Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back to Midtown

Workout of the Day

AM – WOD 1:

6 rounds for time

15 meter underwater swim from push start + 10 meter freestyle

10 poolside muscle ups

10 pushups (sets 1/4) situps (sets 2/5) squats (sets 3/6)

PM – WOD 2:

Clean and Jerk 3, 3, 3, 3

Snatch Balance 3, 3, 3

Got back to the pool today and, with a little help from my friend Kasper, set out to do the above workout. No diving allowed at the Lembi Park lap pool, so I had to do all the underwater stuff from a push off, making it much harder. This was a great element because holding your breath while you’re out of it is just not something that you ever really have to do. It takes a lot of concentration and a lot of stamina. Beyond that, this workout was really all about the muscle ups. The pool I use is 7 feet deep, but the ledge to the pool deck is probably closer to 8 feet from the bottom. This means that you can hang straight armed on the edge of the pool without touching the bottom. Totally submerged, your body is light. Every inch you lift it out it gets heavier. Nice way to train a taxing movement like muscle ups. My upper body was so fried after 6 rounds of doing this that I had trouble toweling off. My time was 10:15.

Later in the afternoon I shot down to Midtown Strength and Conditioning to catch up with friends and owners Camillo Gutierrez and Tara Getty. The place looked great, even better than I remembered it from last summer. Together with another friend Chad, Camillo and I proceeded to tackle some heavy Olympic lifts. These guys had already done about 20 sets of snatches before I arrived, so I was just stoked that they stuck around, let alone trained alongside me. Having them there gave me a little extra push and I managed an 11 lb PR at 255 for 3 reps clean and jerk. Honestly, it's like the atmosphere at Midtown is so great you can't help but set records. Can't wait to go back.

Another great day has me feeling like things are really moving in the right direction for Carson in a few weeks. Resting tomorrow and then a great series of challenges over the holiday weekend. Bring on the heat.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Workout of the Day

@ Red Rocks Amphitheater

55 lb fireman carry to the top

15 Handstand Pushup

80 lb fireman carry to the top

15 Handstand Pushup

120 lb fireman carry to the top

15 Handstand Pushup

Today was my last day in Colorado and a group of us decided to head over to the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater to check out the scene and figure out a creative workout. Luckily for me, my family loves to get involved. My three cousins Ainsely, Zoe, and Lexie were all willing to take part, so I devised a way to include each. The first time up the amphitheater I carried Ainsley over my shoulders, the second time I carried Zoe, and the third time was Lexie. Going from youngest to oldest meant that each time up was a little heavier and a little harder, but the 6000 foot altitude started to feel better. It took me a little less than 15 minutes to finish the entire session and it was so much fun. Loved using my cousins as weight and the scene was so beautiful. I absolutely will come back here for a concert sometime in the near future.

Monday, June 28, 2010

When you're hungover, do bear crawls

Workout of the Day

20 minute AMRAP:

20 meter downhill bearcrawl

20 meter uphill walking lunge

10 burpees

After a long night of celebrating my cousin Tylor’s high school graduation, which included an 8-0 beer pong performance turned in by Aunt Shelby and I, things were feeling pretty groggy. Luckily my family is all about getting involved so I had 5 others joining me in the back yard for the workout: my cousin Brad and his girlfriend Megan, my mother and sister, my cousin Bailey, and Tylor’s friend Danielle. We were quite the motley crew out there to say the least. To make things even better, the rest of the family was lining up on the deck and in lawn chairs to witness the spectacle. Besides my mother, not one of these people had ever done a proper CrossFit workout, but they were eager and excited. Much of this boiled off by minute 5 as everyone was sucking fruitlessly at the mile high air, but still, props to everyone for being fearless in the face of nasty hangovers. So much fun.

I finished 12 rounds in the 20 minutes and could feel some residual soreness in my legs from Friday. The burpees were rough towards the end and the downhill crawls while dodging dog shit got interesting at times, but overall this wasn’t too bad. Certainly felt better than the run in Tahoe last Thursday.

Tomorrow we are all heading to Red Rocks Amphitheater for an excursion and I can’t wait to see what we get into. Always wanted to see this place.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rest Day

Resting for the day in Colorado with my cousins and family, but looking forward to some great workouts the next few days. Possibly including a trip to Red Rocks on Monday. Also want to extend a big thank you to Umberto and Maurizio at CrossGym in Milan for their support. Check out the video we made below.

