Saturday, April 28, 2012

12-04-27: Pushups, Kettlebell swings and Handstands!

Elm City CrossFit WoD for Friday, April 27th, 2012
Push-ups. Lots of them. Ugh.
Graham Holmberg demonstrates the "American" style of kettlebell swing, where the swing ends overhead, ears in advance of the arms. With the limitations of my tight, inflexible shoulder-girdle, I don't usually do this version of swing unless mandated or the weight is scaled. The "traditional/standard/Russian" swing ends with the 'bell ending in front of the face, arms extended.

Handstand static holds. Also ugh.

It's bad when the buy-in is more terrifying than the actual workout. I mean, I'm never happy to see Tabatas show up, knowing that they will definitely suck, but they ARE self-scaling. Come out of the gate too fast? Spend the last few intervals sucking wind (and sucking.) But a set number of push-ups, just tipping into the triple digits? Holy unholy crap!

After a good roll-out and warm-up, as well as coaching on the swing and scalings for the handstand holds (against the wall, in bands, piked off a bench, knee-pikes off a bench), it was time to start banging out push-ups. I actually wowed myself a little, getting 16 reps in my first attempt, which I *think* is back to being a new record for me. After that, I continued with sets of 5 and 4 up until about 40 or so, when the sets got even smaller. I coasted into 60 reps on fumes, and ended up dropping my knees to scale the remainder of the reps. As it was, we were capped at 10 minutes, and I just squeaked in rep 98 as time ran out. Buy-in fail.

After that, Tabata goodness as usual: 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 sets. The split was doing all of the kettlebell swings, then resting a minute, and going on to all of the handstand holds. I felt good with the kettlebell. Knowing that my arms would be completely shot, I went for a slightly lower weight KB than usual, opting for the 40# (or 45#?) rather than the 55#. Going into KB swings, especially Tabata-style, with shot arms is NO way to ensure everyone else's safety, much less your own. :S The swings went well, with the rep count consistently about 12-13 reps per round. As noted in the pictures above, I did the Russian/traditional/standard variant of the swing as well, for most of the same reasons.

For the handstands, I started out kicking up into a harness of bands, but on the third work interval, I suddenly got a cramp in the base of my right thumb, which not only hurt like a ***** but also freaked me out to be ass-over-teakettle and have that happen. After dropping to the floor and trying to massage some life back into it, I grabbed a bench, and did the rest of the workout piked off the bench on my knees, working on that thumb between sets. That was weird. While I assumed the handstands would be the "easiest" part of the workout (and arguably, they were), coming on the tail end of the push-ups and swings, just trying to breathe while upside-down was nearly impossible. Easy? No, not really.

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