Apr 30, 2010

Trying to get back in the saddle

Ah, an unplanned hiatus... Those are never good.

I've gained back about 5-7 pounds, and based on pullups yesterday, I am back to sucking at those (i.e. lots of singles with 3/4 kip and 1/4 dead hang to finish).


This past week was just about getting my ass into the gym; not about performance or skills or anything. Just showing up. Back to the basics, because I am struggling with my headspace right now.

Saturday, April 24

Went out of town with husband last weekend, and we hit up a little WOD I wrote up in the hotel gym. They had a cable crossover machine with pullup "handles" attached and a tile removed from the ceiling for head clearance -- that was a nice surprise. After a week off, and two weeks of eating total crap, I felt pukey the entire time. But it was very good for me to get my body moving, I'm glad that my husband has such wonderful abilities to motivate me to want to exercise. :)
5 rounds for time:
5 pullups
10 squats
10 situps
10 pushups
10 lunges (each leg)
handstand hold (20 seconds)
Results: ~22 minutes

Tuesday, April 27

In a word, horrible. I had a bad attitude, and I was sluggish and sucked at ring dips. I hate having to use the freaking band, even the tiny one. Gotta get these ring dips conquered so I can move the fuck on.
21-15-9 for time of:
DB thrusters (35lbs/25)
ring dips
double unders
Results: ~20 minutes

Wednesday, April 28

I used two abmats for my handstand pushups. After the total debacle the day before, where I finished about 5-10 minutes after everyone else, I decided to scale the HSPU to 10ish per round during the first round. When I got to 11, I just kept failing attempts. So I freaking moved on, and got the freaking WOD done. Not my usual style, but this week was seriously ONLY about showing up and moving.
3 rounds for time of:
15 med ball cleans (20lbs/14)
15 handstand push ups
400m run
Results: ~20 minutes

Thursday, April 29

I coached this one in the morning, and then came back to WOD with the group that night. I'm glad I did, because the press turned out better than I expected. Plus I shared a bar with 2 dudes, and went heavier than one of them -- it's the little things that make my inner feminist happy. :-D
My first 95 went up s-l-o-w-l-y and it was ugly, but I got that bitch locked the fuck out. Booyeah! PR by 10 pounds, hollah! My second attempt at 95 unfortunately did not go anywhere -- guess I only had one in me. But I'm happy because my old PR of 85, and also 90, both went up nicely, very solid. I am convinced doing unscaled pullups is what is making all the difference in my overhead strength. There's some kind of synergy there, where gains in each area helps move the other along.

Then it was metcon time.
Complete the following for time:
1000m row
40 kettlebell swings (24k/16)
25 pull ups
20 kettlebell swings
15 pull ups
Results: 19:45 total time; 4:14 row

That is a sad 1k row time, geesh. But oh well, at least I have a bench mark now -- I didn't have a 1k time written down anywhere.

My pullups in this WOD were so damn ugly, like I said at the beginning of this post. I tore the shit out of my hands with going on and off the bar so damn much doing singles. ARGH! I wanted to punch a hole in the wall I was so angry and frustrated. This was supposed to be a metcon, not some kind of grind-it-out-WOD. Good lord... I just have to keep telling myself that this is what happens when you eat shit, gain weight and take a week off and do nothing.

Not to mention that what I ate on Thursday before the WOD was ridiculous and totally uncalled for... But bad food choices are a topic for another post another day...

Friday, April 30

Coached at 0630, then a fellow trainer who was hanging around offered for me to do the WOD at 0830 while he coached. No problemo, I needed a kick in the ass to get my workout in today.
5 rounds for time of:
7 front squats* (155lbs/95)
150m run
*wt will come from the ground
Results:  10:04

I could've done this one faster, but overall I was OK with how I did. Did all sets of squats unbroken, though I did take time to rest between the runs and squats to make sure I had enough juice to pump out all the sqauts.

And that brings us to today, how nice. Time to go through and put a shit ton of labels on this post and publish it...

