Jan 31, 2010

Running in circles

Since I missed the Mud Run training at the box yesterday due to my makeup WOD taking an hour (OMG!), today husband and I did our own version of the "Dyer" WOD that Joe put everybody through. It's supposed to be a team WOD, but we just did it individually. We also had to skip the pullups because there isn't a pullup bar near the track. Boooooo for Navy bases. A Marine base would've had a dozen.

For time:
400m run to finish each round
Result:  28:12

I think I was running kinda slow. Yikes.

But I found it easy to get all of my pushups in a row, and on my toes with good range of motion -- woot! Just a little work on pushups goes a long way.

That convinces me to get pushups into all of my warmups when I'm coaching WODs. I read in a CF Journal article (need to find the exact source) that body weight / gymnastics exercises are tolerated at much higher reps than weightlifting exercises. And it's also true that the more you do them, the better you get at them.

On the way home from the gym I was talking to husband about how strong I am getting. It wasn't that long ago that I was frustrated going to the base gym because I didn't have my own bands, and couldn't do pullups there. This time I found a great spot to do my pullups -- on a squat rack, just had to remove the bar. And I got up there and kipped -- and muscled up the last couple inches -- 30 pullups to finish out my workout.

It made me feel really proud to be in there doing pullups -- you don't often see women able to do them. Many guys in there use the Gravitron.

During our conversation, husband made a good point -- it makes sense that I'm progressing so rapidly, when you consider that 2 1/2 months ago, I was basically wearing a 20lb weight vest.

As of today, I've lost 18.6 pounds since I started doing weigh-ins in August, which coincided with me re-starting at CF Camden. About 1 month into being back to CrossFit I started eating Paleo. I credit Paleo and 3-on-1-off WODs with how quickly I've been able to take weight off -- I even lost 4 pounds over the Christmas holidays when I wasn't even at home.

I'm no longer focused on weight loss, since I fit back into my clothes again, but it seems to still be coming off. I'm interested to see where I end up. I'm also curious if my PR's in some of the Olympic lifts will suffer if my weight drops -- from things I've read, a higher bodyweight seems to help translate into heavier lifts for things like deadlifts and squats. We shall see!

It's just a really nice feeling to look back and see how far I've come in just a short time. And in another 2 months I'll officially be CrossFit Level I certified! Hollah! :-D

Jan 30, 2010

My arms are toast

I was already feeling sore from rope climbs, ring dips and pushups yesterday, and then I decided that during today's open gym I would make up the crazy WOD from Thursday, which was my 3-1 rest day.

Oh. My. God. The finish time speaks for itself. A WOD hasn't taken me that long since I did Eva just after Thanksgiving.

5 rounds, for time:
10 DB hang squat cleans (35#/20#)
10 DB push presses
10 DB front squats
10 DB man-makers
5 pullups
 Results:  57:47 - as Rx'd

Even though this took me F-O-R-E-V-E-R, I'm proud to say that this was my first "as Rx'd" WOD with pullups in it. I said I would be off the band for pullups by the end of the month, and as of today, I have officially given them up. I may be doing pullups one at a time for some WODs in the next few weeks, but I will be doing them on my own.

The worst part of the round for me was the pushup within the man-makers. I was happy to have done all my pushups on my feet yesterday, but today they weren't there, and I was back on my knees by round 2. I think I just need to do WAY MORE pushups to get better at them. It's not as sexy as working on your pullups after the WOD, but I think at this point it's holding me back and I need to pick a minimum number to complete each day. Grease the groove to get better.

I brought some SunButter,  along with apple slices, carrots and celery, to share after the Mud Run training was over. A few people got a chance to try it. And we had some good discussion about what foods aren't part of a Paleo diet, and what foods you do eat. I'm hoping that the information we share at the new Paleo Challenge blog will get people thinking, and help keep everybody motivated about making a switch to Paleo, even if it's just for the next 6 weeks.

Almost forgot to share the most hilarious part of completing this WOD. Smashing my chin off the pullup bar during round 4. Note to self -- it's cool to kip with all you've got, but look at the bar when doing so. I think I escaped relatively unscathed, considering I probably could've cracked a tooth or something gnarly. Considering this a warming to anybody reading this!

Jan 29, 2010

Up the rope!

Tonight was my first time the whole way up the rope! Hollah!!!!

In hindsight, I wish I had asked someone to take a video with my iPod. :)

Also just before the WOD I got 6 kipping pullups in a row! Woot!

It was an exciting night. I love the first day back after a rest day. I feel all fresh and wonderful and excited.

Complete the following for time:
3 rope legless ascents
400m run
25 ring dips
400m run
50 squats
400m run
60 push ups
400m run

Results:  27:32

Obviously I used my feet on the rope climb. They made me so nervous that my heart was racing super-fast, and I had to take a lot of rest time between them.

Ring dips I did with the skinny band. Turns out I'm going deeper than I need to, so I need to work on that.

For pushups, I did them all on my feet, though by the end I had to do them 2 at a time.

