Do You Like Butterflies?

This morning it was back on the Armstrong Pull-up Program after the prescribed two days off, so I banged out my 3 sets of push-ups in the morning. Walked 18 holes of golf and then worked, so I attended the 8pm class for the first time. It was a fun partner WOD.

Warm-up

2 rounds

  • 1m Plank Step-outs
  • 1m Standing Bicycle/Steam Engine
  • 1m Side Bends (35# KB)
  • 1m Russian Twist (35# KB)
  • 1m Superman Plank
  • 1m Rest

The plank step-outs and Superman planks were both new to me. I could feel both of them working right away.

WOD

We partnered up and did a ladder with 2 exercises, wall balls (20# MB) and box jumps (24″). I was teamed up with Jason, who has lost over 60 pounds since he started about 3 months ago. Amazing! Jason did 25 wall balls, while I did 25 box jumps. When we both completed our reps, we swapped exercises, but were now on 24 reps. So each time we switched, we decreased a rep. In the end I did more box jumps and Jason did more wall balls, but I think it was only a difference of 13 reps. My goal was to complete all of my sets unbroken, which I was able to do. Jason did an awesome job and we ended up setting the best time for the day with 20:09. I know you’re not supposed to compare yourself too much to everyone else, but that’s still one hell of a feeling and I can’t help by try to win everything I do.

Skills

After the WOD, I alternated between doing 10 pistols (switching legs each rep) and working on the butterfly kipping pull-up. As the sets went on, my pistols got better and better. It’s all about finding the balance points when I do them. As far as the butterfly pull-ups go, they are a work-in-progress. I started to feel some of the cycling, and got 2 in a row towards the end.

As soon as I got home I knocked out 5 max rep sets of strict pull-ups with 90 seconds of rest in between for the Armstrong program. After just doing a bunch of pull-up work at Survival Fitness, I didn’t get too many.

Fifties on Sunday

Yesterday while watching golf, I downloaded a bunch of Survival Fitness videos from Facebook and compiled them into a movie.

My body is pretty freaking sore all over. I haven’t felt like this in a couple of months, so I can tell the WODs have been great and the extra work I’m putting in is paying off . Yesterday I mentioned my tailbone was really sore. Well, it’s more than that. I have two quarter-sized floor burn marks on the sides of my tailbone. No wonder in hurts to sit down! Sorry, no pictures. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Do you ever get bruises in CrossFit and have no idea where they came from? I have one under my right arm and a matching one under my armpit almost all the way to my back. Weird.

I did the push-ups of Armstrong Pull-up Program when I got out of bed this morning. It’s a nice way to start the day. I went in to the noon class today and it was packed with 20 people. Since class was so big we had to skip around during the movements, but it all worked out.

Warm-up

5 rounds

  • 1m Deep Squat Hold
  • 1m Mountain Climbers

I was stiffer than usual from the squat holds and 1 minute is a long time to do mountain climbers in a row, so I had to take 2-3 short breaks for them each round.

WOD

50 of each

  • DUs
  • Burpees
  • MB Snatches (20#)
  • Push Presses (30# DBs)
  • Wall Balls (20#)
  • K2E
  • Walking Lunges
  • KBS (53#)
  • Jumping Pull-ups
  • Box Jumps (24″)

It was ordered different on the board, but this is the order I ended up doing. I finished in 32:01. Most people did tuck jumps, but I was able to string together a few DUs before we started, so I went with DUs and completed them in 4 sets. I think I need to start practicing them again.

Later tonight I’ll do the nightly pull-ups and then it’s 2 days off from Armstrong Pull-ups. Tomorrow will also be a day off from CrossFit, which I’m really looking forward to. I will get out and walk 18 holes of golf.

Update: I just couldn’t stand sitting around later in the evening even though I went out and walked 9 holes of golf after lunch. I had to lace up the shoes and go out for a run, so I did a 5 minute warm-up, Tabata sprints, and a 5 minute cool down. In 14:14 I covered a total of 1.73 miles.

Partner Ladder

I really hated taking yesterday off, but my body needed it after 5 days in a row. I did get out and walk 18 holes of golf, so that was some active recovery. My legs were actually a little sore today, maybe lingering from all of the previous WODs building up.

Warm-up

5 rounds

  • 12 Ring Rows
  • 12 Plyo Push-ups

One minute per station, so you rest for the remainder of the minute once your set is done. Ring rows are still a weakness of mine. I was able to do all of the plyo push-ups unbroken though.

WOD

Partner Ladder

  • 1 -> 10 Burpees
  • 2 -> 20 KBS
  • 1 -> 10 Pull-ups
  • 2 -> 20 Wall Balls
  • 1000m Run

One partner works at a time, while the other rests. Using burpees as an example, partner A does 1 rep, partner B does 1, partner A does 2, partner B does 2, and so on until both have done the set of 10. For the KBS and Wall Balls, rep counts increase by 2 each time, so it would be 2, 4, 6, … up to 20. I was partnered with Kinde, one of the top women at the gym. Since she had just done 150 pull-ups yesterday, Matt had her do thrusters with 30# DBs, which was so much worse.