Apr 17, 2010

Partnering-up on Saturday morning

We did a little partner workout this morning, and it was just what I needed. My butt and hamstrings are seriously blasted from all those deadlifts and waiter walks on Thursday, plus scrubbing all the floors in my house on Friday. Husband's sister and her boyfriend arrived last night, so the rest of today will be a beach day - yay!

One partner works at a time. Both run the 400 together.
200 air squats
80 push press (95/65)
400m run
100 box jumps (24/20)
50 burpees

Results: Allie and I finished in about 22 minutes

Didn't even do any pullups afterwards -- not even 1. LAME. I really need to get a solid goal list written, and a game plan for post-WOD skill work. TBD...

Apr 15, 2010

Grinder, but not the yummy kind

In my opinion, anything over 25-30 minutes is automatically a "grinder" or a "grind-fest". I have such a hard time keeping up a steady intensity for long WODs, so I just try to get into a decent rhythm and let it roll.

Tonight was a grinder, and I probably could've finished a bit faster, but what the hell, I still did all the damn work so I'm OK. :-p
7 rounds for time:
21 deadlifts (155#/115)
150m waiters walk (45#/25#)
9 knees to elbows
Results: 45:22 Rx

There was a 45 minutes cut-off, so I guess technically you could say I DNF'd, but 22 seconds over wasn't horrible so I think I'm OK. :-D

Deadlifts felt decent. I wish I had on long socks, because I didn't keep the bar in contact with my shins as much as I should have. Something sent me to this video yesterday (maybe Twitter?), and I used the really straightforward advice Rip gives on setup a lot today -- I think it really really helped me. It made me realize I roll the bar towards me alot when I get setup. Which is OK for cleans, but not cool for deads. It's good to recognize bad habits in myself, I like to find 'em and kill 'em.

Rip's deadlift setup:
  1. With feet below hips, move feet under the bar so the bar cuts your foot in half. Your *whole* foot in half, not just the part in front of your ankle.
  2. Grip the bar outside your knees -- but don't roll it toward you!
  3. Bend your knees until your shins touch the bar
  4. Raise your chest high while pressing the bar into your shins
  5. Viola, you are ready to deadlift!
Major victory for today -- K2E's didn't make me want to cry, even though the WOD as a whole made me feel like I was going to hurl. Hollah!

I am extremely aggravated that I wasn't given the chance to take the new exam at my Level I certification, because they just published some guidelines on testing requirements on the affiliate blog, and "take the exam only" spots at upcoming LI certs near me are already full. BRILLIANT, RIGHT?!?! Um... NOT.

Honestly, I am just going to let this one settle before I worry about it. I am not going to spend a ton of time and money driving somewhere far away to take this test. Two of the Level II trainers that taught at my cert run their own affiliates in the big town an hour south of here -- I feel certain that once there's enough of a system backlog they'll institute some kind of local testing, which those guys will be qualified to sponsor, and I will be able to pop down there on a Saturday, easy peasy.

So annoying that I couldn't get this taken care of just because my cert was 3-4 weeks too soon.... gah.

Best quote from this article: Why We Like Olympic Lifts
"Oh come on, it’s not that weird to practice at home with a broomstick, you wear toe shoes for God’s sake."
In general a decent writeup on how C&J and snatch embody all 10 of the general physical skills that define fitness.

Jen Sinkler tweeted the link to this video about Gwyneth Paltrow's workout routine and trainer. The trainer actually says "women shouldn't lift more than 3 pounds." OMG!

This reminds me that I need to finish the post I started writing in response to my friend Kate's post about chicks being afraid of lifting heavy weights.

Britney's Unretouched Photos from Candie's Ads

What pissed me off most here was the second picture, where the completely removed her quad!! I love that Britney has muscles and an overall strong and athletic body for a "Hollywood starlet", so these retouches that eliminate those "real" elements just anger me.

