Beat Barbara

The strained muscle in my back is feeling better and better. My low back has felt pretty good and not feeling any affects from the cleans on Friday. Hamstrings are still a little sore from the GHRs. Went to open gym at noon.

Warm-up

  • 5:00 Assault Bike (46 cals)
  • Dead Hang
  • Bottom Squat Hold
  • Kip Swings

Conditioning

Barbara
5 rounds, each round for time

  • 20 Pull-ups
  • 30 Push-ups
  • 40 AbMat Sit-ups
  • 50 Air Squats
  • 3:00 Rest

This workout has never been a strength of mine, but was hoping I could go sub 20 today for a big PR. I knew it was a big ask to think I could average less than four minutes per round, especially if you look at my history of rounds. New strategy today though. I wanted to try all sets of 5 for pull-ups and push-ups with very short rests.

Worked out really well! My rests got a little longer between pull-ups and push-ups, but still very short. It felt like my sit-ups slowed down the most and I was able to keep pushing myself on the squats. Crushed my goal and went 18:44 for a PR by nearly three minutes! When I came in at exactly four minutes in round four I pushed hard in that final round trying to make sure it was better because I really wanted 4:00 or better when it was my goal to average that round time.

Date R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total
Sep 22, 2012 4:23 4:26 4:26 4:33 4:27 22:15
Nov 16, 2014 3:37 4:12 4:29 4:59 5:07 22:24
Apr 16, 2017 3:52 4:06 4:19 4:42 4:38 21:37
Mar 31, 2019 3:27 3:41 3:37 4:00 3:59 18:44

Something fun to think about, with no way to know, is what contributed most to this improvement? Am I really that much fitter than 2 years ago? Doubt it. Is the Engine Builder program already paying off? Maybe a little bit. Did my lighter body weight help? Definitely some. How much did the new strategy help? Probably a lot. The PR is probably due to a combination of all of these things.

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Accessory

3 Sets

  • 30 Arms Only Rowing Strokes
  • 30 Rower Curls

Started with the damper at 1, then 2, and finally 3. This was a huge arm pump! Everyone was laughing at our unique use of the rowers.

Strength

Bench Press

  • 5×45#
  • 5×95
  • 5×125
  • 5×155
  • 5x5x185

Didn’t have much left in the upper body for benching, but good to hit it fatigued for something different.

After the Duke game I finished the 4th week of Engine Builder.

Engine Builder – Interval

  • 3k Row
  • 3:00 Rest
  • 2k Row

My goal was to hold a 1:50/500m pace through both, which I thought would be extremely difficult after already having done a long workout. I did it for the 3k with a time of 10:59.5. I couldn’t hold on during the second half of the 2k, finishing with a time of 7:24.7, which is only 4.7 seconds off that goal. Calories were 221 and 145.

2019-03-31-rows.jpeg

To be honest, it turned out better than I expected, especially after 250 squats this morning.

I really love having a rower at home and the numbers don’t lie, especially this month after starting Engine Builder.

2019-jan-fed-march-rowing-totals.jpeg

This doesn’t tell the whole story though, because I also do plenty of rowing in class at the gym. Here’s a chart from BTWB for rowing distances.

2019-03-31-btwb-rowing.png

Three months in, 2019 is nearly my second biggest year for rowing. The chart for rowing calorie workouts shows a different story.

2019-03-31-btwb-rowing-cals.png

After I looked into these charts, it makes a lot more sense that 2015 had been my best Open finish until this year. In my opinion rowing is the best way to improve your engine.

Row & Row

Even though I was up late watching the games last night I got up and went in for 9am. Good crowd this morning.

Warm-up

Line Drills

Conditioning

Team of 3

  • Accumulate 6,000m Row
  • Rotate every minute. After getting off the rower:
    • 15 Burpees
    • 50 Double Unders

Teamed up with Tom and TJ. I started and averaged about 1:48/500m throughout, feeling good on the rower. I got through my 9th row and Tom finished off the 6,000, but I finished that round of burpees and my double unders at 25:41. I kept a nice steady pace on the burpees, but missed quite a bit on the double unders. Ended up getting 20-25 seconds of rest each round. Our team averaged just over 230 meters per turn.

Reminded me a lot of two workouts we did last year with these movements:

I’m beginning to think this is my triplet!

Started feeling some soreness in my hamstrings after sitting at home.

After lunch I did more rowing.

Engine Builder – Anaerobic

10 Rounds

  • 20s Row
  • 1:40 Rest

Didn’t bother to warm-up. My distances were 113-114-112-113-115-114-115-113-115-115 meters. I was under 1:30/500m by the third pull and kept it at about 1:27. My average pace for the workout was 1:27.7, which is also the pace when getting 114 meters. Recovered really well between intervals, so probably should have gone harder.

Back Survives Powers

The outside of my pecs and my shoulders were fairly sore from Wednesday. Went to the 4pm class.

