Wednesday, March 21, 2012

12-03-17: Crossfit Open 12.4: Wallballs and other stuff

CrossFit Open WoD 12.4: Wallballs and other stuff

WoD: 12 minute AMRAP

  • 150 wallballs
  • 90 double unders
  • 30 muscle-ups
To the experienced eye, the first bit of this workout, the 150 wallballs, is a CrossFit workout all its own, named Karen. And if a workout has a name, you KNOW it sucks. Well, Karen does suck. I knew going into this one that I had done Karen before... twice, I think, but I refused to look at my old time. I didn't want to know... I just wanted to plow through the wallballs and start trying to chain double-unders. My warm-up raised my hopes, as i was throwing down double-unders like i was good at them or something. I needn't have worried.

I cranked out 20 wallballs, then started taking breaks every 10 reps. This held me until about 77 reps, when I missed the catch and took a few seconds to recover. 87, 94, 100. At this point, things got ugly. Despite good coaching, I kept finding myself on all fours, hovering over the ball. Sure, maybe it was good for getting some oxygen into my completely scorched lungs, but dammit, getting up was slow and took way too much energy. Total bullshit move. I may have been destroyed, but I just made it worse on myself. Lame.

In the end, with some solid coaching and a final 15 reps that nearly killed me, I hit the 150th wallball with 2 seconds to spare before time ran out. No double-unders, and I hadn't even vaguely planned on attempting any muscle-ups! Annoyed that I didn't make it to the double-unders, which might have really shot me up a little in the rankings, I was kind of bugged by my performance. Until I saw my previous PR on Karen: 14:3x. 2 and a half minutes longer. I had carved 150 seconds off my time. So, there's *that* to feel kind of awesome about. Not where I wanted to be, sure, but also further than where I had been. 

12-03-14: Rope climbs and running

Elm City CrossFit WoD for Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

WOD: Open Athletes: 10 min AMRAP
  • 1 Rope Climb
  • 200m Run
Not too bad. I used the knotted rope, and was averaging one ascent and a run in about the 90-100 second mark. Originally, the workout was designed to be 8 minutes, but we were given the option to add in a bit more if we wanted it. I took the opportunity to rack up one more rope climb, ending with just about 15 seconds to spare. 

Total rounds, reps: 4 rounds, 1 extra rope climb

After that, I worked on the footwork needed to climb the regular, non-knotted rope. I was a little surprised at how uncomfortable that is on the feet and legs, though I guess its only to be expected. Everyone always makes it look so "easy."  More work will be needed before I graduate to the big boy rope, I guess.

12-03-12: Front Squats, Presses and Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

Elm City CrossFit WoD for Monday, March 12th, 2012

WoD: 3 Rounds
  • 1min Front Squat @ 1/3 BW
  • 1min Rest
  • 1min Press
  • 1min Rest
  • 1min Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
  • 1min Rest
Took too long to write this up, my notes are no longer available on ECC's website. All I know is that each round was worse than the last, except for the SLDLs, which increased by a rep or two each round. I seriously thought the front squats and presses would be the death of me, and couldn't believe how short a minute's rest could feel, or how very long a minute of work could feel. Just awful!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

12-03-10: CrossFit Open 12.3: Too Much Everything

CrossFit Open WoD 12.3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 18 minutes of:
  • 15 Box jumps, 24" box
  • 115# Push press/jerk, 12 reps
  • 9 Toes-to-bar

Nothing here that doesn't suck. (Wow, parse all THOSE negatives!) High(ish) box jumps. Heavy(ish) push presses/jerks. Toes to bar. Nothing good. Nothing fun. After watching the first heat go through the workout, I jumped into the second heat. Not by choice... I assumed all the judges from the first heat were going to go, but apparently not. So, I jumped in. I had warmed-up and stretched as well as I could. My only concern was that my abs were still kind of tight and sore from Thursday's sit-ups/double-unders couplet, but that didn't really become much of a factor during the workout.