Good for her for releasing the un-retouched photos, though. That I love. :)

Apr 12, 2010

Pressing and cleaning and swinging from the rings

Today I physically felt BLAH. Instead of working out between coaching 0630 and 0830 like I usually do, instead I read a book and took a nap.

Then I proceeded to take 2 more naps over the course of the day. Geez.

Thank goodness I forced my butt out of the house for the 5pm class at CFC.

Press  3 - 10 - 2 - 10 - 1 - 10
Results: 85 - 65 - 85(1) 75 - 60 - 80 - 60
While I'm not sure I picked the right loads for the last 4 sets, I know I was perfect on my 3 rep attempt and my first 10 rep attempt. My old 1RM for press was 85, so I'm totally pumped about putting 85 up 3 times in a row tonight. Though I think I should've attempted 85 isntead of 80 on the 1 rep set.

As many reps at possible in 6 minutes of body weight power clean.
Results: 26 reps at 115#
I'm glad I tested my power clean 1RM the other day (sadly, still @ 125#), because that gave me the confidence to choose the load for this WOD. I toyed with the idea of doing 125, but decided to stick with 115. There were some pretty ugly catches in terms of foot positions and low elbows on the reps past 20, so I think I made the right decision. Only failed 2 or 3 times -- basically aborted after the first pull when I didn't feel right. I think I maybe could've gotten 2 more, but really was operating right at the edge of my capacity.

Doing this WOD made me anxious to try Grace at 95# soon.

After all that, it was on to the rings to work my muscle up. I am making progress with my false grip, and just improving my overall comfort level with playing on the rings. I almost got myself through the transition at one point, but then I just didn't have enough juice left in the tank to re-try.

Some of the things I talked to Paul and Dave about, just for my own future reference:
 - Practice short ROM pullups on the rings holding false grip, from elbows at 90 degrees up to chest to the rings
 - Practice "bottomed out" dips -- dip down, hold for a count of 1-2-3, then push back up (being able to do this is gonna take me a little while, I'm barely able to do 1 unassisted ring dip)
 - Practice kipping on the pullup bar with hands facing in; this will help develop the "feeling" of a different hand placement when kipping (I already tried this, and I think it will be a big help)

Dave suggested that I not get my hips so far out in front when I'm trying to kip up into transition. I was trying to emulate some videos I had watched from BeastSkills (Flickr), and I just got the wrong idea. I was trying to push my whole trunk into something approaching a horizontal position. But that puts the hips too far forward. After hearing Dave's feedback at the gym, I came home and watched the BeastSkills videos again, and now I can see that the hips stay in line below the rings, and it's the legs only that come up to horizontal. Looks like L-sits also go on my skills/goals list for next quarter. :)

I'll try to take some video next time I play around with MU's so I can watch myself and see what I'm doing.

I had one really good kip where I almost made it through transition, I just wasn't aggressive enough with pushing my head/shoulders through. Probably due to hips being too far forward. The good news is that my elbows/arms were in a good place, so I'm solid there.

Enough rambling, time to clean up and have dinner. :)

Apr 10, 2010

Oly lift combo

Considering my love of the Olympic lifts, this morning's WOD should've been something I banged through quickly and with enthusiasm.

Instead, it was like freaking pulling teeth.

My intuition is that I ate crap and did 2 WODs yesterday, and that did not do me any favors. Barely any protein, so my recovery was probably sucky. And I didn't sleep well, despite being tired, and that is always a bad sign.
Using the same barbell for all movements - 95#/65#
5 rounds for time:
3 power snatch
3 squat clean
7 push press
Results: 11:39

This should've been more in the range of 10 minutes, which is right around where Mandy finished it Rx. No other females did this Rx -- the OHS are the limiting factor.

There was so much resting and pacing and bullshit in my performance of this WOD. If I want to see results, I need to bring more INTENSITY and focus to my WODs. Yes, it's good that I got out there and participated, but to see improvements I need to put the effort in. And improvements are what keeps me motivated to stay on this CF journey.

