Monday, April 30, 2012

CrossFit Campground

WOD 1 – Saturday morning…
7 minute AMRAP:
7 stone squats
7 wall balls
10 foot wall climb with rope
7 wall balls
WOD 2 – Saturday afternoon…
3 rounds for time:
7 deadlifts (345#)
7 muscle ups
3 rounds for completion:
21 toes to rings
21 hand release pushups
WOD 3 – Sunday morning…
Run the mountain
First campout of the season and the weather could not have been better.  Ended up just being 3 of us that went so the equipment needs were light.  One barbell, some bumpers, a rope, and a medicine ball.  The icy river flowing next to our campsite didn’t hurt either when it came to recovery baths.  We got up there pretty early on Saturday to secure a good spot by the water, set up camp briefly, then went on a walk to find a good location to do a WOD.  Not too far up river from us was an old cement foundation that used to be a cable crossing.  It’s little more than ruins now, but the face of it was still intact enough to be a good wall for climbing.  We strung the rope over the top and anchored it to a boulder on the other side.  Halfway up the wall there was a ledge deep enough to do wall balls on so we positioned a medicine ball as a task to be done once reached.  This workout couldn’t have been more fun.  It was tough, challenging, dirty, and exhilarating.  I’ve included a video of it below.
Later that afternoon I took a shot at the first portion of Regional WOD 6, 7 deadlifts and 7 muscle ups, to see how it would feel.  Deadlifting on the dirt didn’t do me any favors—you forget how much you depend on the bar bouncing off the ground to do consecutive reps. It was much harder than I anticipated, taking me 5:15 to complete, and I was out of air for the majority of the WOD.  Knowing that this will only constitute 1/3 of the entire workout in competition, I think taking a slower approach will be the way to go. 
Before leaving on Sunday we ran the 2 mile trail out of the canyon.  Didn’t time this, but I’ve run it once before and this felt every bit as hard.  This type of training will never be an event in the Games but it’s so difficult and unique that I think every crossfitter should be doing it.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

From the Vault

Stumbled across this video from November, 2009 in Leiden, Netherlands.  Brought back some memories so I thought I'd share it again.  A great, creative workout in a beautiful location.

Friday, April 27, 2012

1 mile Air-Dyne revisited

Workout of the Day
WOD 1 – in the morning…
21-15-9 kipping handstand pushups, rest 1 minute between sets.
15-9-7 kipping handstand pushups, rest :30 between sets.
9-7-5 kipping handstand pushups, rest :20 between sets.
WOD 2 – in the afternoon…
Flo or Press 3 x max reps at bodyweight with pause at bottom
For completion:
40 pullups, 30 shoulder to overhead (135#), 50 yard overhead carry
40 pullups, 20 shoulder to overhead (135#), 50 yard overhead carry
40 pullups, 10 shoulder to overhead (135#), 50 yard overhead carry
WOD 3 – in the evening…
1 mile air-dyne sprint for time
Crushed it today.  Had a major break-through on kipping handstand pushups so that I now feel they are a strength rather than a weakness.  I was unbroken on all sets this morning, minus one where I lost my balance.  Strength and fatigue weren’t a factor for the first time ever.  Hopefully this translates into performance gains in hspu WODs like Diane. 
In the afternoon we continued the assault on the upper body, floor pressing to failure at bodyweight (I got 21, 17, and 14 reps for my three attempts), then tackling a variation of Regional WOD 4.  I could definitely use a little more time on the pullup bar to tighten things up, so I’ll look to put that into the program over the next few weeks.  Other than that I felt great.  My shoulder to overhead movements were crisp and clean, the overhead carries very manageable.  And none of this felt taxing aerobically.
That changed when I got to the air-dyne, however.  This marked only the second time I’d tackled the 1 mile time trial, but in the interim I’ve spent more than a few workouts on the thing so I felt confident I would improve.  My previous best time was 2:17.5.  My time tonight was 2:16.3.  Not a ground breaking improvement, but an improvement nonetheless.  I was destroyed afterwards, just as before, and am still feeling a little wheezy in the lungs.  All you doubters need to buck up and go all out for a mile to experience it for yourselves. 
CrossFit Campground is happening on Saturday.  Can’t wait for a beautiful day of training outdoors by the river!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Phillipino "Helen"

I got this message from Greg Whiteley (a member at my gym) this morning and had to share:

3 rounds for time:

400 Meter Swim (w/mask)
12 Pullups on tri-boat
15 anchor swings

My time:  6 hours and 13 minutes (adjusted for island time)

So Badass.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Go Run Hills!!!

Workout of the Day
WOD 1 – in the morning…
30 muscle ups for time
rest 10 minutes
30 muscle ups for time
WOD 2 – in the afternoon…
Hang Snatch 2, 2, 2, 2, 2
2012 Regionals WOD 5- 20 double unders + 1 snatch in :50. Snatch weights begin at 155# and add 10# per set until failure to complete.
WOD 3 – in the evening…
4 x 75 meter hill sprint
Rest the walk back down the hill.  All sprints are FULL effort.
Monster day today with a lot of positives to take away.  First, running hills sucks.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times.  THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR RUNNING.  And there’s especially no substitute for running up a steep ass hill.  Take all the sexy, newfangled, creative backwash that we conjure up from day to day to get the most out of our bodies and cram it in the garbage disposal.  If you want one absolute way to train hard and effective, do it the old fashioned way.  Gravity does not like it when you try to move swift and steady against her.  So strap up and don’t give in.   Ask anyone who ran the 70# sandbag sprint in the 2009 Games at Aromas what the worst workout of their life was.  There’s only one answer. 
Earlier in the day I tackled WOD 5 of the upcoming Regional competitions and was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was and how strong I felt.  The double unders aren’t a factor timewise, in fact they seem to warm you up for the lift.  I got through 225# without much difficulty before missing at 235#.  I did another round at the same weight and hit it clean.  I expect there will be more than a few PRs during this sequence if people’s bodies aren’t too beat up from the previous days.
My morning skill session was good and bad.  30 muscle ups for time has never been a great workout for me in comparison with my peers.  There’s something about the movement I just can’t seem to master when it comes to muscle endurance.  I did the first 30 in 5:42 and the second 30 in 6:12.  The good news here is that I felt smoother and more efficient on the second 30 and will hopefully carry this learning forward.
End result of today:  Win.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kipping HSPU practice