Warm-up

  • 5:00 Row (1,200m)
  • 2 Rounds
    • 15 PVC Passes
    • 15 Air Squats

Weightlifting

Power Cleans

  • 10×45#
  • 5×95
  • 5×115
  • 2×135
  • 2×155
  • 2×175
  • 2×190
  • 2×205

I think I put on the belt for 190 and 205.

Conditioning

  • 400m Run
  • 9 Power Cleans (205#)
  • 400m Run
  • 6 Power Cleans (205#)
  • 400m Run
  • 3 Power Cleans (205#)

Kept the belt on for this. Ran at a pretty good pace, right ahead of a runner the entire time. I was able to pick the bar back up pretty quickly after each rep. Finished in 8:15.

Accessory

4 Sets

  • 10 GHRs (red band)
  • 20 Banded Pull-throughs (green band)
  • 40/40s Single Leg Stands (squeeze glute)

When I was testing out the glute hame raises I could feel them in my back a bit, so I knew I wasn’t keeping a solid position. Tried without a band, then the tiny orange, and finally settled on the red. I even used my hands to push off a little on the pad. Probably should tell me something that GHRs have always been a huge weakness for me.

I should probably also get in one of the Engine Builder workouts today, especially with the 95% recovery score in WHOOP, but I’ll do it tomorrow.

speed-tr-flexweave.jpeg

Got this new pair of kicks, the Speed TR Flexweave. The Speed TRs have been my favorite style of shoes over the last couple of years and these are even better. Felt great lifting and running.

My Best Open

Scoring is pretty much done for the Open. How did it shake out for me?

19.5

Open: 33,595 / 137019 (75.5%)
Masters 35-39: 6,053 / 27,976 (78.4%)

Overall

Open: 17,092 / 185,548 (90.8%)
Masters 35-39: 2,544 / 37,522 (93.2%)

Didn’t end up as low as I expected for 19.5, but still not happy with my effort. My overall ranking dropped less than one percentile from the performance though, so it was good enough to be my best Open, beating 2015 by 0.1! Not the best of my three Masters years though, because 2017 would have been 93.6% if I had been able to complete 17.5 in time (got injured and did it a few weeks later)

My percentile rankings over the years:

  • 2012 – 55.3%
  • 2013 – 87.9%
  • 2014 – 88.1%
  • 2015 – 90.7%
  • 2016 – 88.6%
  • 2017 – 89.8%
  • 2018 – 81.5%
  • 2019 – 90.8%

Note: I calculate percentiles based only on the number of athletes who completed a score for that workout (or who posted at least one score in the Open overall). This is much different from the percentiles I see in the CrossFit Games app because they calculate based on everyone who registered in the division, which is misleading if you ask me. For example, by their math, my 19.5 score would be in the 82.8%. I don’t care that I beat the people who didn’t show up to play. Might as well calculate the percentile based on world population!

I’m happy with those results for this year, especially considering my back was injured for the last three workouts and I was unable to attend CrossFit classes through that time. Now we wait for the second Open of 2019 in October. Time for me to heal up my back and shoulder, and see if building up my posterior chain helps prevent any future back tweaks.

Got on the bike in the afternoon.

Engine Builder – Endurance

  • 26:00 Airdyne (AD2)

As the time domain increased another two minutes I was hoping to be able to keep the 75 RPM I did last time. I was successful. Ended up with 747 calories and 9.66 miles.

Version A

I forgot to mention it during my San Diego trip, but we stopped at the Rx Smart Gear office because I’d been wanting to try the Alec Smith gymnastics grips. I hated them! Way too bulky, even with the extra support strap off, which pulled really bad on my wrists. It’s like they needed to have a size bigger than large. Glad I didn’t buy them online. Also tried their EVO Jump Rope and there is no way I’d pay $125 for that!

Engine Builder – Speed

10:00 AMRAP

  • Airdyne calories (AD2)

This workout is also known as “300 FY” because the goal on other Airdyne models is to get 300 calories. It’s really easy to do on the AD2, but still a good relative test. My previous best was 365 cals where I went out hot for 60-90 seconds and fell in to a pace. Today my plan was to hold 85 RPM and hopefully push at the end. I didn’t have much push left, but it worked beautifully to get a 15 cal PR with 380 calories! Was 4.23 miles. I did an easy five minutes to cool down for 1.42 miles.

Went to the 4pm class at CrossFit Whip.

Warm-up

3 Rounds

  • 10 cal Row
  • 10 PVC Passes
  • 10 Overhead Squats (PVC)

Strength

Overhead Squat

  • 2x5x45#
  • 2x5x75
  • 2x5x95

I kept a narrow grip on the bar and went with a slow controlled descent and slight pause in the hole for every rep. Wasn’t pushing the weight with my back and shoulder issues.

Conditioning

Warmed up my push jerks with 5×95 and 5×115.