Jan 27, 2010

Dirty South Chipper

Today's WOD came from the 2009 Dirty South (South Eastern Region) Regional Qualifier.

For time:
1000 Meter Row
25 OHS (135/115/75)
150 Meter Run
50 Kettlebell Swings (24k/16k)
150 Meter Run
25 Burpees
150 Meter Run
Results: 18:01 -- 55# OHS, 16k kb

I meant to remember my time for the row, but did not succeed. I think I could've gone faster on it, but honestly I was scared about not having anything left for the OHS. I actually intended to use 60#, but after I snatched it up (prob ugly) I only got 3 1/2 before I dropped it. So I took off the 2.5's and just did 55. It's amazing how much difference 5# makes on those.

I stuck with my decision to start doing OHS from the ground during metcons / chippers (started that at Ultimate in early Jan). Can't remember how I broke down my 25 reps into sets...

Kettlebell swings rocked. I got 30 in a row, then 8 (weird issue @ top of the swing, dropped the bell) and then 12. Very happy with those.

Burpees -- did all proper pushups, but probably could've done them faster.

All in all, I was happy. I'm stinky now, so I must've done a good job. :)

We're talking about doing a Paleo challenge for our box during the month of February. I hope we model it after this system at CrossFit Delaware Valley. It just sounds like such a good plan...

Mandy wanted me to post my pullup video to the box's Facebook, so I decided to take a minute to put together a single video with all 3 kipping videos in it, to demonstrate my progress.

Kipping Pullup Progress - Nov 09 to Jan 10 from c wiss on Vimeo.

Jan 26, 2010

Deadlifts and box jumps

I have to say I wasn't feeling very motivated this morning, and I probably would've opted for 5pm or 6pm if I didn't have a class to attend tonight. I'm finally attending the "new spouse" class, just about 1 year after getting married. :-p

Deadlift 4-4-3-3-2-2-1-1

Did same weight for each couplet -- 115-135-155-165
Sometimes I feel like I get wobbly when I start to come back down? I think I'll take some video next time I go heavy on deadlifts and try to see what the problem is.

As many 24'' box jumps as possible in 3 minutes.

Results: 47

During my warmup, I decided to do kipping pullups instead of working on my deadhangs with the band. All part of my goal of abandoning the band altogether by the end of the month.

To my surprise I did just about 3 in a row on my first set. So I decided to grab my iPod and take a video. And I got 4! Then I took another video, and got 4 again! Still had to do a tiny bit of muscling-up to the bar on the fourth one of both sets, but not as much as a few weeks ago. Hollah!

Kipping Pull-ups -- Jan 26 2010 from c wiss on Vimeo.

In the future, all of my videos will be found on the No Crying in CrossFit channel on Vimeo.

Jan 25, 2010

Getting moving on Monday morning

I woke up thinking about doing 100 burpees, but there was a break in the rain, so I headed outside for a run instead.

According to my Nike+, I went about 2 miles. First half was pretty much downhill, second half was pretty much uphill, with a finale of the giant hill my parents live on top of. Lovely. Living in the flatland is making my hamstrings deficient, I think. I need to figure out how to build them up for the 1/2 in 2 weeks -- sprints, I guess?

Then I did a shortened version of Blackjack, starting with 15 total and working down from there -- rather than starting from 21. Didn't run a timer.
14 pushups - 1 situp
13 pushups - 2 situps
12 pushups - 3 situps
Not the most challenging workout, but better than nothing. Didn't want to take 2 full days off, and yesterday a workout just didn't happen, and today I'm flying home. Back to normal tomorrow when I'm back home. I need to decide if I'm going to continue with the 603 PTP now, or restart, or restart sometime in the future.

Jan 23, 2010

Bear-ish complex in da Burgh

Had an awesome time at CrossFit Pittsburgh this morning. I felt so nostalgic driving around my hometown, and then it was a crazy juxtaposition to go do some CrossFit. Fun times. :)

We did a bear complex kinda thing, with good mornings added at the end. Jenn said it was the CF Football version of the bear. Honestly, the good mornings freaked me out because I've only ever done them with PVC. So I started with a much lower weight - an empty women's bar -- than I would've without that added on.

Complete 4 rounds of:

Complete the cycle 7 times per round:
Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat
Good Morning
Results: 17:11 -- 33-43-48-53

So, not only did I go light, I went really, really SLOW. Disappointing. I know I need to go easy on myself when I haven't done a movement before... But I've been wanting to try the bear complex for a while, so it's a bit of a letdown to have done it with such a light load.

I'll get some next time - heavy, hard and fast. :)

After the WOD we went through a fun little cool down with Jenn. Three static holds per round: handstand, wall sit and plank. 1st round - 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; 2nd round - 1 minute on, 1 minute off; 3rd round - 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. It was great! That is exactly what I need to do on my own to develop my handstands, and getting comfy upside down.

CrossFit Pittsburgh has a great vibe -- I really liked the space they're in (cool climbing hold on one wall!), and I met the owners Jenn and Mike and two other trainers and several members and they were all super-friendly and welcoming.