Remember Kallista Pappas? I know I definitely remember watching her video from the 30 100# C&J for time event at the 2008 games. Just happened to come across her again in my web travels, and wanted to share. Definitely a badass CrossFit chick. Also, she is a blogger.

This Rx Skills Checklist is kinda neat. Some of them I know I could definitely do, the heavy lifts, but the body weight stuff I am still lacking. Sadly, I can't currently do 25 chest-to-deck pushups in a row. I am thinking my next set of goals I write down will be body weight focused...

This post is awesome and epic -- Things I Hate About CrossFit, Part Deux

I am most in agreement about how ridiculous it is when CrossFit HQ de-affiliates / fires people like Robb Wolf and Melissa Urban/Whole 9. So much for inclusiveness!

Apr 9, 2010


It wasn't my original intention to do two WODs today, but what the hell, I did anyway. :-D

This morning I did a makeup of yesterday's WOD between coaching the 0630 and 0830 classes. My back was just so tight yesterday, I couldn't get myself to the box to get the WOD done.
WOD: 150 kettlebell swing (32k/24) Every time you drop the kb, run 150m.

Results: 23:59 (sets of: 20-20-14-16-20-15-15-15-15)
I have to admit this one intimidated me. I feel pretty confident with the 45#/20kg bell, but the 53#/24kg bell is just BIG. After the 3rd set of swings, when I only got 14, I wanted to just cry and give up. I'm proud of myself for finishing.

And I also must admit to resting a bit too much, and wearing gloves. I had wussy grip today, ew.


This WOD was created by one of my best buds at our box, Allie. She is amazing and inspires me every day. She was the winner of our Paleo challenge, and in addition to some other not-so-great prizes, she got to make up her own WOD! I think she did a great job coming up with something challenging but fun. :)
For time:
400m run
20 pullups
400m run
15 wall balls (20/14)
400m run
10 burpees
400m run
5 tire flips
Results: 14:49

Um... in a word -- SLOW. I came out of the gate pretty fast, but my runs were just sucking by the 3rd and 4th 400's.

And can I just say the wussy hands factor came into play majorly in how long it took me to do my pullups. I was back down to sets of 2 and 3. BOOOOOOOOO. I know it was my 2nd WOD, but seriously! I need to be doing a minimum of 3 pullups every time I get on the bar.

Coming soon -- tire flips video. Our tire is only ~100#'s, so it's not that hard to flip, but it still *looks* badass. :-D

With WODs covered, here are some links I've seen the last day or two. The first one I'd really like your comments on.

Lisbeth yet again provides some very meaty food for thought, this time the subject is females scaling pushups, a topic that I have actually spent a lot of time thinking about and researching. This, to me, is a breath of fresh air. I have a hatred of knee-pushups.

Get Off Your Knees

"Do tire push-ups, bench push-ups, ring push-ups, wall push-ups. If you don’t have real honest-to-God, chest-to-deck push-ups, then do whatever you have to do in order to get the push-ups done. Tire, rings, wall. But NEVER knee push-ups. 
Seriously. Simply decide that you would rather eat glass than ever go to your knees again."
Post thoughts to comments. How did your own pushups progress? Do you think putting down your knees to scale, rather than changing the angle, hampered your progress to "the real deal"?

Stop Being Content and Become Great
"No matter what happens in life or in your training, if you live outside your comfort zone then nothing can knock you off your game.  Sure things might knock you back a step or two, but you are the type of person in which problems and other negative things just bounce right off of because you are used to being outside your comfort level."
I really need to cultivate this type of thing in my life, because I definitely get too set in my ways, and too upset when things suddenly change.

I haven't been gainfully employed in over 1 year now, and that still feels really... strange. Reading this article about what "work" really means was good for me. It's hard to uncouple your self-esteem from job performance and salary, and instead derive self-worth from things you accomplish on your own.

Some quotes:
"My definition of work now is that it’s an activity which is undertaken for a productive outcome."
"This turns work into something more like a state of mind than a set of particular activities."
"Work isn’t a place which I go to, or a certain portion of the day; it’s the meaningful stuff which I do, the contributions which I make in the world."

