Oct 25, 2010


Yes, I have once again abandoned the blog for 2 weeks. Yikes! A lot has been going on that I need to catch up on, so I will busy filling you in this week. :)
For right now, I am looking for your input. I'm programming some WODs for the new gym I'm coaching at, and for them I need to program a warmup as well as a WOD.

So, I'm just curious to hear how warmups go for all of you where you work out. If you're a member of an affiliate, tell me what goes on there. If you are in your garage or a globo gym on your own, tell me what you like to do.

Do you like to do the same warmup every day, or switch it up based on what movements are in your WOD?

Personally, I like to do the same thing every day. And I like to spend a LOOOOONG time warming up.

If you guys leave me comments, I promise to post pictures of me from Deadlifts and Dresses. :-D

Oct 7, 2010

Daily maxin' and back crackin'

So, I drove south to train with Coach H yesterday morning (as has become my custom on Wednesdays), and to my delight he says we are doing a daily max. Yay!

I mean, really, what good CrossFitter doesn't love to find a 1 rep max? It is part of the cult people. :-p

My current max in Olympic lifting training was 45kg (99# - just multiply the value in kilos by 2.2). That includes practice, and my first competition.

In practice I was a mess, and I don't even think I could stand up with 45. In competition, it was easy and light. Not a struggle at all to stand up with it at all. So I knew my "true" max was higher, but I was sure how much higher.

So, off we go in our practice session. I took the weight off the rack, did one split jerk from behind the neck, then dropped the bar, then did a full squat clean from the floor. (Oly lifting training is full of these "combo moves" as I call them. Like 1 clean and 3 front squats, or 1 clean and 1 power jerk and 1 split jerk. I love it.)

My weights went something like this:

I really thought I was done at 52.5! It was sloooooow standing up. But Coach H had me load my bar with 55, and we were off. I pressed out the 55kg jerk, so that didn't go too well. But my 55kg clean went great! Again, it was slooooow off the floor, but I stood up with it! Woooooooo!

I know 55 kilos is only 112#, so not exactly the most amazing squat clean in the universe, but it was amazing to me. I haven't felt this excited about making progress on a skill in a very long time.

I'm still having that weird pain in my hip, so instead of full snatching, we did a horrible exercise where you start from the hang, and then lower yourself through the proper positions in the lift. So, it's like an eccentric version of the lift. I have to do this because my back is too weak and tight to get into the correct starting position for the snatch. And because I just plain need practice in how to make that transition from floor to knee to above the knee to power position to jump. (More on this later)

Because I can't do the start position correctly, right now I only snatch from mid-thigh, above the knee and just below the knee. Last practice with Coach H I snatched 42 or 43 kilos from above the knee -- which is incredible since my current PR is 45. So once I get my starting position fixed, I should really start making big progress. Wheeee! :-D

Well, yesterday was my very first adjustment at the chiropractor. My husband has been doing chiropractic care *forever*, but since I don't suffer from any chronic back pain, I never really considered it. At least not until I learned from my Oly coaches that my back was incredibly weak and also incredibly tight -- and that the tightness was affecting movement throughout my lower back and hips. Not cool!

So in addition to strengthening my back under their direction, I decided I would also hit up husband's chiropractor and see if she could help loosen things up and improve my flexibility as I got stronger.

After reviewing my xrays with her, turns out I have a curvy spine! How weird is that! hehe So if you look at my back, as my spine leaves my pelvis, it curves over to the left and back in. There's some little "mini" curves just below my shoulder blades. The tightness comes from the body trying to compensate and keep the spine in line -- by tightening the connecting muscles first on the inward side of the curve, and then on the outward side of the curve. It's like a tug-of-war that's locked in a stalemate.

I'll admit, I'm still a bit skeptical of the whole thing. I'll believe it's when I see a second set of xrays after a few weeks of care and less curve. :) Also, less tightness in my low back after some of my lifting exercises would make me a *true* believer. :-D

One more thought on going to the chiropractor. Maybe this is venturing into TMI territory, but after my first adjustment yesterday, I couldn't help but make the connection between how your first adjustment is like your first trip to the gynecologist.

Here's my point. When you go to the gynecologist, you know lots of people who have gone, and you kind of get the general idea of what they're going to do to you. But for some reason, NO ONE warns you about the really surprising parts!

For gynecology, nobody warned me before my first appointment that the doctor was going to do a breast exam. I knew she would be poking around "down there", but geez, someone could've warned me about the stuff that was going to happen up top!

At the chiropractor, I really would've liked some prior warning that she was going to try to twist my head off my fucking neck! Seriously! She kinda felt around my neck, turned my head, everything was fine, and then BAM! What the fuck! So much stuff cracked inside my neck it made my sick to my stomach. I am *not* one of those people who likes things to crack -- except maybe a nice low back stretch, with one or two small pops. That is it.

