Bench Speed

My back and calf are still bothering me today. Out in the garage at 11.

Year of the Engine – Polarized

24:00 Airdyne

** At endurance pace with 7 second sprints at 5:00, 10, 15, 20 and then recover to endurance pace again.

I got 693 cals and 8.91 miles (14,339m).

Went to the 4pm class.

Warm-up

3 Sets

  • 10 Reverse Hypers (140#)

3 Rounds

  • 35s Assault Bike
  • 7 Hand Release Push-ups
  • 6 Ring Rows

Bench Press

  • 10×45#
  • 10×95#

Conditioning

10 Rounds

  • 10 Bench Press (135#)
  • 5 Strict Pull-Ups
  • 5 Pull-Ups
  • 15 cal Assault Bike
  • 1:30 Rest

There wasn’t a weight listed for the bench press, so I went in thinking I’d do 95# and fly through it. We had to share stations though because it was a big class and TJ wanted to do 135# so I was fine with that. Good thing too because I cruised through every round unbroken without any struggles. Wasn’t sure how I’d do after benching heavy yesterday.

The workout said 10 pull-ups (strict if possible). I thought 100 strict pull-ups is a lot to ask, so I decided to split it in half and keep the intensity high. I was a little faster in my early rounds, but slowed on the bike as the clock ticked away. Finished in 29:16, which is only 46 total seconds over a 1:30 per round average pace. My first round took exactly 1:30 so I stayed extremely close to that pace all the way through.

That was a good one and I didn’t have to scale anything for my current injuries.

Midline

4 Rounds

  • 40 Russian Twists (44# KB)
  • 20 Sit-ups

I was able to do rounds 1, 2, and 3 of the twists unbroken and went 24-16 in round 3.

5 Rep Bench

I didn’t get out golfing yesterday because I found a bunch of water in the basement and spent almost 2 hours cleaning it up. I’m sore from that today. Went to open gym at noon.

Warm-up

3 Sets

  • 1:00 Assault Bike
  • 15 Reverse Hypers (90#)
  • 10 PVC Passes

Ended up with about 45 calories on the AB.

Strength

Bench Press

  • 5×45#
  • 5×95
  • 5×135
  • 5×175
  • 5×200
  • 5×220
  • 5×235
  • 5×245

My ass came off the bench a little in my last two reps, but that ties my old PR for a set of 5, when I had gotten my max up to 290. Can I hit 300 in the next few months?

Conditioning

25:00 EMOM (40s work / 20s rest)

  • H2H KBS (44#)
  • Plank
  • Jump Rope Singles
  • Sit-ups
  • Lateral Step Overs (14″)

I was getting 22 swings and 22 sit-ups each round. Never missed on the jump rope. Perfect little workout for today that didn’t get me breathing or sweating very hard. Ready for Murph tomorrow!

I wouldn’t mind getting out to golf but I need to do yard work and a bunch of other shit, so we’ll see.

Kind of Like Murph

Set my alarm and got up to get to the 9am class.

Warm-up

  • 400m Run
  • Dynamic stretching

Conditioning

  • 1 Mile Run
  • 100 Pull-Ups
  • 200 Push-Ups
  • 300 Air Squats
  • 1 Mile Run
  • 300 Sit-Ups
  • 200 Double Unders
  • 100 Pull-Ups
  • 1 Mile Run

Paired up with TJ. Tom was the odd man out, so he joined us and worked at the same time as me. We decided to go through this like a chipper and thankfully even the runs were able to be split up. We did 200 meter runs, sets of 5s for pull-ups and push-ups, and 15s for air squats. Then we did sets of 15 sit-ups most of the way with 2 or 3 sets of 10s. Dubs were sets of 25 (no misses for me) and 5s for pull-ups again. I was able to get through ever set of pull-ups in both rounds doing butterflies and I did wear grips. There was a 35 minute time cap, which we hit right around the end of the sit-ups. We decided to finish and it took about 45 minutes.

After cleaning up the last of the tree branches and running a bunch of errands throughout the day, I hopped on the rower. With the long workout this morning I decided to put off the week 9 endurance piece on the Airdyne until tomorrow.

