three songs in a row for a metcon that makes you seriously want to kill yourself, or at least cut off your traitorous legs...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

11-02-09: Sumo Deadlift High Pull - Hang Power Clean - Knee to Elbow MetCon

CrossFit Garden City WoD for January 27, 2011
Burgener WU

20 mins of goal/skill practice
  • Jump rope
  • Ring work

Conditioning: 4 rounds for time:
  • 250 meter row 20 Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls 75#
  • 10 Hang Power Snatch Clean 75#
  • 15 KTE's

Sumo Deadlift High-Pull. These start to suck very quickly. Done correctly, its the opening of the knee and hips that fire the bar off the ground, and the arms mostly serve to keep the bar from smashing into your mouth. Several reps in, it becomes much harder to keep that happening when your lungs are full of razor-wire. (CrossFit Central Runtex)
Nicole Carroll demonstrating the three main positions in the hang power snatch: 1) the slight closing of the hip that drops the weight down a bit, but which allows 2) the aggressive opening of the hip, driving the bar up, as well as a huge shrug to keep it moving, allowing 3) the catch in the rack position. The partial squat on the catch is optional, but increasingly necessary as the weights get heavier. (Team CrossFit Academy)
Yeah, they look fun. Until you realize the grip requirements, and that you've already done a crap-ton of work before you get here. Yeah. Fun. (CrossFit Santa Cruz Central)

Started out with the Burgener Warm-Up, followed by @20 minutes (untimed) of alternating bouts of jump-rope and ring work. Knocked out a set of 7 dips, a new PR by 2. Did some more work on my false grip, as well as pull-up progression work. Had some very good speed on my single bounces and running steps on the jump-rope, but couldn't seem to get much past 20 jumps before getting snarled up. I'm working on both shortening the rope AND keeping my hands more to the side (rather than out front), to address issues I've been seeing in the rope path, so its probably just those things coming into play. I also played with some lat pull-ups, where from a full dead-hang position you engage the lats, pulling the body up only by a few inches, but the arm/torso angle actually closes a bit. (This was _stupid_ to do before a workout involving 60 knee-to-elbows, btw. Very bad workout design on my part...)

Since our ONE rowing machine is currently out of commission, I had to substitute SDLHPs for the rowing, which is a fairly standard sub. However, since we only have one straight bar, whatever I was going to be using the for the snatches (reading really IS FUNdamental. I just screwed up and didn't read/comprehend what the workout actually called for. Sillyness abounded today, apparently.) cleans was also going to be on the SDLHPs. I decided 75# would make an ok compromise, which ended up being more or less true.

This workout was amazingly awful almost from the get-go. Put simply, I wanted to quit before the end of the first round, and with students waiting to do their "squats" on the Smith machine (which I was using for the K2Es), I had ample opportunity and excuse. I took neither and finished the workout for the full 4 rounds. I was fighting back that bastard Pukie for most of the final two rounds, but still...

Total Time: 20:10

11-02-08: Squats and tabata running

CrossFit Garden City WoD for January xx, 2011
Dynamic Warmup
Back Squat
Beginner - 3-3-3-3-3 (41X0 Tempo)
10 meter sprints on the minute (don't worry...indoors)
i.e. 1st minute = 1 10 meter sprint, 2nd minute 2 10 meter sprints etc...
Tabata interval runs: 4 minutes (8 rounds), 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, 10mph on treadmill

I could totally squat more with a rack to start from. Um... not this much, though. YET. (Cutting Edge Crossfit)
Why sprinting is way better than Long Slow Distance. (However, if you had to run 20 miles, Skeletor would probably win, so in terms of constantly varied functional movements, you should train long distances as well. Dammit.) (In Joe We Trust)

In all truth, there should have been a workout posted from Friday, but since I screwed the pooch on that one (it was supposed to be the benchmark workout "Elizabeth," but I messed up my knee with the barbell while warming up, and it killed my ability to do a clean without absolutely crappy form because I was so afraid of another collision. Weak, but it freaking hurt and was bleeding like crazy...rotten blood-thinning fish oil!)  I spent the remainder of that workout working on headstands, handstand push-ups, and frog-stands, all with some success...until a nasty landing from a handstand against the wall caused me to scrape my bloody knee on the gross gross GROSS floor, suddenly making my knee the perfect incubator for the black death or something like that. Ew.

So, after a long weekend spent getting my daughter to do push-ups and squats, and full-body leg raises (so that only your hands, shoulders and head are on the ground... probably a real name for those), I was back at it today. Yet again, it would be a squat workout, and I am still sadly without a squat rack... or a bar long enough to allow me to place my hands wide enough to try a good low-back position squat. That said, since I would have to clean and jerk or snatch the bar up overhead, and then lower it down onto my back, the likelihood of ever getting the bar into that low back position were basically nil going in.  Lame. Still.

Did my usual warm-up of jump-rope, shooting for longer durations of single bounce and running steps, as well as repeated L or R foot bouncing.  Followed that up with an abbreviated active stretching, then a little bit of ring work, but I didn't want to tire out my shoulders too much right before cranking my shoulder girdle into the annoying position required by squats under the bar.

Started out with a warm-up set with the empty bar (35#), followed by a heavier warm-up with 85#. After that, I loaded up the bar with a pair of 45# plates, for a total of 125# and squeezed out my reps. I realized in the 3rd set that I was doing sets of 5 reps...not the Rx'ed 3 reps. However, since the weights were being constrained by my ability to get them onto my back in the first place, this wasn't *that* big a deal. However, I did the proper reps for the final two sets.