Friday WOD

Workout of the Day

AM – WOD 1:

Back Squat 5, 5, 5+ @ 65, 75, 85% 1RM

Bench Press 5, 5, 5+ @ 65, 75, 85% 1RM

Glute Ham Raise 10, 10, 10, 10

Plyo Pushup 15, 15, 15, 15

PM – WOD 2:

For Time…

30 Squat Snatch (95 lb)

40 m sandbag hill carry (50 lb)

30 Power Clean & Jerk (95 lb)

40 m sandbag hill carry (50 lb)

40 m oh hill carry (95 lb barbell)

Not nearly as sore as I expected after the mountain run, so I came into the day excited about lifting some heavy weight. It’s been a few weeks since I squatted last and I was hoping the time away had stored some strength. Turned out to be fairly accurate. I got 7 repetitions at 355 lbs for my last set, which is the most repetitions at that weight I’ve ever completed. Similarly on the bench press, an exercise I’ve only done once in the last 4 months or so, I pressed 7 repetitions at 265 lbs—also a record. As disappointed as I was in my ability to run up the mountain yesterday, I was as happy with my strength today.

In the afternoon I met up with my friends John and Elzy at a local park to do something a little more creative. We threw a barbell and some 25 lb bumpers in the truck next to a pair of 50 lb sandbags and headed over. The idea was to test my already fatigued legs with light to moderate weighted resistance after having ran distances and lifted maximal loads.

I broke the snatches into sets of 10, hoping to stay smooth without wasting too much time. This worked well the first two sets, but I found myself sucking some wind on the third section and broke the last 10 into two 5’s. I finished the 30 in just over 90 seconds and started heading up the hill with the 50 lb bag immediately. MUCH harder than anticipated. The hill was really steep and the footing not so clean, combining to make climbing with heavy legs less than fun. I got a little recovery on the way back down the hill and I did my best to get right on the bar and start lifting. The plan was the same, 3 sets of 10. The outcome was also the same: 10, 10, 5, 5. The power clean and jerks took much less out of me than the snatches but it didn’t seem to help the sandbag carry. That still hurt like hell. Surprisingly the overhead carry wasn’t so bad. I honestly think it was easier carrying that 95 lbs overhead up the hill than it was carrying the 50 lbs of sand on my shoulder.

After everything my time was 6:55. The big challenge was managing the breathing while keeping forward motion in the workout. If you have a hill and some weights, go there and combine the disciplines. Very fun and very effective. I’ve attached a video link below.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Run the Mountain

Workout of the Day:

2.8 mile Tabata mountain run

EEEK. Safe to say I am not sufficiently conditioned to handle serious altitude. Orrr serious inclines. Today’s workout proved these facts brutally.

I had run this route along the Angora Ridge in Lake Tahoe before, but never with a planned interval. The reason for trying this today was to improve my work threshold for continuous running uphill. The trail I took wound for 2.8 miles (as measured in the car beforehand) and climbed approximately 1000 feet. This means that it was no Esja from Iceland, but nothing to spit at either. Plus, this was all happening at 7000+ ft above sea level.

The initial part of the run was relatively flat so the first few minutes felt okay. My pace was fast on the runs and I recovered decently on the walks. At about minute 3 I hit the first of the major inclines and quickly realized how much harder this was going to get. My lungs just couldn’t get the air they needed as I tried to maintain my steady pace. 10 seconds was feeling shorter and shorter and the climb just never seemed to end.

12 minutes in I was ready to die. My work intervals were lasting between 16-17 seconds now, rather than 20, but I still managed to run them every time. This was a major mental victory. Forcing myself to start running when the rest period felt so short took some determination.

At around 19 minutes I hit the top of the climb and things began flattening out. I think my heart rate was steady over 200 by this point but the mere lack of incline quickly brought it down. The remaining distance my pace picked up again on the runs and I hit the finish line in 25:16. Keeping to the Tabata sequence the whole way was tough, especially during the steeper parts. It’s unforgiving because the watch does not care what the terrain looks like. You’re running or walking based on time, not preparedness or geography. I was simultaneously very happy and a little dismayed by this workout. Happy that I didn’t bitch out and finished hard. Dismayed that I am in such poor cardiovascular conditioning. I’m afraid the ankle injuries have taken more of a toll than I expected on my ability to run for long distances. With only a couple weeks to go before Carson I don’t think there’s much to be done about it either.