So yeah, I am not so much looking forward to going back, especially because of the neck thing, but I am committed to trying it because I really want to do everything I can to get my body in optimal shape for Oly lifting. I'm also going to try some therapeutic massage as well, even though my last experience with that kinda sucked. The lady was on my traps for-ev-er and they were sore for a week afterward. Not cool!

Sorry this ended up so long! I know some of you wanted to hear more about my Oly adventures. I will try to keep it shorter and sweeter next time, and stick more to exact details on what we do in the training sessions, and what I'm learning about the lifts. Knowledge is power! :-D

Oct 5, 2010

Workin' on my (front) rack

Forgot my damn lifting shoes, which pissed me off! But still managed to do decent on the WOD in the flat Nike's. :)
5 rounds for time:
10 front squats* (135/85)
10 lateral burpees (jump over barbell)
*from the ground

Results: 13:48, Rx
Positive: All 5 sets of 10 front squats were unbroken. The 9th and 10th reps were kinda ugly near the end, but it's cool. I think I did well with maintaining a strong back, and pushing my knees out. Yay my Oly lifting stuff is working!

Negative: I still have that weird twinge over/in my right hip bone/oblique, so the burpees were very slow. As soon as I would lean down to start the first burpee after the front squats, I would get a *huge* twinge and nearly fall over. But if I kept moving slowly, it would ease up. So I was basically leaning over in a lunge type position, stepping both feet back one at a time, doing a strict pushup, and stepping the feet back in. No jumping out of the feet for me today. Jumping up and over the bar was no problem. Honestly I think moving so slowly on the burpees is what made me able to do all 10 front squats -- I have a real problem with squatting when I'm out of breath, because I can't hold my breath both down and up.

All in all, a nice little workout to keep me limbered up for my Oly session tomorrow with Coach H. :)

PS - After trying to PR on the 5k Saturday morning, and doing Jerry yesterday night, my ass hurts!! heh

Oct 4, 2010


Switching things up today, putting the WOD last. :)

In all the craziness of going to the Mud Run, I didn't get to introduce you all to a new bloggy friend, Sweet Assassin.

At some point I found her blog, saw she was, a) female and b) doing CrossFit, and so I added her to the "Badass CrossFit Ladies" list in my side bar.

And then she found me, and found herself in that list! (emphasis mine)
For a second, I thought, "there's another sweet assassin?" I hit the link and it lead me right HERE. I was dumbfounded and touched. In my journey discovering my physical capabilities, meeting goals, taking big strides, seeing the changes in my body and how I approach everyday challenges, never ever have I thought myself a bad ass crossfit lady. This moniker I save for the other women that I cheer on in my box, that I marvel at in the Games, and those I meet in our growing community... but not little old me. So to see myself placed in the group by a BAD ASS CROSSFIT LADY is humbling and inspiring to keep progressing in my crossfit journey.

Crossfit keeps getting better and better.
Well, Sweet Assassin, now you know where I stand -- to me ALL my CrossFit ladies are BADASS CROSSFIT LADIES. No matter if they are scaled or Rx. No matter what opinion they have about their body, their abilities or their worthiness for that title. THEY ARE BADASS. And you absolutely are too. :)

Even though I posted a bunch of stuff on Saturday, for some reason I forgot to talk about what I actually did on that day. Um, yeah, I am supah smart. heh

I got up early to run a 5k, while husband headed out on a half marathon.

Unfortunately I did not PR, even though I did try. Boooo! :( I would like to blame the extremely crowded start of the race, but really I just did not push myself hard enough. Fortunately for me, the race season picks up tremendously down here in the fall and winter, so there should be lots of opportunities for me to attempt to PR on the 5K distance in the near future.

And finally, today's WOD.
1 mile run
2k row
1 mile run

Results: 27:17
Used my watch to time my first mile -- I'm happy to say it was 8:03. Yay 8 minute mile! :-D

2K row, however, was pitiful -- 9:21. Total sandbag -- I set in at a 2:20 pace and just stayed there the entire time.

Second mile was 9 minutes "ish". Had some watch issues, but no biggie, I was mostly interested in the time of my first mile anyway.

Overall my goal was to finish in less than 30 minutes, which I did. And the weird tight/cramp thing I was having in my lower right back/hip area is now alleviated, so I'm very glad I worked out today.

Due to that pain, I'm going to my first chiropractor appointment tomorrow. Hopefully it helps and doesn't hurt, like my massage I got in February that made my traps sore for a week. That sucked. Keep your fingers crossed. :)

Time to shower and find some dinner. Nighty night. :)

Oct 3, 2010

"Regularly learn and play new sports"

So, wanna guess what my new sport is?


Hells yeah bitches!!!

The back story. :)

I have been following the blog and Facebook page of a CrossFit gym in my area (35-45 minute drive from where I live) for a while now -- Sandbox Athletics. I noticed several announcements about their weightlifting club, and the results of competitions they attended. Then a few guys from my gym started going to their training sessions, and a few took part in some of the competitions.

I was still just thinking about checking it out, and then 2 important events happened in quick succession.

