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.

barbara-2019-03-31.jpeg

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.

Barbara, Still a Weakness

We went in earlier, at 10, for a Sunday due to the holiday. I drank this sample of a women’s elite pre-workout on the drive.

Warm-up

  • 3×15 Reverse Hyper (140#)
  • Shoulder Stretching
  • False Grip “Hang” & Stretch
  • Bottom Squat Hold

Someone lowered the low rings even more so it wasn’t much of a hang with both feet easily on the ground.

Conditioning

“Barbara” – 5 Rounds

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

Anything with this many bodyweight reps generally isn’t my cup of tea and Barbara is no exception. I’ve never done well with it. I did manage a 38 second PR though. Pull-ups were easy, going 2×10 every round. I did 3×10 for 3 rounds of push-ups but felt them dying so I did 10-8-6-6 the final 2 rounds. Sit-ups were fine for 2 rounds but got slow. Never stopped but it felt like each rep was taking sooo long. Actually did better than expected on the squats and got faster the last two rounds by pushing harder knowing I didn’t need to use my legs again for about 6 minutes when I finished the set.

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

Gymnastics

10:00 EMOM

  • 4 Strict HSPU

I haven’t been doing much overhead pressing since the back issues, so wanted to try and get in some reps. Went much better than I expected.

Kiss My Ass Barbara

Sunday!

Warmed up with some stretching, 10×45# shoulder press, 5×95# thruster, and 3×135# clean thruster.

E3M 15:00

  • 1.1.1 Clean Thruster
  • 3 Evil Wheels

* Take 5-10s between clean thruster reps.

Worked out to about 2 minutes of rest between rounds, which is what I was going for with the design. I used 155, 175, 195, 205, and 225#. That was fun. My max clean thruster was 240# the last time I tried, so 225# for 3 reps was tough.

IMG_5304“Barbara”
5 rounds

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

Went out hot, which turned out to be really dumb. My rounds were 3:37, 4:12, 4:29, 4:59, and 5:07 for a total time of 22:24. That’s 9 seconds slower than the only other time I’ve done this benchmark, though I was 22 pounds lighter back then. I went 20, 20, 20, 14-6, and 12-4-4 on my pull-ups and I think I did 3 sets of 10 for the first 2 rounds of push-ups. If I had broken up the pull-ups and push-ups more in those first two rounds I think I would have been able to keep a more consistent pace. Last time I did “Barbara” my rounds were almost all exactly the same time (4:23, 4:26, 4:26, 4:33, and 4:27). My head was a little too big today.

Wore gymnastics grips but they don’t protect the thumb. Glad it’s not very deep. Better to have it there than somewhere on my palm.

2014-11-16-thumb-rip

“Rockin and A-reelin Barbara Ann Ba Ba”

It was a little tough getting out of bed this morning at 9am. My neck and back are a little off, but they did loosen up after moving around. I went in for the 11am class.

Warm-up

3 rounds

  • 30s Jumping Jacks
  • 30s Plank
  • 30s Jumping Jacks
  • 30s Bottom Squat Hold

WOD

“Barbara”
5 rounds

  • 20 Pull-ups
  • 30 Push-ups
  • 40 Sit-ups
  • 50 Air Squats
  • 3m Rest

This was my first time meeting “Barbara”. She sounded like a real bitch before I got to shake her hand, but after we got to know each other a little bit, she’s an alright gal. I like workouts like this where you can have 3-5 minutes of hard work followed by a rest and then do it over again.

My goal right from the start was not to go out too fast, because I’ve done that too many times in a WOD like this one. I also didn’t want to get to the point of fatigue in my push-ups because after that it’s almost impossible to knock out any good amount of reps. I did 10 and 10 pull-ups in round 1, but then went 10-5-5 every other round. Did about 10 push-ups to start each round and then broke up the rest into smaller sets as my arms tired. Sit-ups and air squats were all unbroken except for the first round of squats. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to do with 50 of them so I took 2 short rests. I was feeling better than ever with my air squats so for the last 4 rounds I was able to do them unbroken. In the last round I was actually able to bang out the last 20 at an even faster pace, which felt good.

My times for each round were very consistent:

  • 4:23
  • 4:26
  • 4:26
  • 4:33
  • 4:27

Everything within a 10 second window. I’ll take that type of consistency every time. Total time of 22:15.