No group warmup -- this is the first box outside of CF Camden that I've been to that doesn't do the group warmup. I agree with the concept that Mike explained that each person has their own preferred way to warm up... but I also agree with Bryan from Ultimate that sometimes people don't do the best job getting warmed up on their own... Maybe the best strategy is to just go class-by-class, or person by person. Group warm ups for the less experienced, self-directed warm ups for the more experienced.

For some reason I was loving their pull-up bars. The width or the height maybe? I asked, and they're 1 1/2 inches wide. I just felt super stable in my grip -- that's the best way I can describe it. The height was just slightly above my reach, which I love love love love love.

Good news for the day -- I did 2 kips in a row that took me the whole way up over the bar, instead of my usual "most of the way there, then PUUUULLL" style. Woot! Progress!

One more note on their pull-up setup -- they have two bars setup at the height needed to do jumping pull-ups. What a great idea. Jenn explained that for beginners, it's so much easier for them to do the kip-jump from the floor. I totally agree, because I've seen how learning to do pull-ups and also standing on a box that you're afraid you might miss coming back down can complicate the learning process. And she made the point that Filthy Fifty calls for jumping pull-ups, and they're good for that too.

That's a perfect example of why I love my CrossFit fieldtrips -- those cool little adaptations that each affiliate discovers.

Next trip home I will definitely be back in the box for another WOD. For sure! And I will probably be hitting up Jenn with more training questions too. :)

Jan 22, 2010

Burpees in the basement

I always have to alliterate in my titles, if I can. :)

I'm visiting my parents (happy birthday and retirement dad!) so I was holed up in their basement trying to work out tonight. Luckily I'm not tall, or there wouldn't have been enough ceiling clearance. As it was, I had to stand between two ceiling joists to do double-unders, and look up during my burpee jumps to make sure I wasn't going to hit my head instead of clapping my hands over my head. :)

My sweet spot in front of the washer and dryer. Took this with my webcam while the computer was sitting on the ironing board. :-D

WOD: (H/T CF Coastal)
Results: 16:37

Probably a little slow, but I'm happy with doing high-quality push-ups on all my burpees and also continuing to practice my double-unders.

After a few minutes of rest, I did tabata squats. I've been reviewing several of the classic CrossFit Journal articles during the last week, and Squat Clinic has some great advice on when you know for sure that you've mastered the squat:
When has the squat been mastered? This is a good question. It is fair to say that the squat is mastered when both technique and performance are superior. This suggests that none of the twenty-three points above are deficient and fast multiple reps are possible. Our favorite standard for fast multiple reps would be the Tabata Squat (20 seconds on/10 seconds off repeated 8 times) with the weakest of eight intervals being between 18-20 reps. Don’t misunderstand - we’re looking for 18-20 perfect squats in twenty seconds, rest for ten and repeat seven more times for a total of eight intervals.
Well, I didn't quite demonstrate mastery. Here's my results for the 8 work sessions:
Yes, I got a little "woe is me" on round 4. Ick.

Side note: I used this online tabata timer, and it was super convenient. You can even download the Flash (swf) file to use when you're not connected to the internet. Wish I could install a tabata timer app on my new iPod nano -- yet another reason I am coveting an iPhone.

Best part of working out in the basement? Mom coming to the top of the stairs twice to yell down, "Are you OK....?". LOLs! It's the little moments in life that make me smile the most. :)

The first time she called down, I was in the midst of some very painful double-unders -- I gave myself a few good welts on the back of my arms and on myback, and I couldn't help but groan about it out loud. The second time I was breathing really heavy during the tabata squats, and I guess she heard my panting all the way upstairs.

CrossFit does make us look and sound "not OK" at times, doesn't it? :)

Now that I have been so successful with losing my "after the wedding" weight, and am happier and healthier overall, my mom is really enthusiastic about my CrossFitting and Paleo. She has even agreed to be my training guinea pig at some point in the future. I can't wait!

I'll be out of the basement tomorrow, 'cause I have another field trip planned! CrossFit Pittsburgh, here I come!

It's gonna be a bit of a drive (at least 1 hour), but I think it will be worth it. I'm hoping to meet Jenn, because I think as a fellow military wife and CrossFitter, she and I would have a lot in common. :)

Jan 21, 2010

Interviewee, and other thoughts

Just wanted to add a little blurb over here about an interview that I did with Steph (from CF KoP) on her blog, Radical Hateloss. If you want to hear more about how I'm a psycho-b**** when there are K2E's in a WOD, you'll want to click over there. :-p

Also, Lisbeth Darsh totally makes my day every time she posts something. Her writing has the perfect hardass, sarcastic edge. This post is amazing.

She makes me want to be a badass female gym owner really, really badly. :)

Why do I discover there's another benchmark WOD that's not in the CF main site FAQ just 2 days after completing my whiteboard project?

I was reading the Athletic Skill Levels from CrossFit Seattle to get ideas for movements to include on my next "arts & crafts" project -- an individual PR whiteboard -- when I see "Christine" in the last row of Level 1 stuff. Dayum!