I’ve got a double day tomorrow and then off to Denver for a cousin’s graduation. Looking forward to more exploration at altitude and maybe hitting a local box or two.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Get in the Pool

swim.jpg

Workout of the Day:

Swim 500 meters without stopping

Went to Lembi Park today in Folsom and got myself a pool pass for the summer. Outdoor swimming is just the best. Even though you’re dying for breath and dragging through the water at a snail’s pace, the sun and blue sky offers some consolation. I don’t know exactly how long it took me to finish but I think it was pretty quick. My endurance felt great and my stroke was decent throughout. No Michael Phelps, but not bad either.

Tomorrow I’m heading to Lake Tahoe with my good friend Denise from DC and looking forward to some exploration and some good mountain running. Hoping the ankles feel good enough to really go for it. Also have a great WOD planned Friday back here in Sacramento—trying to get as much work outdoors in the heat to prepare for the elements in LA next month.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Workout of the Day

AM – WOD 1:

Deadlift 5, 5, 5+ @ 65, 75, 85% 1RM

Strict Press 5, 5, 5+ @ 65, 75, 85% 1RM

Chinups 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

PM – WOD 2:

With a partner and a 20 minute cap, row 5K

One person rows until the other has done 10 DB burpees (20 lb ea) and 10 situps, then switch.

Back to the heavy lifting today. After the wedding on Saturday and the hangover on Sunday I was feeling a little tired. Getting motivated to go work hard after all that can be tough.

I re-calibrated my 1RM totals for the 5/3/1 program to their actual values rather than 90%. I got 6 repetitions at 375 lbs for the DL and 6 repetitions at 160 lbs for the presses—felt pretty good with both of those numbers but definitely like the last couple days took their toll.

This evening I did the partner workout with my dad which made things really fun. Things started off fast… I kept my pulls at a 1.35 pace until the third round when I just couldn’t sprint anymore. The DB burpees weren’t too bad and the situps felt easy. The nuts of this was definitely keeping my legs from rowing themselves out and keeping my breath between exercises.

We wound up hitting 20 minutes with about 800 meters to go, so not quite the best performance but we were laid out at the end. Really exhausted after this and can’t wait to go to bed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday WOD

Workout of the Day AM - WOD 1: Snatch 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, 1 75 meter truck pull PM - WOD 2: 3 rounds of 10 pullup, 20 box jump, 30 ring dips, 40 air squats This morning was amazing. Trained at my buddy John's house--he has a full bumper set and doesn't mind throwing weights around so it allowed me to lift heavy in a non-gym setting. I got 90 kg for a 3 RM. Felt incredible. That was just a recent 2 RM personal best, so this was pretty unexpected. Then for the singles I missed 100 kg the first rep, but then got it the next two attempts. This has me so confident going into a heavier load. We didn't have smaller increment weights today so I couldn't try anything below 110 kg and I thought that would be too big a jump. Afterwards we took his old '70s blazer out in to the street and rigged the ropes to the front tow hitch. We found a decent stretch of flat ground that built into an incline and got after it. BLEW UP my calves and quads. Getting to the top of the hill wasn't happening but we made it 75 meters alright. Then we turned around and started doing deadlift rows alternating every 10 pulls to keep the truck moving. Finally, we finished up with a tandem prowler push using the truck as weight. Top notch session all in all. This evening I went to the park with another friend and tied the rings up to a swing set. This went pretty quick and I think could have had a little better intensity. Tomorrow is the wedding and Sunday is Fathers Day. Planning on getting back to a more regular schedule Monday. I have pictures to come of the last few days so stay tuned for those.