I had my mind-blowing private session with Aimee at CF KoP, and learned that my clean was stalled because it needed to be completely rebuilt. I knew then it was high time to find myself a local coach who could help me on a consistent basis.

A few days later, an announcement came through my feed reader about Sandbox Weightlifting club looking for new members.

The decision to join basically made itself -- I wanted to improve my lifts, get coaching on a consistent basis, and also learn more about coaching the lifts by working through the process of fixing my own problems.

One thing I didn't expect was to participate in my first competition just 2 weeks after my first practice! It was hectic, but in hindsight I'm glad the timing worked out that way for a few reasons. One, it got me through those "first time jitters". And I definitely suffered from some jitters. :) Two, I learned a lot about how weightlifting competitions are organized. They are very confusing -- hands on experience is a must to figure out how things work. Three, I now have a baseline from the true beginning of my training, which I can use to measure my progress. Yay! :)

My first competition was on September 11th. I know, I am sooo late filling you all in on this stuff!

If you have zero experience with Olympic weightlifting (like me 1 month ago), here's the basics:
  • Competitors are organized into weight classes. I lift in the 69kg weight class at the moment. There are hopes I could drop down to 64kg, we'll see. :)
  • Each competitor gets 3 attempts at each lift -- snatch and clean and jerk. 
  • Weight classes are usually divided into sessions, and all the competitors in a session perform their 3 snatch attempts, then there's a break, then all competitors perform their 3 clean and jerk attempts.
  • There are 3 judges who watch each lift, and each judge can either activate a white light or a red light indicating if the lift was good or bad. As long as you get 2 of 3 white lights, the lift counts.

Here's how I did at the competition:
Snatch: 35kg, 37kg, 39kg
Clean: 37kg, 39kg, 45kg

All my lifts were judged as good, so I went 6 for 6! Also, I got all 3 white lights on each lift as well, so that made me super happy. :)

These were very light weights in comparison to my fellow competitors, but the goal for my first competition was just to get 6 good attempts and experience my first competition. Done and done. Now I'll be focused on competing with myself, and PR'ing at every competition. Sometime in the farther off future I'll be ready to compete and try to win something. :)

Hope you aren't disappointed by my "big news" -- it's big to me! I've been training at Sandbox Weightlifting, and also at another local gym with my coach's coach, at least twice a week, and I hope to bump that up to 4. Which explains my measly 2-3 CrossFit WODs per week.

I won't be doing WODs that involve the Olympic lifts anymore, mostly because I need to ensure perfect form every time I approach the barball, and secondarily because my "home" gym doesn't have any ladies bars. Didn't realize how important it was to have a bar that's the right size for your hands! Now I finally understand why I could never get my thumb locked when I "hooked" on a men's bar. :)

I could totally go on forever about this, so I'll stop myself here, and keep my updates on this short and sweet in the future. If you want to know more about the specifics of my training, just shoot me an email. I might start posting my Oly lifting workouts here in addition to my CrossFit WODs, but I haven't decided yet.

Random internet goodness for you -- do any of you remember that game for NES where you could do clean & jerk and snatch, and also other weird sports, like cliff diving and log rolling?

Ok, well *I* remember that game randomly today, and wanted to look it up to see if I could play it online, or at least just see a screen grab. At first I thought it was part of "Track & Field", but thankfully Google helped me figure it out.

It was called "World Games", and put out by some random manufacturer. And I found a great page with tons of description, and best of all, pictures!

And I found video of the game play too! Luckily weightlifting is the first sport in the game, so it's right at the beginning. :)

I can remember trying to play this game, and failing miserably. Maybe now that I understand the point I would be able to play it better. :-D

Also, I wanted to throw in a link with this post. Here's a cool blog from some chicks who lift -- I love the name: Pretty Strong Blog.

They're just getting started, but I have a feeling they'll be posting some good stuff!

Oct 1, 2010

Friday Hero - Jack


Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
115 pound/ 75 Push press, 10 reps (from the ground)
10 KB Swings, 24k/16
10 Box jumps, 24 inch box

Results: 6 rounds + 7 box jumps, Rx*
What I loved about this hero WOD was how it could be performed by a wide variety of athletes without much scaling. That's the beauty of an AMRAP, IMHO.

That said, yes I went a bit slow -- got beat by the other chicks in my group by 2ish rounds. But I had a bit of a concentration problem with the coach trying to interfere with my push press technique.

Note: Please do not try to "school" me in the middle of an AMRAP. It makes me want to toss my loaded barball at you.

That said, I also wished I had worn my Oly shoes. I didn't because they're heavier and I thought they would slow me down on the box jumps. But it was the push press where I was having the most trouble, and they definitely would've helped stabilize my dip there, as well as in cleaning the barball from the ground.

*One other item of interest -- I used the 45# kettlebell on my even rounds, since we had 5 chicks and only 3 16kg kettlebells. Allie went badass with me and used it on opposite rounds. :)