My only goal was really this: go steady and slow. 18 minutes is way too long for me to sprint, or even quickly jog. If I didn't sprint out of the gate, I would probably be ok. Matt Chan did a video on box jump efficiency, and two things I tried to take from it were not look down at the box, since that puts you in more of a compressed position after landing on the box, requiring both more time and effort to stand; and to jump down from the box, bounce off the floor back onto the box, utilizing the stretch-shortening cycle inherent in that landing to do some of the work, and to rest on top of the box. Stepping down, my usual MO since all the issues with my knees back when, actually requires more effort overall than the bounce, so provided there are no active injuries involved, jumping down and bouncing back up is actually the easier option, as well as being faster.

As a result of Mr. Chan's advice, I was actually the fastest through the first set of box jumps, and in total, they weren't as awful as I thought. I think I managed to keep that first set unbroken, but I might be wrong. After that, it was on to the "shoulder to overhead anyhow" movement, with 115# on the bar. That's a pretty light weight, until you're doing it for 12 reps. I don't think I saw anyone who didn't struggle with it, even the big guys. Even if you were well within your strength capacity for getting that weight overhead, doing it while suffocating because that weight is also crushing down on your chest and lungs will make anyone stop and take notice. That took two sets to get through, I think. Possible it was unbroken, but that's kind of unlikely.

On to the toes-to-bar. I hate these. I just can't chain them together very well, and lack the upper body strength to muscle myself to the bar to make a close rep a good rep. T2Bs were the only movement I got no repped on (though I may have missed a landing on a box jump... I don't really remember). I did a pretty good job of getting through the first round, but the next two rounds, and specifically the T2Bs, would be my undoing.

Back to the boxes, then to the bar. Each was broken up into several mini-sets to keep chipping away at the totals. At this point, I was in total oxygen debt (or, it certainly felt it), so I was taking short breaks, 2-3 seconds, to blow out some CO2 and get some fresh air in. Funny to have people yelling support when you've only just paused, and you have a plan for restarting. The second set of T2B were... not fun. My judge, Sheri, did a great job of no repping me when I failed to make contact with the bar, which became much more common. I made sure to drop off the bar and recover for a second or two before attempting another rep after a failed one. No need to dig myself into a hole by trying repeatedly for something that I can only get while kind of fresh in the first place! Third round was just like the second, only more so, in all aspects.

Finally, with time running out, I made it back to the boxes for the 4th round. I tried to stay unbroken, but just could not breathe for the life of me. I only wanted to get through the push-presses, having no illusions about my ability to crank out more T2B at this point with the time running out. I got on the bar, and dammit, but I couldn't complete the initial clean, to get the bar onto my shoulders, without an annoyingly long recovery. I think the issue is that I'm still not rock solid on the clean, so it still scares me to try to do it completely gassed. After finally getting it up to my shoulders, I started trying to crank out push-jerks to make up for that slowness to start. There's no way I was unbroken, and honestly, I don't really remember. All I know is that I hit the tenth rep just as time ran out.

Completed rounds: 3 Extra reps: 25
Total Reps: 133

Thursday, March 8, 2012

12-03-08: Sit-Ups and Double-Unders

Elm City CrossFit WoD for Thursday, March 8th, 2012
Double-Unders... and recipe for disaster.

Left: Crap form. Right: Awesome form.

Nothing to add. Sit-ups. Do 'em!

Just keep jumpin'!

It's just jumping rope... how hard can it be, right? 

I will laugh every time I post this... then mention that her range of motion is lacking, and that her shoulders should be coming forward enough to be in front of her hip crease. Other than that... animated gifs! Like I'm back in college again!

WoD: 3 Rounds for Time
  • 10 Sit-ups
  • 30 Double-Unders
  • 30 Sit-ups
  • 10 Double-Unders
Pretty quick, simple burner. In the interest of avoiding injury, we were encouraged to NOT kill ourselves going for double-unders if we're still struggling with them, and to count all the singles as well. Sit-ups were done with an ab-mat, and double-unders were nearly non-existent.

Total Time: 8:20 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

12-03-05: Wallballs and ONE burpee!

Elm City CrossFit Wod for Monday, March 5th, 2012

Wallballs. Or truck balls. Wait a minute...

Wall balls at the games! CrossFit Games

MOAR wallballs! 

