Friday, September 16, 2011

11-09-16: Kettlebell swings and skill work

Elm City CrossFit WoD for Friday, September 16th, 2011
Jeff Martone demonstrates the one-armed kettlebell swing. As taught at ECC, his right arm should be along-side the kettlebell, acting as both guide and balance. Having taught myself the swing from Martone's videos, I lean more towards the counter-balance idea shown here. But you perform for the coach in the room, NOT for your comfort zone. (
Band-assist handstand push-ups. One band wraps around a pull-up bar (or whatever), second band feeds through the hanging one and acts as a harness. For me, the skill work lies in getting comfortable with being inverted. Once I get up into the band, I'm ok for the push-ups... its just a matter of kicking my lead leg up straight, catching the band high enough for it to do any work for me at all. (CrossFit King of Prussia)

Buy-in: 5min
  • Alternating Single Arm KBS 55/35 traditional swing
WoD: Work Underdeveloped Skills

Stupid stupid stupid. When picking a weight for something like the buy-in, work WITHIN your wheelhouse. Having warmed up the swing with a 35# kettlebell, I assumed I could easily handle the 55# for single-armed swings. About 45 seconds into the buy-in, I realized what an idiot I can be early in the morning. I can handle the 55# for double-arm work, but can NOT sustain single-arm work for any great amount of time. As I rapidly realized my mistake, I also started to feel other issues creep in, most notably a fiery tightness spread across my lower back. By the three minute mark, I was dropping the kettlebell (safely) after just 5-6 reps, and each of those felt like my spine would explode. Though I got 35 reps in the first minute, I barely made it to 92 by the end of the buy-in. Now THAT'S a drop-off in output! :-/ Not good. It would have been both a better--and frankly a more productive--workout, had I picked an appropriate weight for 5 minutes of work. Stupid stupid stupid.

After taking some time to re-roll out my back and make sure nothing was actually injured or anything, and some targeted stretching, I prepped working on band-assist handstand push-ups (HSPU). In WoDs, I've usually scaled to knees on a box or pike push-ups off a box, but the last workout where those came up, it became quite clear that I'm strong enough to move to the next scaling. Now I just need to lock in the skills that will make it happen.

While there are many skills involved in the band-assisted HSPU, the biggest hurdle I have to face right now is my fear of failure and the resulting faceplant that would occur soon after. It occurs to me writing this after the fact that since *that's* my biggest fear, using two super stout bands for the harness might have helped, since it would be nearly impossible to even reach the floor with anything other than my feet, no matter how bad I failed. In the moment, I don't know if that "knowledge" would have overcome the "I'm gonna die!" fears echoing in my head. While I did manage a few more-or-less successful attempts, there were many more half attempts and balks. Clearly, this will take another day or two of dedicated practice until I'm capable of performing band-assist HSPUs, much less doing them comfortably!

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