Apr 7, 2010

WOD at Ultimate

On my way home from visiting my sister, I joined in on a noon WOD at Ultimate CrossFit. It was good to be back! Especially since I got to catch up with Mie on her new endeavors in Oly lifting.

Deadlift 3-3-3

145 - 175 x2 - 170

My low back is aching, so I'm thinking I didn't do so well on form... Seems like if I go a week without doing longer sets of deads, I go back to being really really shaky on form. Yikes. Time to incorporate into a weekly post WOD cool down...

Sumo Deadlift High Pull (95/65)
Box Jump (24/20)
Kettlebell Swings (1.5/1)

Results: 8:13

Not too bad, considering the crap I've been putting into my mouth. Yikes.

Coaching tomorrow and Friday, we'll see what I get in for WODs. I'm thinking I should get back in the pool tomorrow or Friday, so I don't lose the conditioning that I built up over my 3 weeks of swim and lifeguarding classes.

I've been reading Katie's blog for a while, and you should all head over to her place and read this post.
And for the first time in my life, I am SURE that I am made of pretty tough stuff and I already KNOW that my team is. For the girl who two years ago was overweight and couldn't do a pull-up or a push-up to get 18th place in the DC/WVA/VA sectionals shows just how powerful CrossFit (and this community) is... and to that I can really only say one thing.... Hooah!
War on fat needs to be turned into a war on carbohydrates. Let's see what the 2010 nutrition guidelines do to help our country get healthier -- if anything...

Are you giving it your all?

Includes this classic Glassman quote: "Optimizing fitness is a product of regular workouts whose intensity is only briefly sustainable."

I'm wondering if a statement like this is too harsh to throw up on our box's whiteboard: "If you are not progressing at a fairly substantial clip month over month, it’s most likely the intensity that you are bringing day after day that is to blame.  Up the intensity and the results will come."

HSPU tips -- I'll definitely be implementing several things from this article.

Apr 4, 2010

Saturday at the track

Friday was just a blah day, no WOD. Consider that my rest day after all the swimming stuff I've been doing.

Saturday our freaking cable was broken, so instead of watching awesome college basketball games (Go Butler!), we hit the track and gym on base for a workout.

Originally we were going to repeat Dyer, but decided to do a vacation WOD we originally did at my old house in Pennsylvania

4 rounds for time:
400m run
20 burpees

Results:  15:23

My last 2 runs were getting slow, but I felt good because I hardly rested at all before or during burpees, and my lungs were burning.

After that we headed into the base gym and husband talked me into doing 10-9-8... of pullups and situps. So did that, but not for time.

Then he did some squats and pushups while I did about 2:30 total time in handstand hold. I need to keep kicking up against the wall every day now that I can do it, so I can get really comfortable. I did a negative handstand pushup at the end of each 30-45 second hold. I spotted husband on doing some HSPUs after that, he's gonna start working on them as well.

Apr 1, 2010

Deadlifts and officially a lifeguard

Well, today was a good day for two reasons!

One, I officially passed my lifeguard training class, so I'm now Red Cross certified in lifeguarding, first aid, CPR and AED. Woot!

The down side to that is I'm sunburnt on my face, despite my best efforts to reapply sunscreen like crazy. I'm also sunburnt on my feet, but that is my own dumb fault for not putting sunscreen on them today. :-p

Two, I hit the gym right after class to test out of my biggest 1st quarter 2010 goal -- the 200# deadlift. I did a standard 7 sets of 1 rep each.


Hollah! I would've taken a video, but I didn't have my iPod with me. :)

So since it's April 1st, it's time to reassess the first quarter goal list, complete a couple more items, and roll the rest into a 2nd quarter goal list, or put them on hold. Will post about all that soon.

And yes, I'm still gonna post about my cert. Sister visiting and lifeguard class have left me with almost 0 blogging time.