Sounds like a good one, too. (CF Fire agrees) I consider anything that doesn't require pullups or massively weighted bench press to be good, because then it seems accessible -- i.e., I might have a chance of completing it unscaled. :)
3 rounds for time
500m row
12 deadlift (bodyweight)
21 box jumps (24'')
I think I'll be ready to take on this lady at the end of my PTP deadlift press program... And I might add her to my board too. :)

How did I miss finding this link to the entire PTP program? I was just following the "next post" links from each day to move ahead. Yay, now I can just print out the whole thing! Go me. :)

Jan 20, 2010

CrossFit arts & crafts project

As of Tuesday I officially completed my first CrossFit "arts & crafts" project -- a benchmark WOD whiteboard for my "home" box, CrossFit Camden.

I have to admit that since it's been so long since I had a little project to do, I kinda went overboard. But I had a ton of fun, and I'm pumped to go through the benchmarks with our athletes over the next couple months and see who comes out on top!

My main inspiration was from Ultimate CrossFit, though while I was there taking pictures I didn't get one of their benchmark WOD whiteboard. Later I found a good picture of the CF Park City setup, which is what I was going for, except horizontal.

  • 1 - 4 x 8 x 1/8 sheet of tile board / panel board
  • 1 - roll electrical tape
  • 2 packs - 1'' Peel & Stick Vinyl Letters (like these, got mine from Staples)
  • 1 - label maker (borrowed from husband's office -- shhhhhh!)
  • 2 - plywood trim channel (something like this, in 4' length, and I'm not sure that width is right)
  • 2 - wood shim, 4' x 4'' x 3/8'' (I might be off on the thickness)
  • 1 - tube construction adhesive
You might be wondering, why those last three?

Well our box is in an industrial building that has 3 walls of metal, and only 1 wall of drywall. So we can't just screw things to the walls. Due to that, this whiteboard might be permanently set up leaning against a metal wall. If you've ever dealt with panel board, you know that if you lean it against the wall, it starts to bow in the middle. Yuck.

So we (yay for help from husband!) basically reinforced the two 4' edges with a metal channel by sticking a 4' long skinny piece of wood into the channel with the panel board to keep everything tight. We glued it all together with some construction adhesive -- husband and I figured that would be impervious to the 3000% humidity and 100 degree temperatures in the summertime. :)

In addition to being functional, I think the trim channel is pretty aesthetically pleasing - a nice shiny metal/chrome border on two sides. :)

Here are some pics!

Artsy shot in the morning sun. :)

Sitting under our cubbies temporarily. Check out my John Wooden quote above - LOVE that one!

Next project - an individual PR whiteboard. That project was inspired by CrossFit KoP. I'm hoping I can get somebody over there to take a picture of their whiteboard to send to me. :)

PTP Day 2

With sore legs from my run yesterday (I was running somewhere between an 8:30 and 8:50 per mile pace, fast for me), I took it easy today.

CF Whole9 PTP - Day 2

I did my own warmup, minus the row, and skipped the prescribed Buy-In. Though I did add 10 GHD situps to my final 3 round triplet.

  • Set 1: 115 x 5
  • Set 2: 105 x 5
I felt like my form was better on these on Monday, though I'm not sure in exactly what way? Maybe it was just muscle soreness making me feel off.

  • Set 1: 50 x 5
  • Set 2: 45 x 5
Considering how heavy 50 felt, I'm surprised that I actually managed to get up 80 during CFT a few weeks ago.

No cash out or cool down, just stretching and then doing some of the warmup with the 8:30 class. Only 2 ladies this AM.

Jan 19, 2010

PFT #1

Well, husband and I did the PFT today. I am feeling a bit embarrassed by my score. I should've stayed on the bar longer for the flexed-arm hang. I also should've practiced that so it wasn't my first time doing it in a very long time. :)

3 mile run: 25:30 = 73pts
Flexed arm hang: 33 seconds (booooo!) = 33pts
Situps in 2mins: 74 = 74 pts

Total: 180 (points calculated w/ chart here)

That puts me in 2nd class status for a 28-year-old female.

For my next test, which I'll do in about a month, I'd like to do the run in under 25 minutes, hang for at least 40 seconds, and do at least 80 situps. Ideally my next score will be 200 or higher! :)

Jan 18, 2010

Monday mish-mash

I was helping out at the box this morning, so I used the gap between 6:30 and 8:30 classes to start the 603/Whole9 PTP program.

First I did my own warm-up (see below), so I was really sweating by the time I finished the buy-in.


3 rds (only did 2 + 1 handstand)
  • 20 sec handstand (used HSPU harness)
  • 15 kb swings (16k) -- these felt heavy for some reason!
  • 10 box jumps (20'')
  • 1RM = 185
  • Set 1: 60% = 110; 5 reps
  • Set 2: 90% of set 1 = 100; 5 reps
  • 1RM = 80
  • Set 1: 60% = 45; 5 reps
  • Set 2: 90% of set 1 = 40; 5 reps
Cash out

3 rounds (only time for 2) -- 12:25 (took a video, so that took up some time)
  • 30 double-unders
  • 15 KTEs
Am I the only one wondering how my KTE's look? Yes? Well, here's a video anyway. heh :)

I'm thinking I'm starting to do them closer to corect, because my shoulders were getting tired and sore after round 2 of 15 reps. So I must be engaging them...

