Testing My Back

I’m feeling good after the rest day yesterday. Matt is out-of-town for the weekend so I offered to help out with the weekend classes. Today was sort of on open gym and I was looking forward to testing out my back as well as trying a few things that are part of a competition I’m doing in October.

Warm-up

  • 400m Run
  • Various stretching, including PVC pass-thrus and around the world’s, PVC OHS, world’s greatest stretch

WOD #1

“Grace”

  • 30 Clean and Jerks (95#)

This one comes straight out of the competition. I’ve been staying away from cleans for the last couple of weeks because of my low back. It felt pretty good doing this today. I finished in 2:42 without too much of a push since I was doing it by myself. A month or so ago I used 125# and did it in 5:10-ish, so I’m confident I can get down around the 2 minute mark.

WOD #2

10:00 EOMOTM

  • 5 Deadlifts (225#)
  • 5 HSPU

I’ve also been staying away from deadlifts because of my low back. These felt really good and easy. All of the HSPUs were strict and unbroken.

WOD #3

10:00 EOMOTM

  • 10 Thrusters (65#)
  • 10 Pull-ups

The competition has “Fran” but the beginner division, which I’m competing in, only uses 65# and does jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups. I figured this was a good way to build up for it. I should have gone heavier with the thrusters and maybe did fewer reps there. Everything here was unbroken as well. I’ve never been able to do that many rounds of pull-ups unbroken like that.

WOD #4

20:00 EMOTM

  • 30s Row

This a great one for conditioning. Go all-out for those 30s and then catch your breath for the next 30s.

I’m really happy with how my back handled the workload today. I wouldn’t have been able to do this 2 weeks ago. I’m in charge of making up the WOD for tomorrow’s classes, so that should be fun. It’s going to be some kind of partner WOD.

First Grace

Saturday night we had a great time at the 2nd annual Survival Fitness Picnic. I didn’t get home until 2am and slept in until 9:30. I spent the entire day watching the finals of the CrossFit Games. Amazing and inspiring! One of my favorite parts is seeing elite athletes cheer each other on, which never happens in any other sport.

After the Games ended, I decided to take a shot at rigging up my gymnastic rings in the garage. I made a quick trip to Home Depot for supplies and started working around 8pm. I quickly found out that both of the batteries for my drill were dead, which made things a lot harder because I had to keep switching batteries on the charger. I also had to make a run to buy some nutdriver attachments for the drill. A little before midnight, I finally had everything up. The project turned out to be much tougher than I expected, especially for one set of hands. I wish I had a taller ceiling in the garage, but these will be just fine for the limited use I’ll give them.

Yesterday was my second rest day in a row and a much-needed one. I did get an hour-long deep tissue massage, which really helped loosen up my back. I’m going to have to get massages more often. It’s supposed to hit 100 degrees today so I went in to the 9am class, which was already in the mid 80s. I was the only guy in a class of 9, which was kind of odd.

Warm-up

4 rounds

  • 15s Jumping Jacks
  • 15s Air Squats
  • 15s Mountain Climbers
  • 15s Jump Squats

Immediately followed by:

4 rounds

  • 15s Plank
  • 15s Superman
  • 15s L Side Plank
  • 15s R Side Plank

I was already sweating bullets at this point it’s so hot and humid.

WOD

“Grace”

  • 30 Clean and Jerks (125#)

This was my first time doing “Grace” and I’m pleased with the results. We had a 6 minute time cap so I was deciding between 115# and 125#, but glad I went heavier. My time was 5:10.

Finisher

10 Prowler Sprints (5 high, 5 low, loaded with 135#)

I’ve done these heavier, so this wasn’t too bad. Being able to go faster does some different work.

Touchy Tailbone

Rolling out of bed was rough this morning. My lower back is very sore from one-arm snatches and deadlifts yesterday, but even worse, my tailbone feels raw from the 150 sit-ups last night. I can feel them in my abs too, but WOW it hurts to sit! Once I finally got out of bed, I knocked out 3 sets of max push-ups as I went through my morning routine. This may not have been the best idea considering I knew we were doing “Angie” today for the WOD. It’ll make me stronger I guess!

