Tuesday, January 24, 2012

12-01-23: Front squats, pull-ups, handstand push-ups and knees-to-elbows

Elm City CrossFit WoD for Monday, January 23rd, 2012
Elbows in the front squat. If you look like the picture on the left, you'll end up  looking like the dude below, with your hands slipped out and in danger of losing control of the bar. If, on the other hand, your triceps aren't insanely tight and sore (see below), the bar will be well controlled on the delts. (CrossFit)

Very popular on Muscle Beach. That doesn't make it right, or cool. Note also the cheater board under his heels, making the movement a little easier. Its a similar assistance as given by the slight heel lift in oly shoes, but much more so, and far less stable. So, more cheat, and more unsafe. Awesome.

Band-assist pull-ups. As always, note the leg without the band crossed over the one with, to minimize the likelihood of the band slipping loose and zapping you in either the face or the junk. Never a good thing. (CrossFit Threshold)

Band-assist pull-ups. One of the hardest things to achieve, at least early on, is the fully extended body in the harness. Its difficult to not end up with the legs bent, bowing the entire body out of position, and resulting in the movement resembling a completely screwed up elevated push-up, rather than an awesome handstand push-up. I've been having a bit more success with that... a bit. (CrossFit King of Prussia)

Variations. L-R: Knees to elbows, toes to bar (rings), and knee to elbow attempts (ie, knee raises).  (CrossFit)

WoD: (vertical)
  • 15-9-6
    • Front Squat @ 55% of 1RM (135#)
    • Pull-ups (band-assist)
  • 4 minutes recovery
  • 9-6-3
    • Handstand Push-Ups (band-assist)
    • Knees-to-Elbows
Monday morning beat down time. After a nice warm-up and review of techniques and movements standards, it was time to start kicking ass and taking names. 55% of my one rep max for the front squat (285#) comes out to 135#. A fairly heavy weight for 15 reps, but not impossible. Good thing. There would be more after that... The one issue I had going into the workout was that my triceps were insanely sore and tight from the previous weeks' workouts, which translated into some stiffness in the front squat rack position. Further translation: stiffness in the front rack position meant I was back to being unable to keep my hands on the bar, requiring me to quickly switch to the annoying "California" front-squat position. Not as secure, and sort of lame. However, I did still bang out all of the squats, unbroken each time... so there was that.

For the pull-ups, I opted to go band assist, since for 15 reps, there was just NO way that going without assistance was going to happen. Sad but true. I'm working on it, and seeing some progress, but not enough to get through 30 reps in a timed workout. Bah. So, the blue band was my way of getting through the pull-up portion of the workout. The bad news is that I still have a LOT of work to do in terms of power output: even with the band assist, I still ended up having to break up the sets. Sad, but at least it points out one of my big goats, and what I need to keep working on.

I was one of the last ones off the pull-up bar going into the break, but I was determined to make it up one the second leg of the workout. After a VERY fast four minute recovery, I was back into it. All I wanted was to keep the sets unbroken. After powering through 9 band-assist push-ups (and having kicked up cleanly, I might add), I had a pretty good feeling about that goal. The knees-to-elbows proved to be a bit more difficult, more just because of my now completely smoked arms and failing grip. I just tried to protect my grip, only dropping off the bar to rub some life back into my hands and try to keep from getting a torn callous (I do try to keep them filed down, but still...).

By the end of the workout, I had caught up with several other athletes, though in all fairness, one had done the entire workout completely unassisted. So, even if I beat him by a minute or two, he did infinitely more work than me. Showoff bastard.

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