In addition, I started putting together a personalized warm up, which is one of my goals. I used a CrossFit Journal article and my experiences with warming up at Ultimate CF and CF KoP to create this baseline routine.
  • Run, at least 400m
  • Row, at least 500m - focus on maintaining low stroke count and 2:10 pace (H/T Ultimate blog)
  • 3 rounds with PVC:
    - 10 shoulder dislocates
    - 10 good mornings
    - 10 OHS
  • 3 rounds:
    - 5 ring dips (floss)
    - 10 pushups (consecutive, on toes)
    - 3 dead hang pullups (floss/skinny band)
    (will work on increasing these reps as I get stronger)
Talked to Joe a bit about my cooldown, and to help with maintaining lumbar curve during deadlifts, I'm definitely going to incorporate hip extensions there. Not sure what else I'll include, maybe a rope climb? Got some instruction on that on Saturday from the husband, plus watched a few videos last week.

Jan 16, 2010

True rest day

Finally, a day off. But I was still in gym today, which cracks me up. Had to pick up a key to the building for some future helping out activities, plus I got to check out the raw materials for my benchmark WOD whiteboard project! I have never been so excited about an 8' by 4' by 1/8'' piece of tile board. :)

If I had heard about The Garage Games sooner, I may have wavered in my idea for our anniversary weekend: stay at a fancy-schmancy B&B on Tybee Island and run the Tybee Critz 1/2 Marathon. They have a "beginner" class for the competition, and I feel like I could actually hold my own on any strength WODs. No comment on running-centric WODs... By the time next year rolls around, hopefully I will be too good for the beginner class, and can be competitive in the intermediate class. :)

After searching out as many blogs of female CrossFitters as I could over the past several weeks (check out the "Blogs" list in the sidebar), and as a result reading a lot of PRs for different women, I am feeling even more determined to get my deadlift PR into the 200s.

To accomplish that, I'm thinking about the CrossFit Whole9 (formerly 603) PTP program. It's about 3 weeks long, which takes me up to the half-marathon very nicely. I think it might be interesting to pair the PTP with some additional running. Nothing super-high mileage, just more running than I've been doing. Which is not much, aside from a few 400's here and there.

I also wanted to make some witty comments about this blog post about a woman's pullup journey, but didn't have time. Posting the link anyway.

Jan 15, 2010

Annie, redux

Took another shot at Annie today. It made me cry. F***.

For time. 50-40-30-20-10
Results: 21:05, Rx'd

I definitely f-bombed a few times and threw my jump rope down a few times as well.

However, in being forced to do so many DU's, I think I had a little bit of a technique breakthrough. We'll see if I can go further with that on a day when I'm calmer...

Jan 14, 2010

Running on my rest day

The WOD at CF Camden was too brutal for a 4th day workout, so I took an active rest day. A couple of miles probably helped my sore quads more than sitting on my butt anyway. :)

I think I was going pretty fast at the beginning of my run, but I don't have any record of it because I didn't push the button properly to start up my Nike+ sportband. Doh! I'm obsessed with run metrics, so that really pisses me off.

In any case, I've run the route before, and know I went about 1.5 miles at the point that I realized I wasn't recording. From there til the end of my run, the Nike+ says that I did 2.84 miles in 28:24. 10 minutes per mile pace. Boooooo. Running slow sucks.

Husbeetle and I ran on base, then went to the pullup bars by his office afterwards. I did two sets of 2 consecutive pullups, and then 2 single reps. Not much, but hey, it's my rest day. :-p

Jan 13, 2010



3 rounds for time.
400m run
21 kettlebell swings (24kg/16kg)
12 pullups

Results: 16:??

I did the swings unbroken, but used the mental floss band on all my pullups. I know, weak. But I am feeling sosososososo beat down this morning. I attempted to kip without assistance a couple times, but just didn't have it in me. I'm thinking of setting a deadline of the end of January to be off the band completely... Eeek! We shall see.

I did this one at 6:30AM, and it was freaking cold! It reminded me a lot of the winter I did 6AM workouts at CrossFit Philly, getting up at 5:10 and having to warm up the car to melt the frost off the windows. This cold was not exactly what I was expecting from life in Georgia, though. :-p

Edited my goals to add this benchmark WOD to the list that I want to complete unscaled before end of 1st quarter.

Jan 12, 2010


Box jumps isn't usually abbreviated, but I couldn't resist the 3 acronym title. :)

Strength: Overhead squat 12-10-8-6-4-2 working sets

Load: 45-55-60-65-70-75

Also did a 1RM of 80# after that. Looks like another 1Q10 goal needs to be evaluated. I set my OHS goal at 85#, and I'm only 5 pounds from reaching that. I'm thinking 100# for the reset.