E3M – 5 Rounds

  • 20 cal Row
  • 15 T2B
  • 10 Push Jerks (135#)

I probably went a little hard on the first row, getting it done under 45 seconds, with 1,700+ most of the way. Each round got slower and slower but kept over 1,250 throughout. My toes to bars were 3×5 every round, wearing grips and push jerks were unbroken. My round times were about 2:00, 2:11, 2:22, 2:25, and 2:25 and I really started to feel it in round 3. Push jerks were a struggle at the end of the 4th and 5th round. These are the type of workouts I’ve really liked from the Ben Smith programming because you have to really push yourself to finish and get some rest.

Accessory

Dumbbell Curls – 21s

Switched it up to Version A from T Nation¬†and wasn’t sure how it would feel so I used 20 pound dumbbells for the first set and then 25 for two more sets.

Back at Class

I’m still sore in my quads a little bit from 19.5! I strained one of my left spinal erectors on Sunday, so add that to the list of shit bothering me. I was definitely glad for the rest day yesterday. After my morning meeting I hopped on the rower and did 733 meters in 3:00 to warm up.

Engine Builder – Max Aerobic Power

20 Rounds

  • 30s Row
  • 30s Rest

Got to > 1,600 cal/hr by the 4th pull and then held 1,650-1,750, though was over 1,800 at times too. My starting leg drive faded in the second half of the workout so I had to hold a higher pace after getting the flywheel up to speed. I got exactly 13 calories each time for 260 total and went 3,105 meters for an average of 155.25 with a range of 156-154. A few weeks ago when it was 18 rounds, my average was 147.4 meters with a range of 150-145. Much better in every aspect today. Most of the improvement probably comes from having a better idea of what pace I’m capable of.

Went to the gym at 4pm, my first class (not counting Open workouts) since March 6th when I tweaked my back.

Warm-up

3 Rounds

  • 10 cal Bike
  • 10 Kip Swings
  • 10 Push-ups

Gymnastics

10:00 EMOM

  • 5 Strict Pull-ups
  • 5 Strict Ring Dips

In the seventh minute I started doing 3-2 on the pull-ups.

Conditioning

Partner Workout

  • 100 cal Assault Bike
  • 100 Sumo KB Deadlifts (40kg)
  • 100 Burpees

I worked with Weston and Brandi who did their part at the same time. The were on rowers and did regular deadlifts. I actually think it may be quicker to rack up calories on the Assault Bike for 20-30 seconds with rests because I think I was under 30 seconds most rounds. It just wears on you more because I was really slowing down by the 4th and 5th ones. We split the deadlifts up in 10s and the burpees in 5s. Took us around 12:43.

Accessory

4 Sets

  • 10/10 Single Leg Hip Thrusts (20″ box)
  • 20 Banded Pull-throughs (green band)

We had time so I knocked out some butt stuff. Single leg hip thrusts are much harder than glute bridges!

Unrecovered PR

I guarantee I’m not going to any time soon, but I keep thinking I want to redo 19.5 to put in a better effort. Hopefully I stop thinking about it after today’s workout. I have to remember I got through these last three workouts with a significant injury, which prevented me from attending classes; I haven’t been able to squat at all or press any weight overhead. It will still be close to my best, if not the best, Open percentile ranking in the 8 years I’ve done it.

My quads and traps are incredibly sore today. Probably worse than post-Karen DOMS. Went to open gym at noon.

Warm-up

  • 3:00 Assault Bike (33 cals)
  • Dead Hang & Stretching
  • Shoulder Passes

Conditioning

J.T.
21-15-9

  • HSPU
  • Ring Dip
  • Push-up

The first time I tried this hero WOD, we greatly underestimated it and had to scale back to 21-11. Then two summers ago I completed it in 10:06. My goal for today was to go sub nine. The plan was 3×7, 3×5, and 5-4 for both types of push-ups and all triples for the dips. Figured it would come down to the ring dips.

I ended up doing 3 equal sets for all HSPU. Ring dips were 7×3, then 2 sets of 3 and the rest quick singles. For push-ups I struggled through 3×7 and then did triples the rest of the way. Finished in 8:04 for a 2:02 PR!!

  • 108-72-36 Double Unders
  • 36-24-12 Goblet Lunges (53/35#)
  • 12-8-4 Burpee Broad Jumps

Missed two dubs in the first round after 71 in a row and I don’t think I missed in the other sets. I thought the lunges were going to be harder than they were. Took me 8:01.

Accessory

3 Sets

  • Dumbbell Curls – 21s (25#)
  • 10/10 Single Leg Glute Bridges (squeeze at the top)
  • 30s/30s Single Leg Stand (squeeze glute)

Midline

4 Rounds

  • 10/10 Side V-ups
  • 20 Leg Circles
  • 10/10 Wood Choppers (25#)
  • 20 Plank Jumps
  • 20 Flutter Kicks

Took 10:23, which is 2:17 quicker than about a month ago. Wonder if the plank jumps will fire up my hip flexors like last time.

I planned to do some rowing intervals tonight, but my WHOOP recovery is only 12% and Mom is visiting for the night, so cancel that. Tomorrow will probably be a complete rest day, unless I get back in the green. Either these Open workouts are really blowing me up or the cardio work is more taxing than I’d expect.