Thursday WOD

Workoout of the Day: 5K row for time. I've been a little backed up these first few days in California with my buddy's wedding, but I managed to test my 5K time yesterday morning. Previous best was 18:47--managed 18:21 this time around. The challenge is always to stay with it menatlly for that long a span, and every time I go for it I have to find new ways to manage. Overall I was very excited with the time though. Would love to get it under 18 minutes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Farewell Europe

On a plane today back to California and thought it a fitting time to announce the first Anywherefit group trip.
Imagine taking 10 days to see natural beauty, history, and museums, to enjoy and experience local culture with people who actually live there, and to train your ass off all along the way. This is the idea behind this project. It will organize diverse trips that explore the world while training in creative and interactive ways and forging a personal connection with like minds around the globe.
Mark the calendars for August 2011. Anywherefit Iceland happens then.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rest Week

Been 4 days since I last trained and I am itching to get active again. Thesis gets turned in tomorrow, then I'm back in the California saddle on Wednesday for whole new set of adventures. 5 weeks and counting...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fitness is...

Character.

I am overwhelmed by the indiscernability of this idea. It’s something that I universally respect when I encounter it in a training partner, but that I can never quite determine the content of. It seems to exist independent of personality, status, or origin—the people I’ve met and been impressed by in the last year alone cover so broad a spectrum of personality types and nationalities I can’t even begin to categorize them. It seems independent of the task at hand—I’ve walked away from a low intensity stretch session with more respect for the guy next to me than after workouts that put us on the floor in total pain.

I may not be able to get my head all the way round it, but there’s three things I know about character for certain:

I know it when I see it.

I’m motivated by the individuals who have it.

CrossFit builds it.

I sat down the other day and tried to make a list of traits (as they pertain to fitness) that might be the basis of character and I swear I couldn’t find one that stood alone. It’s not effort… That manifests itself in all kinds of spastic, ill-conceived ways that I 100% do not respect. It’s not results… There are plenty of “goal getters” out there who are relatively low quality individuals. Sure, I may have been able to narrow down a couple qualities that were more essential than others (confidence, toughness, honesty, humility, purpose, etc) but the relevant fact remained that none could explain it alone. It’s truly a trait nearly impossible to pin down.

Perhaps this is because it’s a non-static value. Think of character like a multi-trait fluid that, like blood in the body, goes where it’s needed and adjusts its shape accordingly. For example, whether a guy talks a lot during a training session says very little about his character—maybe he’s good enough to date my sister or maybe he’s ready to steal my wallet. But choosing to speak at the right time--when it serves to motivate someone else or to deflect attention away from himself--this quality speaks volumes.

The same can be said for toughness. Most times it means gritting your teeth and training through pain. But others it means swallowing your pride and taking time off to lick your wounds. Mastering this flexibility takes a lot more than a single trait.

Having character is the ability to get this fluid equation right in every situation, even when it’s not necessarily personally advantageous. At the European Regional I watched Annie Thorisdottir absolutely embarrass the pullup bar during the third WOD, butterflying chest to bars like they were nothing. At one point she missed a rep and the judge didn’t see it, giving her credit for a repetition she did not complete. Now, only a few points separated the first 4 positions in a 3 person qualifying event. If there was ever a moment when getting through a workout fast meant everything this was it. Further, it was obvious that she was capable of doing the work, she just came up half a centimeter short one time. Annie told the judge that she missed, got back on the bar and did another one anyways. Obviously.

Seeing this type of thing in an event of this magnitude had an interesting effect. First, it made me respect her tremendously. It wasn’t even that she did the extra rep that impressed me; it was the fact that not re-doing it literally never crossed her mind. That she didn’t hesitate says a lot about what Annie’s made of.

Second, it motivated me to perform on a level worthy of the standard she had set. This is the more important point. The presence of one person in the room who never misses a repetition imposes an implicit expectation on everyone else to do the same. If an athlete finishes first and stays to support those finishing last, everyone in between will also feel responsible to do so. In this sense, character has gravity. It becomes much more than a quality subsumed in a single individual and begins to snowball into something far more impactful.

CrossFit creates many situations that benefit from such a quality simply due to its competitive foundation. It takes a lot of mettle to throw your hat in the ring and risk failure in front of your peers, but the example of one or two willing to lay it on the line eases that burden considerably. Those are the people I respect most. They don’t apologize for wanting to be the best, but they expect the same from everyone else. No shame. No excuses. In competition, they’re grounded enough to take credit when they win and honest enough to give it when they get beat. This kind of perspective in the fitness community inspires people to be better than they otherwise would be. They begin to expect the same level of confidence, toughness, honesty, humility, and purpose from themselves that they see in the leaders around them.