Metcon: For time, 21-15-9
  • Box jumps
  • Handstand pushups
Results: 9:4?? -- 24in box, green-blue HSPU harness

I liked using the harness, but my finish time was twice as long as everyone else. So typical me. heh

On the set of 21 HSPU, I lost is after 18, and did the last 3 with my feet over a bar on a squat rack. I'm anxious to work on these, though, because at the start of the first two sets I did around 10 in a row, which rocked.

Bad aspect of the harness -- I scraped both of my legs up on the giant box I was using to help myself get into the harness. Well, I scraped when falling out of the harness as my arms were buckling. heh. Definitely need to ask my coaches if we can get some pullup bars against the wall, walking feet up the wall is def the best way to get in and out of the HSPS harness.

Jan 11, 2010


  • 5 pullups
  • 10 pushups
  • 15 squats
Every minute, on the minute, for 30 minutes.

It would take me nearly an entire minute to do 5 pullups without a band, considering I am mostly doing them 1 at a time, so I used the mental floss tonight. I set up the next biggest band as a backup, but I am happy to report I didn't need it.

However, I did have to scale this down a bit to stick with the timing.

In addition to using the band for pullups, I did all my pushups on my knees, but with strict chest-to-deck and full arm extension.

After about 4 rounds, I scaled the reps to 3-6-15. In hindsight, I should've made myself do something like 3-10-15 until I started butting up against the time limit closely. I settled into a 3-6-12 pattern for the last 12-ish rounds.

I'm writing this in so much details because I'll be interested to see what I'm capable of pushing myself towards in future attempts...

Jan 8, 2010

Last Ultimate WOD for a while

Today was one of my last WOD's at Ultimate CrossFit -- I'm so glad I had the chance to attend their noon class most of this week. I originally planned to do 5 days on, but the programming had me beat, and I had to take my usual day of rest yesterday after 3 on. :)

I thought the WOD today really exposed my weaknesses -- which is frustrating, but also a good thing. Since ring dips are in my goals, I was glad to get a chance to work on them. I also worked on double unders after class.
4 rounds
Ring Dips
Box Jumps(24/20)
Renegade Rows(35/25)
Ab Mat sit ups

One minute at each exercise and one minute rest between rounds. Score is your total reps.
Results: 252 (65, 65, 63, 59)

On ring dips I used the skinniest band to assist on the first 2 rounds, then upgraded to a slightly thicker, but still skinny, band on the second 2 rounds. I was shooting for 10 each round, which felt very lame for 60 seconds, but hey, that's where I'm at.

The renegade rows were just CRAP. I think I got 7 or 8 at the most on a round. And I was totally doing knee pushups after the first couple. Yikes. On the plus side, I used the 25# dumbbells. I blame the box jumps -- those were getting me completely out of breath, and I have a hard time continuing to breathe while I'm doing pushups or anything else in pushup position.

Overall, a great week, and also a great vacation. I've been able to do 12 workouts since I left home on December 20th. I did my first CrossFit Total at Ultimate CrossFit, my first unscaled benchmark WOD, Annie, at CrossFit King of Prussia, and I got to run outside twice. Awesome. :)

Jan 7, 2010


Usually I don't post on my rest days, but now that I've made it my goal to post more than just WOD recaps in this blog, I'd like to start using rest days to write about other topics. I thought about adding "Rest Day" to the title, but I don't know. We'll see... Maybe I'll just add that as a label...

I didn't include it in my goals post, but one additional thing I'd like to do during 1Q10 is measure my current abilities based on the USMC PFT (Physical Fitness Test) standards for women.

This idea first occurred to me soon after meeting my husband (he's an active duty Marine) four years ago, and I've thought of it from time to time since then. Now seems like as good a time as any to put the idea to the test.

The tentative plan is to measure my performance now (as soon as possible after I get back home from this trip), and then again at the end of March. Hopefully I will get a higher score in March. :-p Even though he will roll his eyes and think it's cheesy, I'll get my husband to administer the test; we'll use the track on base and the pullup bars by his office (same place we took the 1st kipping pullups video).

Minimum acceptable performance for me (female, 28 year old) would be:
  1. 15 second flexed arm hang
  2. 45 crunches in 2 minutes
  3. 3 mile run in 32:00 (10:39 min/mile)
I can definitely do the minimum right now, so at least I know I won't fail. :-p

In order to score a perfect 300 points as a female, I would need to do the following:
  1. 70 second flexed arm hang
  2. 100 crunches in 2 minutes
  3. 3 mile run in 21:00
200 points is the minimum score for 1st class fitness classification for some of my age. There's no set way to get that score -- I could rock out the run and situps, and not do as well on the flexed arm hang, and get 200. Etc, etc, etc.

Jan 6, 2010

HSPU breakthrough

Strength: 3-3-3 max rep sets of handstand pushups (HSPU)

This afternoon I had a HSPU breakthrough -- I finally woman'ed-up and got into the crazy harness thing with two bands. Yikes, that felt *strange*. But at least I finally had a positive experience with being upside down. :)

Note to self: a good reason to setup pullup stations next to a wall is so that you can walk your feet up the wall to get upside down when you're using the bands to assist with HSPUs.

