Always Something New

I’ve been working out at CrossFit Full Strength for two and a half months now and I still end up doing some movement or new stretch I’ve never done at least once or twice a week. “Constantly varied” is exactly right when it comes to CrossFit. My legs are sore from back squats and particularly my inner thighs. Feels so good though!

Last night I did a bit of DU practice and I’m able to string together streaks consistently now. I don’t even start with singles first, which I think has helped. Start spinning that rope, but don’t jump for the first time until the rope is about to reach your feet and then start the fast wrist action and get right into doubles. Once again though, the headache came on while doing them. I’ve been doing some neck mobility a couple of times a day to try and loosen things up.

Warm-up

  • 2x
    • PVC Shoulder Mobility
    • 10 PVC OHS
    • 3 Groiners (each leg)
  • 400m Run

Strength

5 Sets

  • 8-10 DB Russian Step-ups (each leg)
  • 15s Rest
  • 30-45s Side Planks (each side)
  • 45s Rest

Russian step-ups are something new to me. I used a 24 inch box and 30# DBs, while doing 10 per leg in each set. I’m going to be feeling those for a few days. For the side planks I went a full 45 seconds on each side. You wouldn’t think it, but this work got me dripping with sweat.

Update: An hour and a half later I can barely walk. The Russian step-ups really worked the hamstrings.

WOD

12m AMRAP

  • 6 HSPUs
  • 9 Ring Dips
  • 12 HR Push-ups

Push, push, and push some more. This WOD was all about fatigue in the push motion. After the first round there wasn’t much left in the tank. More time was spending resting than working, but I was still out of breath at the end. For the HSPU sI used 2 AbMats because I die quickly using 1 and I knew it was going to be an issue with 2. The ring dips and HR push-ups were Rx. After round 1 I had to do a lot of kipping on the HSPUs. At the end I managed to get through 3 rounds plus 3 HSPUs.

Open workout 12.4 gets announced later today and I’m going to do it tomorrow morning because I’m driving up to Las Vegas for the weekend right after. My prediction is that we’ll see deadlifts, DUs, and a body weight movement such as HSPUs, HR Push-ups, or muscle-ups. But… I’m hoping I’m wrong on those last 3 because of today’s WOD.

Speaking of muscle-ups… I’ve been toying around with them a bit before and after classes this week. Today we set a rack with a band around the dip bars right under the rings. I stood on the band, got my false grip on the rings and completed an assisted muscle-up on my second attempt! I was done there though because of how dead my shoulders were from the WOD. I’m going to have these down before I head back to Michigan.

Maybe My Favorite WOD

Feeling good this morning.

Warm-up

  • 600m Run
  • 2x
    • 3 World’s Greatest Stretch (each side)
    • 10 Burpees

I got a little headache during the warm-up. I wonder if the pre-workout drink I started taking has something to do with it.

Strength

4 Sets

  • 2-3 Back Squat, 3-0-X-1 tempo
  • 20s Rest
  • 15 KBS
  • 3m Rest

Did one warm-up set of back squats at 135#. Then used 185#, 200#, 210#, and 220# for the working sets and was able to get 3 reps each set. For the first time I didn’t feel like I was tipping forward when I started to come up. 3 reps at 220# beats my previous best of 1 rep there. I used the 70# KB for the first time today. It was an ass kicker, but I got through each set unbroken.

WOD

4 Rounds, 2m each round, 2m rest between rounds

  • 250m Row
  • MAX Squat Cleans with remaining time

This might be my favorite WOD I’ve done since starting CrossFit. Going straight from the row to squat cleans was a killer on the quads. I finished the row in less than a minute each round and then used 115# on the bar. Knocked out 7, 6, 5, and 6 squat cleans during the rounds. I should have been able to get 6 in round 3 as well, but I gave up on myself with 6 seconds left on the clock. Should have been just enough time for one last rep. I made sure not to let that happen again in the last round.

Kipping Pull-ups Without a Hand Rip

My shoulders and wrists are pretty sore from doing OH squats yesterday. Everything else is feeling good though. My hand is healing faster than the last time I ripped, but this one wasn’t as deep either.

Warm-up

2 Rounds

  • 20 Band walks (each direction)
  • 15 Band Presses
  • 15s Rhomboid Stretch
  • 15s Samson Stretch
  • 3 Hand Walks

Strength

4 Sets

  • 4-6 Shoulder Presses, 1-1-X-1 tempo
  • 90s Rest
  • 20 DB Walking Lunges
  • 90s Rest

I wasn’t sure how the shoulder presses would go since I just did a bunch of OHS yesterday. Warmed up with the bar and then did 6 reps each at 95#, 105#, and 115#. I had previously done 123# twice, but got 3 reps in today. The sets really felt good. For the walking lunges I used 40# DBs.