The end of the 4th set was nearly an accident, as I failed to control the bar very well on its way back down. I had pretty much asked for it by push pressing the bar off the back of my shoulders, and rather than either catching it at full extension or trying to bring it down to the front rack position, I let it continue to fall, more or less completely out of control. As the slack in my arms ran out, the bar slammed back towards me, giving me a nasty shot on the left quad. However, it was all sting and no impact, as there was no effect on my performance, and no bruising either. Whew!

Back squat weights: (coming soon)

The conditioning part of the workout was supposed to be 'Death by 10 Meters,' a hideously simple workout that I've managed to avoid ever doing in my entire life. I'm both looking forward to changing that, and terrified of the experience at the same time.  Being pressed for time, I chose to run a Tabata interval on the treadmill at the highest speed setting (10mph). 4 minutes, with 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.  It actually ended up not being too bad. It may not feel it, but my cardio capacity is definitely going up, since that intensity of running would have destroyed me just a few months ago.

I tried to finish out the workout with a few more ring dips, but failed horribly. I opted instead for some ring knee raises, focusing on minimizing swing and any extraneous motion. It felt pretty damn good.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

11-02-03: Push presses, very short skill met-con practice

CrossFit Garden City Wod for January 24, 2011

  • Jump rope
  • Active Stretching
  • Shoulder Dislocates
Push Press
Increase weight every set - build up to heavy 3 rep max

Conditioning: Pullups and double-unders
  • 5-4-3-2-1 Chest to bar pull-ups (jumping C2B)
  • 10-8-6-4-2 Double-Unders
Alternate exercises (5 C2B, 10 DU, 4 C2B, 8 DU, etc.)

Eva T. rocks shoulder dislocates in the bottom of a squat. Which means she has fantastic balance and insanely flexible shoulders. Rotten Olympic skiers. The goal is to be able to bring the bar front to back and back to the front with perfectly straight arms. The shoulders are activated (shrugged) to allow this to happen while going overhead, and this has insane amounts of application to overhead squats and the olympic lifts. (
Note the torso stays vertical during the dip phase. The reason is simple... that way, when you extend your knees, snapping the bar up, it travels UP! Had you leaned back, it would tend to be pushed back. Ditto for leaning forward. Its a simple concept, but can be tricky to unlearn if bad habits have crept into your form. (

I went into this workout with VERY sore shoulders, the cause of which isn't immediately clear. There's a chance its from Monday's workout (dumbbell push press/kettlebell swing/squat tabata triplet.), since the pain is on top of my shoulders, feeling like its actually the bones. My guess is that on the push press, I was catching the rear head of the dumbbell on my shoulders on its way down... repeatedly.  Either way, I was excited to get warmed and loosened up, and worried about doing any more damage.  Why not go straight back to push presses, but this time using a barbell, so that there would be little or no impact, while reinforcing the workout that was gained a few days ago? Perfect.

Started out with some jump and active stretching, taking some extra time for shoulder dislocates with the jump rope, spending a bunch of time slowly working my way in. I didn't make it very far, which is unsurprising, given my utter lack of shoulder flexibility.

I warmed up push presses with the empty bar, just to make sure the movement didn't hurt all on its own, and thankfully it didn't. I added a pair of 5# plates, to simulate an empty olympic bar, and still had no problems. I continued warming up with shorter sets of 55#, 65# and 75#.  The final warm-up felt a bit heavy, like I had to actually work to do a proper push-press, so I decided to try to do two things: Start my work sets at 85#, and go up by 10# jumps with every set. I hoped that wouldn't be too over-eager in the later rounds, but also didn't want to sell myself short and stop increasing just to avoid the *worry* of a failure, rather than just failing.

The first 3-4 rounds were actually pretty easy, though I struggled the whole time with both properly cleaning the weight up to the shoulder rack, as well as grip once it was up on my shoulders. I was able to STOP cleaning it and having my thumb end up on the wrong side of the bar... not a good habit with heavier weights! I did manage to keep my knees tracking over my feet and toes for all of the dips, which was a very big improvement over the last time I did heavy push-presses.

Long story short, I managed to complete the workout as planned, though was truly getting towards the end of my strength on the final set at 145#.  Of course, working out during my lunch hour, and hoping to get in the met-con as well, I probably was NOT recovering long enough between sets. So, that might have allowed me to continue increasing the weights even longer. Ah well.

Strength sets: 85# / 95# / 105# / 115# / 125# / 135# / 145# x3 (all successful)

I substantially shortened the met-con, both for a lack of time in which to complete it, as well as because I have nowhere NEAR the strength or skill to complete it as noted. I opted for a much reduced version that would give me the chance to work both skills while getting me back to my desk in a timely manner! Hardly the stuff of elite athleticism, but someone has to bring home the Paleo bacon, so... :D

I didn't bother timing the met-con, which was good for two reasons: 1) All of the chest-2-bar pull-ups were jumping, which meant my turn-over on them was very fast, compared to truly strict pull-ups. 2) My ability to chain double-unders is still atrocious, so a total time would be far too LONG.  Between the two, it might have evened out to a reasonable amount of time, but I figured off the clock I could stop, reset, and improve the movements if need be, rather than just being a slave to the timer. It wasn't great, but it could have been worse!