**can't find a picture of the assisted HSPU setup; I'll have to take one myself to illustrate next time I write about these**

Overhead Squat (115/80)
Results: 14:30 -- 53.5# OHS (was using a 33.5# ladies bar)

Also of note, I did this from the ground. Which means instead of placing the bar back on the rack, I dropped it to the ground when I had to rest, and then did power snatches (and a couple hang power snatches) to get it back into overhead position.

Bad side effect of that -- I started out with too wide of a grip, and my left wrist was killing me during the first round. That really slowed me down - I was resting more for the wrist than my shoulders or legs. Bryan straightened me out, advising a narrower grip than my usual snatch grip.

Another coaching input from today to remember -- keep the range of motion in the OHS a bit shallower. I am already well-aware that I am a super-deep squatter, I just never thought about how I might be going too deep for the purposes of something like a metcon. Food for thought, I will definitely incorporate that advice in the future.

Kipping video from after the WOD and some wicked planks (thanks Mie!). I actually did two in a row before this video was taken -- had a little bit of trouble getting the recording to start. Hence why I crap out on the 2nd and 3rd attempts that were caught on camera. :) No biggie, all I really wanted was a historical record of my kipping form now, so I can compare it to how I look in 3 months.

Update: Trying to embed the Vimeo video. Also, for some reason it was uploaded upside down? I dunno -- maybe something I need to figure out with my iPod.

Kipping pullups - Jan 6 2010 from c wiss on Vimeo.

Jan 5, 2010

Fran and Helen had a lovechild

I was so close to Rx on this, I could taste it... Damn pullups...
"Playing with Fran and Helen"
3 rounds
Run 400m
15 Pull ups
20 Thrusters(95/65)
25 KB Swings(1.5/1.0 pood)
Results: 30:27

Biggest reason for that finish time was my first set of pullups. I tried my damnedest to get all 15 without any assistance. I made it to 13, failed 2 or 3 times, then got on the "mental floss" for the last 2. 2nd round I made it to 7 or 8 before I had to use the skinny band, and pretty much the same thing for the 3rd round. But I was pretty much just getting one at a time, so it took FOREVER. Better to learn how to do pullups than to finish first, but I was just really freakin' tired when I got down to the last set of thrusters and kb swings.

In keeping with my experience at CF KoP the other day, I could only do sets of 5 for the 65lb thrusters. But I'm cool with that. I'll work my way up to longer unbroken sets.

I disappointed myself a bit on the kb swings. The 1pood bell felt almost light and airy after the 45lb bell I used recently, but yet I didn't do all 25 in one set. 2nd and 3rd rounds I did do a set of 15 to start, so I kind of vindicated myself there.

Run was pitiful. Me and the track and a stopwatch need to become better friends. Running slow just depresses me because I know how fast I've been in the past. After I work on my distance for the 1/2 marathon, then it's time to work on some speed drills.

Jan 4, 2010

CrossFit Total @ Ultimate CrossFit

My first CrossFit Total!

When I saw the WOD on the Ultimate CrossFit blog, I was so stoked! Now that I've had a few months to work on my back squat, press and deadlift, I was ready to see how I could perform in this benchmark.
"CrossFit Total"
Squat - 1, 1, 1
Press - 1, 1, 1
Deadlift - 1, 1, 1

There is no time limit for each lift. You can warm up all you like, but you must choose a rep to be your first attempt. You only get three attempts at each lift, so if you fail at any attempt it still counts as one of your reps. Scoring: Take your top completed reps from each category and add them together for your total.
  • Back squat - 155, 160m, 155
  • Press - 70, 75, 80
  • Deadlift - 175, 180, 185
  • Total: 420
According to the CFT ranking charts in the mainsite FAQ, I'm "Intermediate" for my bodyweight. I think that's good considering I just started using barbells in mid-August.

For back squat, I'm happy because my goal was to add 10 pounds to my last PR (145) to make my PR the same as my body weight. Hopefully when I do my weigh-in once I get home from vacation I've lost some more weight, and then I will happily announce I can back squat more than my body weight. :-D

For press, I think I should've started at 75, which was my 3RM at CrossFit KoP the other day. But when I warmed up with 75, I couldn't get it up, and that's why I dropped back to 70. I dunno. But will be aiming for 85-90 next time I go for a 1RM on press. Utilized some great advice from Swine -- keep elbows wide to keep your shoulders engaged in the upward movement; my elbows want to drift forward, which makes it harder to apply force upward on the barbell.

For deadlift, I'm satisfied. My goal was to surpass my current PR of 175, if I could do it while maintaining good form. I accomplished that by 10#, and Brian was kind enough to watch my form, which he said looked good. Hollah! This makes me feel very confident about my 1Q10 goal of a 200# deadlift -- I think it's absolutely achievable.

The noon class at Ultimate CrossFit is such a fun group of people, and it fits perfectly into my schedule when I'm helping out my sister. AM classes don't work because of getting the kids on the bus, and PM classes don't work because the kids are already home from school. I really wanted to try to visit CrossFit Charlotte this week, but I don't think it's gonna fit since they don't have a noon class... Bummer...

