All The Scaling

Can still feel that back tweak there. Was out in the garage before lunch.

Engine Builder – Interval

8 Rounds

  • 1:30 Row
  • 30s Rest

I was really struggling to figure out a goal pace for this. In the last two months I have plenty of different samples, but the work:rest ratios are all a bit different. Going in I was set on 1:50/500m, but was doing 1:49 in the first interval so I stuck with it. Could have gone faster. My meters were 413-413-413-414-413-414-414-413, so another consistent one.

Went to the gym at 4pm.

Warm-up

2 Rounds

  • 1:00 Bike
  • 10 RDL (45#)
  • 30 Jump Ropes

Accessory

3 Sets

  • Dumbbell Curl – 21s (30-25-25#)
  • 10 GHR (red band)
  • 1:00/1:00 Single Leg Stand (62# KB)

I did this instead of 5×5 deadlifts. First 2 sets I was holding the KB in the wrong hand and it was an awkward stance. In addition to the red band, I’m pushing off the pads a bit with my hands so I don’t put stress on my back.

Conditioning

5 Rounds

  • 50 DU
  • 8 Pull-ups
  • 8 T2B
  • 5 Box Jumps (36″)
  • 50’ Farmer Carry (53# KBs)
  • 1:00 Rest

I think I got 2 sets of dubs unbroken and missed 3x in one of the sets! Scaled 8 muscle-ups down to the 8+8 and was able to do each movement unbroken, wearing grips. The bar I was using was a tad too low for me, so I actually had to spread my legs in my kip which felt really weird. Instead of doing 5 muscle cleans (155#) I figured the high box jumps would still get me working on leg drive and hip extension. Cruised through this one in 12:55.

Farmer’s Stand?

Still got that minor thing in my back. Out in the garage before lunch.

Engine Builder – Speed

2 Rounds

  • 9:00 Airdyne
  • 3:00 Rest

Was probably around 79-81 RPM. Did 3.6 miles both rounds and 302-304 calories.

Went to the 4pm class.

Warm-up

  • 15 cal Row
  • 15 Hand Release Push-ups
  • 15 cal Row
  • 12 PVC Passes
  • 15 cal Row
  • 10 Strict Pull-ups

Strength

5×5 Strict Pull-ups

These were actually after some of the early sets of benching.

Bench Press

  • 5×45#
  • 5×95
  • 5×135
  • 5×165
  • 5×195
  • 5×215
  • 5×230
  • 5×240

Almost didn’t make that last rep! Just 5 pounds under my best for a set of 5.

Conditioning

Partner Chipper

  • 100 cal Row
  • 50 Strict Handstand Push-ups
  • 100 Chest to Bar Pull-ups
  • 50 Strict Handstand Push-ups
  • 100 cal Row

This looked rough on paper! Partnered with Weston. We split the row in sets of 25 then HSPU and C2B in sets of 5s. I was able to do all of my HSPU strict and unbroken! The second time through them actually felt better. After 2-3 sets of C2B I switched from butterfly to a regular kip, which I always forget about when there is a lot of volume; lets me keep going much longer. Never had to come off the bar. The workout didn’t end up being as hard as I expected. I rowed around 1,600-1,700 cal/hr my first two times and then more like 1,500-1,600 at the end. We finished in 21:23.

Accessory

4 Sets

  • 10/10 Single Leg KB Deadlift (62#)
  • 40/40s Single Leg Stand (62#)

The single leg deadlifts didn’t feel the greatest on my back. First time trying the stands with a weight and it really wasn’t bad at all. Would you call it a Farmer’s Stand? LOL

Slow Down the Wall Balls

Quick trip out to the garage before lunch.

Engine Builder – Interval

2 Rounds

  • 7:00 Airdyne
  • 1:00 Rest

Very similar to the 7-5-3-1 work yesterday. Wasn’t feeling 82-83 RPM today though and it ended up being around 80-81. Did 237-239 cals and exactly 2.81 miles both intervals.

Went to the 4pm class.

Warm-up

2 Rounds

  • 200m Run
  • 10 Air Squats
  • 10 PVC Passes
  • 10 Behind the Neck, Snatch Grip Sotts Press (PVC)

Accessory

4 Sets

  • 12/12 Single Leg Hip Thrusts
  • 25 Banded Pull Throughs (green)
  • Dumbbell Curls – 21s (25#)

Did this instead of OHS because of my back. Still doing the A version of the 21s.

Conditioning

15:00 AMRAP

  • 30 Double Unders
  • 15 Wall Balls (20#, 10′)
  • 30 Double Unders
  • 15 Pull-Ups

Missed a DU or two in almost every round. Had to go slower than normal on the wall balls due to my back, which I could feel on the jumping and the wall balls. I did 3×5 on every round of pull-ups. Got through 5+30.