I used a 55# KB for the swings and a 20# MB for wall balls. The only thing I didn’t complete unbroken was the set of 20 KBS, which I broke down into sets of 12 and 8. I felt bad for Kinde because she wasn’t getting much rest and then when we got to the run she was having a hard time breathing. She hung on and pushed through it. We finished in 44:27.

I had a tape grip for my right hand to do pull-ups and it really saved me. Last night I trimmed off the loose skin from a big popped blister, so it’s still pretty raw. I was really happy to be able to do all of my pull-up sets unbroken today and my wall balls are like night and day compared to where I was a few weeks ago. This Paleo Challenge is really paying off!

Strength

Front Squats

  • 5x 135#
  • 5x 155#
  • 5x 175#
  • 3x 195#
  • 1x 215#

Hitting 215# ties my PR. I hadn’t done front squats in three and a half months, so I’m happy with that after all of the wall balls in today’s WOD. I went for a 2nd rep at 215#, but my legs were toast and I had to dump it. Next time.

Update: When I got home, I rested a bit and then did day 2 of the Armstrong Pull-up Program (PDF). I’m hoping to increase my pull-up strength at a faster pace than what I’m getting from the WODs. I’ve been consistently adding 1 or 2 reps to my maximum rep strict set each month, but I want it to increase faster. I did the first pull-up session last night, so this morning was the first time I did the push-up part of the program.

Iron Gym Extreme
Bought the Iron Gym Extreme, because the pull-up stand I have in my garage sucks

Kelly

After the turnout for “Murph” yesterday, I can’t stop thinking about how great of a community this is to belong to.

I’m a little sore today, but not bad considering that’s 4 days in a row. Since I won’t be able to WOD tomorrow, I had to push to 5 in a row today.

I’m 2 weeks into the strict Paleo diet as part of the challenge at the box. A few croutons and a small amount of shredded cheese on a salad are still the only “cheats” I’ve had. I’m down 8 pounds (172# this morning) and 1.5% body fat. At times, you can see a 6-pack as shown by the picture in yesterday’s post. I can’t believe how much my body has changed in the last two weeks and how much better I’m performing in the workouts. I figured it would take at least a couple of months to get to the 6-pack stages.

I’m increasing my food consumption in an attempt to speed up muscle growth, because I don’t want to lose any more weight; I want to turn some fat pounds into muscle pounds. A lean 175-180 would be ideal. We’ll see how this goes for the next week.

Warm-up

  • 75-50-25 Squats
  • 30-40-50 KBS (Russian)

I used the 62# KB for the swings and finished in 10:05.

Remember Kelly Kapowski?

WOD

“Kelly”
5 rounds

  • 400m Run
  • 30 Box Jumps
  • 30 Wall Balls

I love box jumps, so this is my kind of WOD. It’s always fun doing one of the benchmark girls or heroes so you have something to look back on if you do it again.

I used a 24″ box for jumps and a 20# MB for wall balls. Our 400m loop is more like 500 according to Google Maps Pedometer, so we’re working extra hard. ๐Ÿ™‚ I did all of the box jumps unbroken each round and started with a set of 15-20 for the wall balls each time to keep my intensity up. Tried to do most of my resting during transitions from move to move with a few seconds of sitting down to drink some water. Finished in 32:22.

Squat endurance was my weak point in the benchmark for the challenge, but it’s getting better and better. Squats and wall balls felt pretty good today, especially since that’s 5 days in a row that have included a lot of squats.

Embrace the Suck

The men and women that decimate your times are not superhuman. Theyโ€™re not particularly genetically gifted. Hell, most of the top CrossFitters in the world would get absolutely pummeled in your standard game of rugby, buried by larger athletes begat by larger parents.

What differentiates these individuals is not a gift, but an unreasonable desire to push self-imposed suck beyond its logical limits. What comes out the other side becomes legendary.

“Dedication” by Jon Gilson, Again Faster Equipment

I need to get better at pushing through the suck if I want to get stronger and improve my endurance faster than my current pace of improvement. I know I can do it. Gotta get the mind right.

My buddy Mo came in to the 11am class with me. I’ve been trying to convince him to try a CrossFit box near him for over 6 months. After 2 days of WODs, he finally understands. You can tell people about it all day long, but they’ll never really understand until they experience the intensity for themselves.

Warm-up

5 rounds

  • Lunges
  • PVC OHS

After doing all of the plyo lunges and air squats yesterday in the gym, this warm-up wasn’t exactly a welcome sight. I do need the work, so that’s a plus I guess.

WOD

  • 50 K2E
  • 100 Wall Balls
  • 50 T2B
  • 100 Box Jumps
  • 50 V-ups
  • 100 Burpees
  • 50 Pull-ups

How’s that for a chipper? I was worried about 150 reps hanging from the bar, especially with “Murph” tomorrow. I have some mini-rips, but no major ones, and looks like one small blood blister under a callus. I’ll have to really clean these calluses up tomorrow so they don’t bother me for the 100 pull-ups. The nice thing is that I’ll break them up into “Cindy” rounds so will only be knocking out 5 at a time.