If there’s one reason I’m excited about going back to the CrossFit Games this July it’s not because I want to win $25,000, although that would be nice too. The bigger draw is to be surrounded and inspired by a stadium full of these types of people.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cross Gym

Workout of the Day

Barbell Complex (60 kg)

10 rounds for time of:

1 Power Snatch

2 OH Squat

3 Power Clean

4 Thruster

5 Back Squat

6 Burpee with lateral jump

One day in Milan and I’m physically destroyed. I got off the plane and met up with Maurizio, Umberto, and Alex around 1:00 this afternoon, heading to their home gym soon after. Talk about a beautiful place. Maurizio has effectively converted what once was a 2 story lofted flat into a CrossFit palace. The entire ceiling is vaulted glass, showering the place with natural light at all hours of the day. The exposed steel infrastructure rises 10+ meters above the floor, giving the place a sense of endless space. The floor is wide open and covered by clean composite rubber. The place is loaded with toys, including 5 different types of ropes for climbing, dragging, grappling, and tugging. I seriously cannot wait to see what we get into tomorrow.

The idea today was to get some pictures of me training with the equipment in the fashion I typically would. Not surprisingly, this took us outside on a field trip. With us we brought a weight vest (utilizing sand weight rather than metal—amazing), some medicine balls, a barbell and bumpers, a couple kettlebells, and a sandbag. I did some wall climbs, some weight vest sprints, and a few kettlebell snatches.

After this we drove over to an abandoned property that used to belong to an important citizen of Milan a number of years ago. It’s completely crumbling now, but remains beautiful because of the exposed stone, large courtyards, and natural overgrowth. This was the setting in which I did the above mentioned barbell complex. With the temperature just over 30 degrees Celsius (85 ish?) and the dust kicking up all around me, this was not easy. To be fair, I don’t think it would have been easy in a vacuum-sealed, air-conditioned chamber either. The first 2 sets I only dropped the bar after the OH squats, but from then on I dropped it in between the 2nd and 3rd power clean as well. The idea here was to get my shit together before going into the thrusters. They were by far the worst. The overall impact during the WOD was most strenuous on the lower back, but now that I’m done I can really feel it in my legs. 10 snatches, 20 OH squats, 30 cleans, 40 thrusters, 50 back squats, and 60 burpees will do that to you I guess.

My final time was 19:21. Pretty stoked I managed to keep it under 20, but I gotta think it could’ve been done faster if the lower back doesn’t get smoked so early. Barbell complexes have a unique ability to do that to you though, so who knows. Really glad the guys were there to keep me moving, and get some great pictures along the way. All in all an incredible day capped by an incredible workout surrounded by great people. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Pictures to come...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rest Day

Milano in the morning... catching the early bus. Looking forward to a great couple days of training with the guys at CrossGym.
CROSS GYM Bands

Heavy Squats

Workout of the Day

Back Squat 5, 3, 1+ @ 85, 90, 95% 1RM

Bench Press 3 x max @ bodyweight

Glute Ham Pushups 15, 15, 15

Leg Press 15, 15, 15

Final day of heavy lifting before scaling things back for a week to recover. My squat sets were at 145 kg, 155 kg, and 162.5 kg respectively. The final set I managed only 5 repetitions—definitely disappointing. The 2nd rep was a little loose and cost me some strength so that by the 6th one I bottomed out completely with nothing left. Next time I squat will be in California, hopefully the time away will build me stronger.

The bench pressing was something I wanted to throw in because it hadn’t been done in awhile. At 85 kg, I got 21 reps the first set, 17 the second, and 14 the third. Overall, this was not too far off from where I was when I used to press a lot more frequently. Nice to know some things don’t go completely to shit when you ignore them.

Big happenings, just booked a ticket to Milan for Wednesday/Thursday to visit Umberto and company at CrossGym. Can’t wait. 9 days and counting til stateside.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Anywherefit Chipper

Workout of the Day

Anywherefit Chipper (meant to as much outside as possible):

800 meter run

30 meter handstand walk

5 rope climb (15 feet)

30 KB swing (32 kg)

5 KB thruster (2 x 32 kg)

30 Sumo Deadlift Hi Pull (50 kg)

5 Turkish Getup (32 kg)

30 Burpee

30 meter OH carry all weight used (2 x 32 kg KB & 50 kg barbell)

So you know if I'm going to name a chipper after this site, it must be something that combines a lot of disciplines, requires creativity, getting you dirty, and leaves you feeling demolished.