Accessory #2

5 Rounds

  • 10 DB Lunges (35# DBs)
  • 20 Sit-ups

Took about 6 minutes.

Tabata Rows Suck

Stayed up later than I’d like, but got up and went to the 9am class.

Warm-up

  • 400m Run
  • Stretch

Conditioning

Partner Workout

  • 5 Rounds
    • 10 DB Snatch (50#)
    • 20 Burpees
  • 4 Rounds
    • 20 Box Jumps (24″)
    • 40 Pull-ups
  • 3 Rounds
    • 30 Calorie Row
    • 60 Wall Balls (20#, 10′)

I teamed up with Tom and we crushed! For the first four rounds of snatches one person did them and then we split them 5-5 in the fifth round. Burpees were split 10-10 each round. Box jumps were split 10-10 each round and we alternated sets of 5 pull-ups. Those pull-ups started feeling hard in the 2nd round! We split the calories 15-15 every round. First two rounds we alternated 20-20-20 on the wall balls and then 30-30 to finish. Took us 25:51, well under the 35 minute time cap. That felt really good!

I might have aggravated my back a little bit with the snatches. I could feel it on the box jumps, so I went a little bit slower. It felt good for wall balls though.

I was planning on doing my EB work later tonight, but my dad made a last minute decision to come down and watch the Masters, so I got it done before lunch.

Engine Builder – Interval

2 Cycles

  • 8 Rounds (Tabata)
    • 20s Row
    • 10s Rest
  • 5:00 Rest

I had no clue on a pace for this. Maybe something faster than a 1k PR pace? Sounded good to me, so my goal pace was 1:30/500m.

That was a terrible strategy!! I underestimated how much energy is required to get the flywheel up to speed each time, especially on such short rest. New goal for the second cycle was a 1:38 pace. That worked out much better!

My meters were:

108-110-106-98-95-96-97-97 (807)
103-102-102-102-101-101-100-102 (813)

When I hit my average at exactly 1:38 it was 102 meters. Consistency is key and worked out to more meters. I took a look at BTWB and people must use the clock when they do a Tabata row instead of programming the monitor, allowing them to get a lot of carryover meters every interval. 800 meters is only like the 40th percentile!

I did a real slow 1,000 meters in 5:00 to cool down.

I’ll be watching the Masters the rest of the day.

Strict EMOM

I’m still sore from Barbara. Could feel some tightness in my low back this morning that seemed to be from the reverse hypers I did yesterday. Before lunch I got on the rower in the garage.

Engine Builder – Anaerobic

5 Rounds

  • 400m Row
  • 5:00 Rest

To improve on a month ago my goal was a pace of 1:35/500m, which I beat without a problem. My splits were 1:15.9, 1:15.5, 1:15.3, 1:15.2, and 1:15.0. It always feels good to get negative splits and I was able to recover really well in the five minutes, which probably means I should be pushing harder for this type of workout. Supposed to go at 90-95%, but it’s hard to know what that is exactly, so maybe I’m my recovery is just improving. Averaged 1:34.2 and was 14 seconds faster overall than a month ago.

IMG_2492

Went to the 4pm class, which was a small one today.

Warm-up

  • 5:00 on a machine
  • 2 Rounds
    • 5 Strict Pull-ups
    • 10 Hand Release Push-ups
  • 2 Rounds
    • 5 Inchworms
    • 10 PVC Passes

Gymnastics Strength

10:00 EMOM

  • 5 Strict C2B Pull-ups
  • 5 Strict Ring Dips

Was programmed as 5 muscle-ups (same as last week), but my right shoulder is still bothering me, so I’m not doing those any time soon. Did strict pull-ups last week in this format, so tried chest to bars today. I did 3-2 for the first three rounds of pull-ups, but then did singles for the rest of the way. Dips were all unbroken.

Conditioning

5 Rounds

  • 10 Deadlifts (155#)
  • 20 Wall Ball (20#, 10′)

Knew I wasn’t trying the Rx 225. Thought about 185, but settled on 155 and figured I’d just be faster. Warmed up with 10×45, 5×95, and 5×125. My hamstrings started to feel tight in the 3rd set of deadlifts, but overall I felt good in this one, going unbroken on everything. Finished in 6:23.

Accessory

3 Sets

  • Dumbbell Curl 21s (25#)
  • 1:00/1:00 Single Leg Stand

Did the T Nation A version again for 21s. I could really feel the stands in my glutes after doing those deadlifts.

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.

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!