For Time:
  • 75 Wallballs
  • No Drop
  • Every drop = 1 burpee @ the time of drop
Not an awful workout, if only because I managed to avoid either dropping the ball (or putting it down to rest) until the 72nd rep, when it took an iffy bounce just beyond my fingertips. One burpee and three reps later, I was done.  I did rest a bit during the workout, having split it up into a set of 30 followed by 3 sets of  15. However, instead of putting the ball down, I've worked out a way to hold it while squatting, such that I'm not hugging the ball to my chest in a standing position, like being in a bear hug, or earning extra burpees by putting it down. 

Total time: 3:31

12-03-03: CrossFit Open WoD 12.2: Too Many Snatches

CrossFit Open WoD 12.2: Too Many Snatches
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet snatches with a full depth squat (ie, awesome) (or overhead squats... stupid still frame... and stupid me for not bothering to do any research into that question.) CrossFit Games

Dave Lipson and Josh Everett go head to head, 30 snatches for time at 135#.  in a little workout called 'Isabel.' See below for how such workouts are viewed OUTSIDE the CrossFit community. And from within it. Still, very impressive feats!

That's more weight than I can deadlift. Seriously.

Note the speed on the bar in the second frame, and the depth of the squat in the third. Both things I need to work on.

As many reps as possible in 10 minutes, following the sequence:
  • 75# Snatch, 30 reps
  • 135# Snatch, 30 reps
  • 165# Snatch, 30 reps
  • 210# Snatch, as many reps as possible
OK. If there's one thing Olympic lifters have good cause to grouse about with CrossFit, its the use of those Olympic lifts in workouts that guarantee that form breakdown will be real, and the cost could be severe. Its nice to see HQ putting absolutely NO stock in those reservations, and actually creating a workout that highlights that issue. Sweet.

Going into this workout, my plan was to hit between 30 and 60 reps, with the stretch goal of getting into the 60s. Why those ranges? Well, my one rep max on a strict snatch (with a full depth squat at the catch overhead) is only 125#, so right off the bat, those 135# reps were going to be near my capacity (I can power and muscle snatch way more than I can squat snatch right now, something I hope to reverse as my skill and experience with the full lift increase). So, I knew that 30 reps of a weight that I consider to be "really heavy" were not going to go quickly or easily. I did want an attempt or two at the next weight up (165#), but also knew that making those attempts while completely gassed from the previous 60 reps was going to be iffy.  Turns out I didn't even need to worry.

The first set at 75# was nice and easy, and pretty quick. Though I think I could have kept all thirty reps unbroken, I opted to stop for a breath after 20. I didn't want to charge so hard through the "easy" reps that I gassed myself out too early. After banging out another quick 10 reps, it was time to change weights, pulling off the 25# plates and putting on 45# in their place. Suddenly, it was a whole new workout. I was no longer able to just fling the weight up and stand up under it as it kept going up. Now the bar was stopping a lot lower, and though I was still not doing ANY sort of job squatting under it (aka "using "proper" technique"), I had to work a LOT harder to get control of the bar.
ECC CrossFit Open WOD 12.2_Athletes from Larry Jones on Vimeo.

I'm the guy in the bandanna who starts out to the far right. As should be abundantly clear, my technique by that point in the day was utter garbage. I can only imagine the number of burpees Coach Burgener would assign if he was there for that pile of crap. That said, I was way outside of my comfort zone, gassed, and just willing the bar overhead by that point. All told, I did as well as I thought I would, I hit my goal, and that's all I can ask for. If I were more comfortable working while exhausted (a key ability in the CrossFit Games), I could have nailed a few more reps, but as it was, I was taking the time I needed to feel that I would be safe under the bar, and more, that the people around me would be safe. Having watching one nearly disastrous bar dump from almost-overhead in an earlier heat, I was keenly aware of my shortcomings in the snatch, and didn't really feel like having those issues injure me or anyone else. By the final minute, I was done. I made three failed attempts, with the first two stopping more or less at the top of the deadlift position, arms extended, legs extended... no way to raise the weight at all. I was just too tired to transition from the yellow light, slow, deadlifty part of the movement into the green light, GO!, explosion part that drives the weight overhead. After taking about 10-15 seconds to really recover, I tried to get to 50 reps, and got the bar to about face height, but again, just couldn't manage to get *under* it. Time expired, and I was at 49 reps, exactly where I planned to be. Not too shabby!

Total Reps49