Well, that’s exactly how I feel. Certainly one of the most challenging chippers I’ve ever done for a couple of reasons. First, many of the elements require high levels of strength and coordination—two things that don’t often find themselves in the same exercise. Further, neither respond well to heavy breathing and muscle fatigue. A few examples of what I mean:

The handstand walk wasn’t terrible because it came early in the sequence, but it certainly wasn’t easy, especially the last 5 meters or so. After 800 meters of fast running it's hard to regulate your breathing, which, by extension, means it's hard to control your core. Without your core, you can't stand on your hands. Just isn't gonna happen.

More obvious were the problems on the KB thrusters and the Turkish getups. Brrrruuutal. 32 kg kettlbells are too big for most people to rack on their shoulders, so doing thrusters with 2 of them means you have to stabilize the weight at the bottom using mostly your arms to prevent them from dropping off. Needless to say, there's a big difference in balance and flexibility, and there's a ton of power wasted that is otherwise utilized with a barbell. I had to do singles. Every one felt like a max effort. Hell, even cleaning the weight to a rack position was a challenge after 5 rope climbs and 30 swings.

The getups were hard because they came late and they were heavy. To give you an idea of how hard these were, my boy Dellus is a fit guy. He was at 18 minutes coming into this portion and he didn't start the burpees until 5 minutes later. It’s so easy to get sloppy when you’re tired, but with this exercise you can’t be off in the slightest or else you miss.

The second thing that made this workout so difficult was its alternating rhythm between low volume, skill based movements and high volume, nuts and bolts movements. This made the challenge feel like a psychological interval. Not only did my body have to recover to take on the next element, but my brain had to either switch itself on (handstand walk, rope climb, kb thruster, Turkish getup, OH carry) or switch itself off (run, kb swing, sdlhp, burpees). Failing to do either leaves you in the wrong state of mind for the task at hand and that's no good.

When all was said and done I finished in 21:45, covered in sweat and asphalt. Big ups to Brian and CrossFit Central London for hosting the WOD, and to Dellus for putting me up last night in fine fashion. Going to miss you guys. This was really rough, but of course really fun. Hopefully somebody out there can get this thing under 20.

Rest day tomorrow, boy do I need it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday, Day 18

Workout of the Day:

Strict Press 5, 3, 1+ @ 75, 85, 95% 1RM

Deadlift 5, 3, 1+ @ 75, 85, 95% 1RM

Seated Row 10, 10, 10, 10

Good Mornings 10, 10, 10, 10

L sit holds 3 x max

I could definitely feel the 30 muscle ups and 120 burpees from last night this morning. My upper back was tight and even my triceps were sore. Still was excited for today since it marks my 3rd week on 5/3/1 and I’ve felt so good thus far.

The strict presses didn’t go extraordinarily well. I only got 6 at 72.5 kg for the final set—I was hoping to get 7-8. The deadlifts were a little better, but still not good enough. I got 7 at 170 kg and felt that my back was the limiting factor. In a sense, this was a good thing because it’s the first time since I’ve started this program that I hit a weight heavy enough to break my form down. Every other max set has been my ass and hamstrings giving out. Hopefully over the next month or so I can push this threshold higher.

The assistance work was real tough today. Good mornings just kick my ass every time… I’m a heaving sweaty mess after every set. I chose L-sits for the abdominal assistance because it has been brought to my attention that my hip flexors are weak in isometric contraction (Thanks BootCamp). Hopefully doing more of these types of exercises will rectify this in short order.

Heading to London tonight for the Opera and meeting up with Dellus, Jami and co. for a workout tomorrow morning. Can’t wait!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Workout of the Day

AM – WOD 1:

Snatch 2, 2, 2, 2 (within :30)

Front Squat to jerk 3+1, 3+1, 3+1

PM – WOD 2:

6 rounds for time:

5 unbroken muscle ups (full turnout)

20 unbroken burpees

:30 second penalty every time you break either exercise—assessed at the end.