Warm-up

5 rounds

  • 1m Plank
  • 1m Burpees (10 and then rest)

Just last night I was thinking we hadn’t done plank in a while. Funny how that works out. 🙂

WOD

“Angie”

  • 100 Pull-ups
  • 100 Push-ups
  • 100 Sit-ups
  • 100 Air Squats

The one time I’ve done “Angie” Rx was on April 11th and looking back, we had swapped the order of sit-ups and squats. Probably didn’t matter much. My time then was 24:42, with about 12:00 to get through the pull-ups. When I did this, I was still doing “cheater” sit-ups where I only had to touch my shoes. I’m no longer doing those because they’re a joke with my long arms and flexibility. I’ve started getting all the way up so I can reach out past my feet. Originally I was planning to blow that time out of the water, even with harder sit-ups, but the tailbone issue made it rough.

I was feeling pretty good through the pull-ups and completed them in about 8:30, a lot faster than last time. I wore home-made tape grips on both hands which really helped saved my hands since they are in rough shape from the last week. I felt ok on push-ups considering I had already done 100 of them when I woke up. Started with a set of 15, then did 3 or 4 sets of 10. That’s when things started to slow down and sets kept getting smaller and smaller. Sets were all 5 or more though, which is a huge improvement from last time when I was only getting 2-4 at the end.

At this point it was neck and neck between a few of us. Sit-ups absolutely killed me though. They took me forever even with two mats under my ass for padding. Each sit-up hurt like a bitch so I tried as much as possible to come up on the sides of my ass instead of straight up. I powered through and moved on to the squats. Not my best effort in the squats, but I finished in 23:41, which is a PR by 61 seconds. I’m confident I can get sub-20 next time.

Strength

Death by Clean & Jerks

Brent and Ron had already used up all of the 10# bumpers, so I didn’t have much choice but to load up with a couple of 45s and do 135#. I got up through the set of 4 and had to start the set of 5 with no rest. I nearly made it in the minute, but locked out the jerk 1 or 2 seconds after the minute ran out. I took a couple of minutes off and then jumped over to the 115# bar Brent was using and did a minute with 6 reps and a minute with 7 reps to get in some more work.

At some point tonight I’ll do day 4 of the Armstrong Pull-up Program.

Weak with Heavy Overheads

Yesterday I was going to give an update on the Paleo Challenge, but forgot. The challenge officially started last Wednesday, but I started on Monday. After one week I lost 5 pounds and dropped 1% off my body fat. I posted A Week of Strict Paleo on my main blog that outlines what I ate and gives a bit more info if you are interested.

Today is the sorest I’ve been full-body-wise in a long time. Those prowler sprints from yesterday and the back squats on Sunday did a number on my body.

Warm-up

5 rounds:

  • 15 MB Full Squat Cleans
  • 150m Run

Pretty easy warm-up. I used a 20# MB and finished in 8:55.

WOD

  • 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Clean & Press
  • 1 round of “Cindy”

First, I’ll explain how this works. The number of Clean & Presses increases each time around, but there is only 1 round of “Cindy” to do each round. Make sense? Good. What’s a round of “Cindy” you ask? It comes from the benchmark girl WOD of the same name and is:

  • 5 Pull-ups
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 15 Air Squats

I’m not sure what it is, but when there is heavy overhead work with a lot of reps I really struggle. Look back to the WOD that had fifteen 95# thrusters in each of 5 rounds as an example. Today had a similar outcome. Maybe it has something to do with my height and long arms. Or maybe I’m just a weak-ass pussy!

I used 135# for the clean and press and snuck under the 33 minute time limit, with 2 seconds to spare, for a time of 32:58. The rounds of “Cindy” were actually pretty easy. I did all of the pull-ups and push-ups unbroken each round. I usually split up the air squats to 10-5, but should have pushed myself more there because my endurance fades fast with air squats.

