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.

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