Things started out feeling a little rusty this morning. I felt slow, my timing was off on the second pull, and things just weren’t clicking in general. I got my first attempt at 80 kg up alright, but missed the second behind me. I managed to regroup and get it on the 3rd but it was ugly. The weight didn’t feel heavy, but something was off. I moved up to 90 kg and missed the first attempt badly. For those of you who doubt the importance of videotaping yourselves, this is an example of why it is necessary on these types of movements. Checking the tape I noticed that my starting position was never static. I was almost rolling into the start like you would a deadlift. My hips never got below the bar and I inevitably rocked forward and left the weight out front. What’s more, I wasn’t dropping all the way into a good low catch position. The next set I played with the start position a little, got the first attempt but still missed the second. I checked the video again and saw that things were better but not all the way where they needed to be. The final set I exaggerated my start position, really focused on staying vertical, and nailed both attempts like they were nothing. Especially noticeable was how much deeper I dropped under the bar. I think getting into the low position at some point prior to initiating the lift creates some muscle memory. Night and day from the way I had to fight the weight at 80 kg. So, new 2RM PR! Chalk it up.

Not going to go into the front squat to jerk, but just to clarify the movement: it’s 3 front squats followed by a single jerk. My top set was at 122.5 kg. Doing these with heavy legs means you have to be fast under the bar to get the jerk. Great exercise to teach speed.

The afternoon WOD took me back outdoors. The weather was literally the best it’s been since I’ve been in England. Not a breath over 70 degrees and crystal blue skies. I went to Port Meadows, found a tree branch and hung the rings by the water. Gotta say… I loved this workout. It turned into an interval WOD because of the need to prepare for unbroken muscle ups after doing 20 burpees. I wrapped the first round in 1:20, then waited til around 2:30 before hitting round 2. I nearly kept this pace the entire way, having to rest a little longer before the 5th and 6th sets of muscle ups. I made it through without breaking any MUs or burpees, stopping the clock at 14:56. Doing the muscle ups unbroken makes you rest, doing the burpees unbroken prevents you from doing so. A great combination I thought.

I'm interested to hear how others do on this so please try it and let me know.

video

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rest Day

Get your tickets for the CrossFit Games here:
http://games2010.crossfit.com/

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gullfoss Falls

Workout of the Day:

AM – WOD 1:

1 km run (every 250 m 50 jumping jacks & 5 burpees)

2 x 20 lateral slide fly pushups, 20 bent reverse fly (15 kg dbs) while partner holds plank position

2 x 15 ring pullups, 30 db incline press (15 kg dbs) while partner rotated 32 kg kb around body nonstop

2 minutes total time isometric front raise (16kg)

2 x 20 strict chin ups, 20 ring dips while partner dead hangs with knees raised

3 x 30 situps, 30 supermans

PM – WOD 2:

7 minute partner AMRAP KB complex

1 set per man, continue switching until time expires

PM – WOD 3:

Back Squat 3, 3, 3+ @ 70, 80, 90% 1RM

Glute Ham pushups 15, 15, 15, 15

I felt reasonably rested after last night’s run up Esja, but certainly not full strength. That thing was a bear. Started off the day with a predominantly upper body strength session at Bootcamp with Sven and had a lot of fun. My muscle endurance on some of these movements hadn’t been tested in a while, specifically strict pullups, so this was a great chance for some variety. I really liked the lateral slide fly pushups—really forced you to control your body in compromised positions.

Afterwards we took a drive into the country for some sightseeing, stopping to gawk at an 80 meter geyser before arriving at Gullfoss—aka the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen. Sven and I toted the 32 kg kettlebell with us and improvised the above workout on the cliff’s edge. Didn’t turn out to be too tough. We both agreed that perhaps doing 3 each before switching may have been a better interval than switching every one. Still, this was an incredible experience. I’ve posted the video below.

Finally, I got back to the gym for the heavy squats I should’ve done yesterday. I finished 7 repetitions at 155 kg for the final set, but certainly should’ve gotten at least 8. I kind of rushed the last attempt and lost my focus a bit on the way down. Wound up costing me on the way back up as I stalled and needed a spot to get back to the top. Overall I felt strong, even after such a full couple of days.

Looking forward to the day off tomorrow, even though it comes with a plane flight away from this beautiful country. Sven and Asta have been more than great hosts and I will miss them a ton. Thankfully, I’ll get to return the favor this July in California after the Games.