I'm glad I brought my giant bag of stuff with me, because there was a need for an iPod and I had my new one with me. I chose to play them my "cheri's getting sh** done" playlist, which seemed to please the crowd. I should put it on for my CF Camden peeps soon. :)

Also, I finally got a picture of my favorite CF wall art that I've seen so far:

Yes, that is Kool-Aid man busting through the wall while swinging a kettle bell over his head. LOVE IT. Cheesy, yet motivating. The same description I hope I have as a coach. :-p

There's also another cool piece of art on the other side of the box:

I'll probably be back over there 3-4 times this week. I might do 5 days on (Mon-Fri) since I took a day off yesterday after only 2 (pretty easy) days on.

Random note: I rowed my warm-up 500 in less than 2 minutes. Booyeah! :) Also, I love the skinny pull-up bars a UCF. Did 3 kips in a row without dropping off the bar. I think I need to bump that goal up to 10.

Jan 2, 2010


Well, on New Years Eve I got up on stage to dance to "Baby Got Back" since I'm rocking a great CrossFit booty these days, and to keep it up I thought I'd redo this butt-killing vacation WOD since my home gym posted it as the WOD at the box today. :)

Lunges (50R/50L)

Results: 31:20

This time around was MUCH better, not as much feeling like I was gonna vomit. :) I did all my pushups on my knees so I could keep up the pace. Slowing down the pushups would've pushed my finish time in the 40's, and I gotta get cleaned up so I can go out to dinnah with my seeester. :)


I sat down yesterday to write goals for 2010, and my sister pointed out that I needed a shorter time frame. So we decided 1Q10 goals would be perfect, especially since my Level I certification will be taking place the weekend of March 20-21, right at the end of 1Q.

Goals for 1Q10

Oly 1RM PRs --
  • Deadlift: 200# (currently 175#)
  • Overhead squat: 90# (currently 55#) (updated 1/12/10, after new 80# 1RM)
  • Power clean: 155# (currently 125#)
Bodyweight --
  • Pullups: 8 kipping in a row; 3 deadhang (updated 1/10)
  • Pushups: 30 "manly style" in a row
  • Ring dips: 1 unasssisted Completed 3/11/10
  • Handstand pushups: 3 (updated 1/10)
Skills --
  • Doubleunders: 10 in a row Completed 2/14/10
  • Knees to elbows: 3 with perfect form (updated 1/10)
  • Row: 2K in 8:30 (~2:08 min/500m pace)
  • Run: 5K in 27:57 (9:00 min/mile pace) Completed 2/20/10 -- 27:10 Bridge Run
  • Run: 1/2 marathon in 2hrs 30mins (Critz Tybee Run Feb 6) Completed 2/6/10 -- 2:20:00
Benchmark WODS --
  • Cindy - unscaled; no assistance on pullups, no "knee" pushups
  • Fran (added 2/16/10) 10:59 on 2/15/10
  • Grace - 95# C&J; under 5 minutes
  • Helen - unscaled; no assistance on pullups (added 1/13/10) Completed 3/11/10
  • Karen
  • Kelly
  • Nancy - 65# OHS
  • Filthy Fifty Completed 3/15/10
Personal growth, learning and contribution to CF community --
  • Develop my own warm-up and cool down routines to reflect goals
  • Research and practice POSE running
  • Complete Level 1 certification
  • 5 more "field trips" to other affiliates: CF Charlotte, CF Amelia Island, CF Hyperperformance (Savannah, GA), and one of the JAX and St. Augustine affiliates
  • Promote community and camaraderie in the box by learning every name and keeping my attitude positive
  • Put time and energy back into our box -- plan & execute two whiteboard projects: tracking individual PRs, and top 5 times for benchmark WODs
  • Participate in Radical Women Q&A with Stephanie Completed 1/20/10 -- link
  • Blog more about emotional/mental lessons I learn from CF, not just WOD recaps
There's "TBD" next to handstand pushups, because I'm not quite sure how to measure my progress in that area. What is the next best incremental step?

Right now I'm doing two things in that area.

One, I'm working on frogstands / headstands during my cooldown after nearly every workout.

Two, I'll be starting a new approach to getting comfortable overhead, thanks to Nikki. She suggested I start next to a wall, facing away. Then walk my feet up the wall until I can't go higher. From there, work on moving my hands back, closer to the wall, so that I get more and more "upright". This will help me get my comfortable upside down, and also help me train my shoulders so they stay active.

This post was inspired by Steph's 2010 goals.

Jan 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Today I planned to just post about my goals for the next 3 months and 2010, but I ended up doing a quick workout to flush out the last vestiges of my icky feeling from drinking last night. :)

7 rounds
7 squats
7 burpees

Results: 7:25

I did some single jump ropes, squats, pushups and double unders to warm up. Afterwards I worked on some headstands/frogstands.

I'll save the goals post for tomorrow, because now it's time for dinner and a movie.