WOD

5 Rounds

  • MAX Pull-ups
  • TBD Broad Jumps

Complete 30 total reps each round. So, if you do 20 pull-ups on your first set, you must do 10 broad jumps before returning to the pull-up bar.If you can easily perform more than 30 consecutive pull-ups, drop on 29 and do your 1 broad jump before returning to the bar for your second round of max reps pull-ups.

I used tape grips on my hands and tried to grip the bar more in my fingers instead of my palms. It worked because I don’t have any new rips. I do have a little blister that formed under the knuckle on my left ring finger. My rounds of pull-ups came out to be 11, 9, 7, 8, and 8. Eleven is a new kipping PR! If I don’t kick my legs back so far when I get tired I think I could string together more. After the first round of pull-ups I’m 95% sure I started counting broad jumps from 0 so I did 30 of them. I was wondering why everyone finished so far ahead of me on that set. My total time for the WOD was 6:22.

After class I started to get an understanding of how to do a muscle-up, but I was dead from the pull-ups so there was no chance of it happening. When I got back home I pulled out the jump rope for a few quick attempts at DUs. Easily was stringing together some small streaks. Just wanted to make sure I don’t lose it.

Lotsa DUs

My entire body is still sore from the open workout. Olympic lifting class was switched from 4pm on Sundays to noon, which works out much better for planning out the day. I can get up at my usual time and either go for a hike or hit the 9am class. Then there is enough time to get breakfast and run an errand or two. After the Olympic class I can get in a round of twilight golf. Perfect!

Today I went to the 9am class because a nice cardio blaster was scheduled in the programming and it would take care of my DU practice for the day.

3 Rounds

  • 500m Row
  • 100 DUs
  • 400m Run

I finished in 22:13. I was able to do a lot 10+ DU streaks and overall it was the best I’ve done DUs in a WOD. All of the practice is paying off. When I do so many DUs I start to get a headache though. This has been happening even when I practice them. After some Google-ing it seems to be an issue with head position, which would make sense because my neck seems to be getting tighter and tighter from CrossFit. I’ll have to find something from the MobilityWOD to help loosen it up.

John is starting to run the Olympic lifting class more open so everyone can choose what they want to work on. I chose to start with overhead squats because of my strength weakness there and I’ve always felt tipsy holding that weight overhead so long. I did some warm-up rounds with the bar and then started working my way up with 75#, 95#, 105#, and 115# for 4-5 reps. 115# was a new PR and it felt good, so I went for one last round with 125# and knocked out 3 reps. I’m going to have to buy some wrist straps because I could really feel it as the weight got heavier.

The other gals had moved on to split jerks so I worked on those as well. I didn’t get up to anything too heavy. Mainly worked with the bar, 75#, 95#, and 115# to focus on technique. My leg positions in the split are getting better. Still only 3 people showed up today. I can’t believe more people don’t want to take advantage of this class.

While we were working on our Olympic stuff, the gym owner, Gayle did the open workout again and did nearly 2 more rounds than her first attempt. She was flying through it. Pretty amazing to watch!

2012 CrossFit Games Open Workout 12.3

Yesterday ended up being a rest day because the scheduled workout had push presses. My shoulders would have been wrecked for Open workout 12.3, which I was doing today with a group at the box.

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 18 minutes of:

  • 15 Box jumps, 24″ box
  • 12 Push press (shoulder to overhead), 115#
  • 9 T2B

Damn! 18 minutes is a long time. When I saw this workout I knew I could place much better than I did with snatches, but there is a potential to fatigue early on and totally suck. I can do box jumps all day long, but 115# would get heavy early, and since I ripped my hand open on Wednesday, I wasn’t sure how the T2B would go.

I watched all of the videos CrossFit HQ and the Journal put out on efficiency and read some strategies and lessons learned on blogs. Seriously, I think I have a problem. I’m just some average guy trying to challenge myself. You’d think I had a chance to make it to the finals the way I think about these workouts.

My strategy going in:

  • Box Jumps: Rebound as much as possible and try to complete all reps unbroken.
  • Shoulder to overhead: Start with push jerks from the very first rep. Push presses would fatigue my shoulders much faster. I know this because of how much 95# thrusters take their toll on me. Once push jerks no longer work, switch to split jerks. Break each set into 2 sets of 7 and 5 as long as possible and then break them up even more as needed. Try not to drop the bar, but instead rest in the rack position.
  • T2B: Do a knees to elbow and kick the feet up. Drop my legs straight down from the top and try not to swing them out away from the body or everything will start to swing. Break each set up into 6 and 3 or maybe even 3 sets of 3 depending on how it goes. Grip is probably going to be an issue.