I was going along and for some stupid fucking reason decided to figure out how many reps were left. In total you have 55 clean and press to do, half of those (27) are in the last 3 rounds! I tried to keep pushing as much as I could, but I was gassed. It was a great workout though and I’ve been wanting to get in some moderately heavy clean work, so that was great. The “Cindy” rounds were a good primer for Monday’s Memorial Day Murph.

Since it took me so long to do the WOD I didn’t get to do the Finisher, which was ten 40-yard sprints with a walk back as the rest.

Sweat Me a River

The humidity is picking up and so is the temperature. Just over 80 degrees tonight during class. I need to make the switch to mornings, but there are some good athletes that go to the 4:15pm or 5:30pm classes, which makes you push harder.

Warm-up

  • Tabata Mountain Climbers
  • Tabata Monkey Fuckers
  • Tabata Bear Crawls

WOD

3 rounds

  • 200m Run
  • 50 Ring Rows
  • 30 KBS
  • 10 SDLHP
  • 200m Run

Yes, that’s a run to start and end each round, so you end up running a couple of 400s unless you take a break between rounds. I used a 55# KB for the swings (American) and a 71# KB for the SDLHPs. Doing that many ring rows was the biggest trouble for me. I had to split them up into sets of 5 for the most part and even some smaller sets. My hands are hurting from earlier in the week and I still have a good blister from the 350 Russian KBS the other day. I finished in 29:37.

Strength

Work up to a 1RM Clean and Jerk, doing 1 rep each minute. My sets were 135#, 155# 165#, 175#, 180#, and 185#. I did a full clean on the last two reps and on my last jerk my split was so small I’m not even sure you could call it a split. I had to muscle it up because I didn’t get under the bar. That’s a 5# PR on the clean, 15# PR on the jerk, and 20# PR on the combination. Not a bad day at the gym!

Back on the Jump Rope

I was exhausted yesterday afternoon and throughout the night. Made it an early night and got a ton of sleep. Today I’m sore from a combination of Saturday’s track workout and all of the burpees yesterday.

I got to the box a bit early and worked on muscle-up technique for 5-10 minutes. I’m getting closer.

Warm-up

  • 800m Run
  • 5 minute Clean warm-up

Strength

6 Sets

  • 1.1.1 Clean & Jerk (10 sec between reps)
  • 2-3m Rest

Used 95#, 115#, 125#, 135#, 145#, and 155# for my sets. The last rep or two were pretty ugly.

WOD

  • 750m Row
  • 25 T2B
  • 75 DUs
  • 500m Row
  • 20 T2B
  • 50 DUs
  • 250m Row
  • 15 T2B
  • 25 DUs

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I did any jump roping, but I didn’t want to skip out on today’s workout so I did it. I tried to concentrate on keeping my head back in a good position instead of chicken-necking. I was successful until I towards the end when I got really exhausted. I could feel my neck coming forward at that point. My row was really slow and sluggish today and T2B were rough on my hands. Yesterday I developed a blister on one of my fingers from pull-ups and it popped during the OLY class. Of Course T2B ripped it wide open today. That’s a lot of reps on the bar. I was last in class by quite a bit with a time of 20:58. I thought it was going to be a good day when I ripped off 27 DUs right off the bat the first set, but it was not to be after that.

OLY and Beers

I wanted to get in to the box for the WOD this morning, but it was heavy on the DUs. Since I’m not doing any jump rope for a few weeks, to let my neck heal, I went for a 2.18 mile hike at Piestewa Peak instead. I did make it in for the Olympic lifting class at noon, especially since people were bringing beers and sticking around afterwards. In class we worked on the different steps of the clean and jerk. I worked up to 155# and stopped there because my arms and elbows weren’t feeling very good from yesterday’s Open workout. Then I did 4 sets of RDLs with the same 155#. Hung out for about an hour and a half shooting the shit with everyone. Made it out to walk 18 holes of twilight golf.