Going back to the quote at the top, I tried to push through the pain as much as I could today. I was able to get 3 sets of 25 burpees, when I’d normally break that up a lot more and take more breaks. Keep getting better each day! We had a 40 minute time limit on the WOD and I was the only person in class to finish with a time of 39:05.

What a great way to start a Sunday!

PRs Everywhere!

Even though I said I was only going to get on the scale once a week, I couldn’t help myself. I’m down another pound and a half to 173.5 and body fat is now at 15.1%, which is a 0.8% drop from Monday. My goal for the challenge is to hit 14%, which means I need to average less than 0.5% per week the rest of the way. Seems doable, but it gets tougher as your body fat gets lower. I’ve had some real cravings for sweets at night this week, so it’s a good thing I don’t have any in the house.

At the gym I did a quick test with the handheld device and it showed my body fat down to 10.8%, which is good news because I was skeptical of the initial 12.3% reading it gave on day one of the Paleo challenge and is what will be used for my scoring.

I took a well-needed rest day yesterday, but did get out and walk 18 holes of golf. On Thursday morning, while laying in bed, I came up with my workout for open gym time today. Here’s a screenshot of the note I made on my iPhone. As you can see, I made a few changes

Warm-up

2 rounds

  • 150m Run
  • 20 Band Walk Steps each direction
  • 10 Band Presses after each 20 steps
  • 10 KBS

I used a 53# KB and did American swings.

Strength

  • 3-2-1-3-2-1 Deadlifts
  • MAX Strict Pull-ups
  • 2m Rest

I did 2 warm-up sets of 5 reps each with 135# and 223#. For my working sets I did 285#, 305#, 315#, 305#, 320#, 335#. My previous 1RM was 315, so I broke that several times. I also set a new PR for strict pull-ups in a row with 9. I don’t remember what I got the rest of my sets.

WOD

“Karen”

  • 150 Wall Balls

Karen is a bitch. I did it in 8:51, which is a 9 second PR, beating when I did it as part of Open Workout 12.4. I’m disappointed with that though. I started out with 25 reps in less than a minute and was at 50 in 2 minutes and change. From there I tried to do sets of 10. As I got past 100 it was less than sets of 10. Too much resting. I just need to push through the hurt.

Ab Finisher

4 Sets

  • MAX L-hang or L-sit
  • 1-2m Rest

I started out on the bar for the first one, but my hands were not feeling the greatest from heavy deadlifts, so hanging on the bar wasn’t the greatest idea. I didn’t time these, but they were better than I’ve done them in the past.

Just Because

3 Sets

  • MAX HSPU
  • 2-3m Rest

The few people who came in for open gym were messing around and talking, so since the classes worked on some HSPUs today I figured I’d get in a bit. Got 10 (PR) on the first set and then 8 and 6 I think. These have come a long way since I left Phoenix. I don’t think I was even doing any Rx there. Dropping some weight helps too!

That was fun. Got to work on a bunch of stuff today.

One Month Paleo Challenge

We’re doing a one month Paleo Challenge at Survival Fitness. Everyone has to keep a food journal to work on a point system. You get 5 points to start the day. Bad things like a cheat meal or alcohol are negative points, but you can ears extra points by doing a WOD at the gym, getting 8 hours of sleep, or drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water. Everyone has their body fat taken at the beginning and does a benchmark WOD. We’re going to randomly be put on teams. Scoring is 50% body fat change, 25% WOD improvement, and 25% food journal points.

It was only $25 to join and I need something to get me on track to those abs I want, so I figured being part of a team will hold me more accountable. So I get to class, weigh myself, and have my body fat measured with the handheld device. It read 12.3%! Yeah right! If I was that low you’d already be seeing my abs. The Withings scale puts me consistently at 16-17% which is more realistic. With such a low starting number, I won’t be winning the body fat portion of the competition so I’ll have to make up for it in the other parts I guess.

Warm-up

  • 30 Air Squats holding PVC vertical in front
  • 20 PVC Pass-thrus
  • 30 PVC OHS
  • 4 partner rounds (alternate each round)
    • 50 Jumping Jacks
    • 50 Butt Kicks
    • 50 High Knees
    • 50 Lateral Hops
    • 50 Mountain Climbers

WOD

For the Paleo Challenge benchmark, we did 5 different AMRAPs and totaled up our reps. We partnered up so that we could count each other and get a bit of rest.

5:00 AMRAP

  • Burpees

4:00 AMRAP

  • Wall Balls

3:00 AMRAP

  • Air Squats

2:00 AMRAP

  • KBS (Russian)

1:00 AMRAP

  • AbMat Sit-ups

I did 82 burpees, 77 wall balls (20# MB), 101 air squats, 76 KBS (53# KB), and 67 sit-ups for a total of 403 reps. Doing the air squats right after wall balls was the worst and my score showed compared to others in the class. I pushed pretty hard, so it’s going to be interesting to see how my numbers come out a month from now.

Update: After all classes finished for the day, I had the 4th best score.