In order to deal with my ripped left hand and prevent ripping on the right hand, I made some tape grips following this video.

To help prevent ripping I planned to try changing my grip on the bar.

After checking out some athletes on the leaderboard with scores  similar to mine for workouts 12.1 and 12.2 I set my goal at 6 rounds, which comes out to 3 minutes per round.

How did I do? Not too bad. 5 complete rounds plus 15 box jumps and 6 push presses for a total of 201 reps. I’ll take that. My strategy was solid, but my gut instinct about problem areas was right on the money.

I missed a bunch of box jumps in the 1st round because I’m so used to rebounding off the top like we do in class. Once I remembered to extend my hips at the top, box jumps were smooth sailing. I rebounded at the bottom as much as I could, but once I get a little tired I’m afraid I’ll miss the box. I completed every round of box jumps unbroken as expected. Can we do a workout of all box jumps? 🙂

As planned, I started with push jerks right instead of attempting any push presses or strict presses. The weight was heavy right away. I don’t think I ever got 7 in a row and I had to break up the 12 into 3 or 4 sets on every round. 115# adds up quick with my lack of strength.

Grip was definitely an issue on the toes to bar, but more because of my swinging than anything else. When my feet came back down with each rep I could reach to touch the ground and stop myself from swinging out of control. This wasted a lot of time and I broke the 9 reps up into 2 or 3 sets each round. I need to learn how to kip these. The tape grip and grip change really helped to save my hands.

I was fast out of the gate (too fast) in round 1 and think I had it done in around 2 minutes, but it was the 115# that really killed my momentum. Three workouts done and 2 to go.

Triple 8 Minute AMRAPs

Final results are in for workout 12.2 of the 2012 CrossFit Games Open. For the snatch workout I finished 1,703rd out of 2,125 in the South West region and 23,604th out of 31,287 in the world. That puts me in 1,624th place in the region and 23,040th in the world after 2 workouts. I dropped in both rankings, but heavy weights are not my thing compared to most of these guys. I’ve only been doing workouts with barbells for 2 months of my 4 month CrossFit journey!

The deadlifts hit me a bit harder today. Pretty sore in my legs and lower back. I can feel all of the pull-up work we did yesterday in my shoulders and upper back too. Or maybe I’m just getting old!

When I saw today’s workout I had mixed feelings. No strength work, but three metcons. Interesting to say the least. From the pull-ups and T2B I knew today had the potential to wreak havok on my hands, and it did.

Warm-up

  • Stretch
  • 600m Run

Rest 8 minutes between AMRAPs.

WOD #1

8m AMRAP

  • 250m Row
  • 5 HSPUs
  • 10 Thrusters

I flew through the first row, knocked out the HSPUs using 1 AbMat, and did the thrusters unbroken at 95#. Second row went well too, but then I hit the HSPUs and got stuck. The first two were ok, but I had a lot of trouble with the next three. Tried kipping them out with some success, but I took me a long time and I fell off the pace. All that work wore me out for the thrusters and I had to break them up into small sets. I managed to get out the final row just before the time ran out. So I completed 2 rounds plus 250m of rowing.

WOD #2

8m AMRAP

  • 40 DUs
  • 20 HR Push-ups
  • 10 Pull-ups

DUs, I own you! I started off with a streak of 20+ and thought, “This is easy.” Haha! I fell off the pace a bit, but this was the first WOD where I didn’t suffer too much from DUs. I kept my head and tried to relax, which really helped with my rhythm. The second round of HR Push-ups were tough. In the second round I set a new PR by getting all 10 pull-ups in a row by kipping. I have a nice wound to show for it as you can see in the picture. I only tore up my left hand this time and it’s under a different finger than the first time I tore up my hands. Funny thing is, that was exactly one month ago. I sure hope the Open workout doesn’t require anything on the bar because I don’t know what I’ll do. I finished 2 rounds plus 14 DUs for this WOD.

WOD #3

8m AMRAP

  • 20 Box Jumps
  • 15 T2B
  • 10 Ring Dips

I used a 24in box for the jumps and substituted GHDs for the T2B since my hand was already tore up. I didn’t substitute anything for any of the ring dips today. I finished 2 rounds plus 20 box jumps, 15 GHD, and 2 ring dips.

Once everything was all said and done, that was a pretty cool program for today. I really love how they switch things up at the box. I’m going to miss the programming when I head back to Michigan, but I’m excited that the box back home is making a lot of changes and going to become a CrossFit affiliate this summer. Damn, I love this shit!