Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 1 in Switzerland

I met with Dominique Stern, my local contact and host, after arriving in Basel and he took me to their box... 10 minutes on the tram from the city center. They've acquired a "dungeon," as he called it, in the basement of a building in an industrial complex. They're just off the end line of a set of train tracks, and the structures around them are massive. I don't know what kind of industry takes place there, but whatever it is, it's big.
I was introduced to Ramon, the other owner, and the group of individuals I was going to train with: Josh, Dino, and Claudia. Crossfit Basel's philosophy is strength based, due mostly to Ramon and Dominique's powerlifting backgrounds. I liked this because the expertise and attention to detail during the strength portion of our session was obvious and very beneficial. That portion consisted of:
Back Squat-
70% x 5
80& x 3
90% x max repetitions
Being that I have recently been rebuilding my squat from a full depth position, I wasn't sure what my max would be. A few weeks ago in Copenhagen I had done sets of 4 @ 130 kg, and it had felt pretty challenging, so I estimated a full squat max at 155 kg. This set my weights at 110 kg, 125 kg, and 140 kg, respectively. After the first set at 110 kg, I knew it was too light. The second set I did at 130 kg, and again felt it was below the correct weight. So, for my 90% set, I loaded 150 kg and went with that. I was able to get 4 repetitions with really good depth. The fourth rep was a big struggle about half way up, but I managed to get it.
After this, the 4 of us worked technical jerks with pvc pipes, then did this short met con:
7, 5, 3 press, push press, push jerk (50 kg)
21, 15, 9 pullup
Like an idiot, I screwed up the rep ranges, doing 7 press, 5 push press, and 3 jerks for each round, rather than 7, 7, 7... 5, 5, 5... 3, 3, 3... This wound up making the routine more difficult, because by the 3rd set, 7 presses was TOUGH. I still managed to finish in 3:14, and I was especially happy with the pullups. I didn't break any of those sets and my body felt light and fast.
After this, Dominique and I headed to his parents house for a traditional swiss dinner, cheese and bread. His mother also cooked some red cabbage and his father made eggs. This was such a fun time. This family is extremely educated, well traveled, and interesting. We spoke on all sorts of topics, fitness related and otherwise. I can't say enough about their hospitality and openness.
Tomorrow we will train again at Basel, then I will board a train to Geneva to meet up with Jon Ingram and the guys from Crossfit Leman. This is shaping up to be another memorable weekend.


  1. Nice Eleiko t-shirt, I wonder where and when you got that!? : )

  2. haha. its funny, i cant remember...