Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DC in the books

It is now Tuesday in Leiden, and this is the first time I've been able to sit down at my computer to relate the details of my return to Washington D.C. last weekend. The purpose for my visit was the grand opening of CrossFit Balance, the second installation of the Balance Gym family in the metro area. I posted a few workouts from this facility a few days ago, highlighting the SteelFit Strength Grid that anchors the studio. Again, this thing is insane. It's very well conceived and incredibly versatile. I can honestly say that I've never seen anything like it in any CrossFIt box I have ever trained at. 3:00 Saturday kicked off the official opening party, during which there were multiple demonstrations given. Bobby, an incredible grip specialist was there tearing phone books in half, pinch gripping 50 lb concrete blocks, and bending heavy gauge nails into u-shaped paper clips. Jessalynn gave a pole pressure demonstration that was absolutely eye-popping. The strength, balance, and coordination it took to do the things she did were simply astonishing. We also did a sample CrossFit hopper workout pulled from a series of 5 gallon buckets. Danielle Dionne, head trainer at the gym, wrote different exercises, weights, and reps on about 100 ping pong balls and split them between 3 buckets. We wound up drawing 5 deadlift (275/195), 15 pushups, and 25 double unders for a 10 minute AMRAP. I joined Danielle, my trans-continental workout partner Josh Courage, and a sampling of DC's best CrossFitters from area gyms like Primal Fitness, CrossFIt Fairfax, and others. The workout was great. Felt just like a WOD pulled from a qualifier, just without the spectator ropes. I wound up finishing 20 double unders short of finishing 10 full rounds... a near miss for what would've been a really good number for me. I don't know where all the others finished, but I was happy with how I felt during and after this challenge. The deadlifts felt light, and the double unders very smooth. The pushups were the hardest part. I wound up breaking the sets by round #5, but was able to keep the rest short between. Afterwards everyone hung out as Mark and Graham (the owners) turned the box into a social club. Complete with lighting, catered food and drink, DJ, and lounge couches, this place was transformed. The party bulged to a few hundred and lasted well past 10:00 pm before moving to a bar up the street. Sunday was spent on the couch watching football-- something I haven't been able to do since the superbowl!! While I enjoyed it immensely, the inactivity had me ready to go the next day. Monday I got up early and decided to do a double. In the morning... 5 x 3 handstand pushup w/ elevation (finished at 10"!) 3 minutes on, 1 minute off 10 push press (135lb) 10 rotational box jump 250 m row (5+ rounds) In the afternoon... 3 x 80 m car pull (1000 lb VW beetle) Monday was so much fun. I just love pulling cars. If you haven't done it, find a way to get it done. You'll be hard pressed to find a better way to simultaneously build lower body strength and endurance. My flight back took me across a few time zones and put me in Holland at 7:30 am today. Needless to say, I've been pretty exhausted all day and decided to save myself to start fresh tomorrow. Looking forward to a few good days before I head to northern Italy.
From Dec 10, 2009

1 comment:

  1. You failed to give yourself the proper credit for helping inspire the Strength Grid in the new CrossFit Balance. Your constant search for something bigger, more fun and more challenging led us to the final product; glad you were able to come back to "hang" on it, literally. Great seeing you!