Warm-up

5 Rounds

  • 30s Row
  • 30s Rest

Increase the pace each interval. Ended up with 131, 137, 143, 150, and 158 meters.

Engine Builder – Anaerobic

8 Rounds

  • 30s Row
  • 2:30 Rest

Going to stop paying attention to the calories for such short intervals like this. There just isn’t enough variance at a high pace like this. So my goal pace shifts from > 2,200 cal/hr to < 1:25/500m. I went 178, 178, 179, 181, 181, 181, 181, and 182 meters. This was 33 overall meters more than a month ago and 56 better than two months ago. Today’s first interval matched my best distance from last time. I think the warm-up definitely helped. There was still a bit of warm-up up at that high pace as you can see from the first four intervals.

2019-05-04-row.jpeg

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.

400 Sit-ups in 3 Days

Throughout yesterday I got sore in my quads, shoulders, core, lats, and biceps. Pretty much everywhere. I finally cleaned out my gym bag yesterday too.

After morning meetings at work I got on the bike.

Engine Builder – Speed

5 Rounds

  • 2:00 Airdyne
  • 30s Rest

I wanted to hold 87-90 RPM, because I had to go faster than I did for a straight 10 minutes, right?! Made it, but would like to be more consistent. Those 30 second rests were over in the blink of an eye. My calories were 90-84-82-85-89 (430 total) and 4.35 miles. I did an easy five minutes for 1.36 miles to cool down.

Went to the 4pm class.

Warm-up

  • 400m Run
  • Front Rack Stretch
  • 10 Muscle Cleans (45#)
  • 10 High Hang Power Cleans (45#)
  • 10 Hang Power Cleans (45#)
  • 10 Power Cleans (45#)

Weightlifting

Power Cleans

  • 5×95#
  • 5×135
  • 3×165
  • 2×185
  • 8x2x205

No belt. Worked on not leading with my hips, which alleviated some pressure on my low back. Go figure!

Conditioning

20:00 EMOM (alt)

  • 20 cal Row
  • 20 Sit-ups

I was really excited (/sarcasm) for 200 more sit-ups after doing 200 on Sunday! My goal was to hold 1,500 cal/hr on the rower and I did it with ease. Average was probably 1,550-1,600. I was finishing the row in 46-47 seconds each round and pushed the last one to finish in 43 seconds. I was barely even breathing heavy when I got off the ground after sit-ups each round. I actually felt pretty good with these smaller sets of sit-ups and did them in 30-31 seconds every round.

Accessory

4 Sets

  • 12/12 Single Leg Hip Thrusts
  • 15 Reverse Hypers (90#)

Definitely got a low back pump from the RHs.

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.

In the Yellow

I’m getting a lot of sleep, but WHOOP says I’m still not recovering to the green zone; been in the yellow every morning after 19.4 and the rowing I did on Friday. My back continues to feel better each day. My legs feel tired walking up the stairs today.

Too much I’d have to substitute at the gym again, so did everything at home.

Warm-up

  • 3:00 Row (805m)

Engine Builder – Anaerobic

6 Rounds

  • 45s Row
  • 3:30 Rest

Tried to get over 2,200 cal/hr by the 5th pull and stay there. My calories were 26-27-27-27-26-26 and you can see below that I started running out of steam after the 3rd interval. This was pretty nasty.

2019-03-20-row

Looking back at my 250m PR, I pulled 45 strokes/min. I guess I need to cycle through my strokes faster.

Accessory

Dumbbell Curls – 21s

  • 3 Sets 7-7-7 @ 25#

Got up to the 25s with all three sets. One more session and then I’ll switch things up. Really happy with the progress in under 2 months.

Conditioning

5 Rounds

  • 20 Hand Release Push-ups
  • 30 Sit-ups

Wanted something where I could keep moving but not too intense after the anaerobic work. This did the trick. I did 4×5¬†every round of push-ups. First set was done in 40 seconds and about 50 for round two before I started taking a little more rest between every five push-ups. Sit-ups felt good the whole way and took about a minute each round. Finished in 9:35.

Complete rest day tomorrow.