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning… 2 muscle ups with 5 second eccentric every minute on the minute for 15 minutes WOD 2 – in the afternoon… Weighted Chin up 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 8 x :30 prowler push (540#) for distance 2 rounds with rest between of: 20 pullups, 10 burpees, 20 pullups

WOD 3 – in the evening… 20 minute AMRAP: 5 HSPU 10 box jumps (24”) 15 kb swings (24 kg)

On paper today looks like a high volume day, but it really didn’t feel like it. The muscle ups + slow eccentric were easy, mostly going for time under tension on the rings there. And the prowler push wound up being more of a “find a way to budge the thing” than it was an actual effort. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, just not terribly taxing. The pullup/burpee sequence was designed to get some reps under the belt before this 120 pullup fiasco at regionals next month… felt okay in that all were unbroken, but not so okay because the rhythm was shitty. I think a few more of these types of sessions and everything should be back on point.

The final session of the day I did with the 5:30 class at the gym, forcing myself to do all kipping handstand pushups in an attempt to practice the balance it takes to do multiple reps fast. I found this hit and miss throughout the workout from a comfort standpoint, but was really pleased with the limited effort it took to go through unbroken. I finished the WOD with 13 rounds + 2 box jumps and was never close to failing on anything. The only real time I could’ve shaved was in transitions. This is a great sign going forward that my conditioning is ready for the longer workouts.

Side note: Well done by HQ with the regional events this year. Some very creative formatting and some legit heavy weight. I’ll admit, I was hoping for something crazy in there, like a one on one basketball tourney, or a long drive competition, but maybe they’re saving that stuff for the finals. Either way, I know everyone around the world is cramming in their time to get ready while I’m heading for another rest day. Holla.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Atlas Stones by the Lake

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning… Establish a max weight barbell Turkish Getup

WOD 2 – in the afternoon… Snatch 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 For Time: 10 squat snatch 10 power snatch 10 overhead squat All movements are 135#. Rest as needed and repeat for 2 rounds.

WOD 3 – in the evening… For Time: Shoulder a 95# stone and carry uphill 65 yards Shoulder a 115# stone and carry uphill 65 yards Shoulder a 135# stone and carry uphill 65 yards Shoulder a 165# stone and carry uphill 65 yards Shoulder a 200# stone and carry uphill 65 yards

Had a kick ass training day today. I started the day by PR’ing my Turkish getup on both sides, getting 150# each. I love this movement because it requires a ton of patience and constant tension to be successful. I think the rep on my right side took nearly :40 to complete—when else could a single rep take so long??

We came back in the afternoon and snatched heavy. I made my lifts at 225# and 235# without misses, then missed at 244# and 250#. First time I’ve ever had that much weight on the bar, though, and I wasn’t far from making it. Big confidence booster going forward. The assistance bit was designed to train unbroken sets of squat snatch, power snatch, and overhead squat. I was successful on both the squat snatch and overhead squat, but had to drop the bar after every power snatch. My legs were too smoked to cycle them together with enough pop to get the bar overhead. My times were 2:03 and 2:16 for the 2 attempts at this sequence. Finally, Jay and I took some atlas stones out to the lake for some old-fashioned man labor. Shoulder the stone and carry it up the hill, simple as that. The 5 stones we brought were 95#, 115#, 135#, 165#, and 200#. I’d never lifted one heavier than 135# before today, so I was excited but a little nervous about how it would go. Couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting or day to be outside beating myself up, so right there I had one foot in the win column. Add to it that lifting stones is just about the most fun type of training you can do and this made for a very memorable WOD. I had my struggles on the 200# guy at the end of the line, but managed to get it up and complete the ladder in 8:35. Jay did it in 11:35. Check the video below.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

335# overhead and 5 x 500 m row, postdated 4/12.

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Glide Kips and Bar muscle ups

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

Jerks from the back 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 Incline bench press 3 x max reps at bodyweight 200 meter kb overhead carry (2 x 53#)

WOD 3 – in the evening…

5 x 500 meter row w/ 1 minute rest between efforts

Today’s training was an example of something that doesn’t look like a lot of volume on paper. Reading over it now, my reaction is, “Eh, some good stuff in there, but nothing crazy.” My body’s reaction is more like, “Easy on my shoulder joints, moron!” This is an easy trap to fall into when doing skill sessions that are both fun and taxing. Even though the glide kip is designed to use minimal effort to get your body over the bar, it’s still getting your entire body OVER THE BAR. Do this 15-20 times while trying to figure it out and there will be an effect. Same thing goes for bar muscle ups. Just because you’re trying to figure out the correct technique doesn’t mean your body isn’t working just as hard to complete the movement. The result of this particular technical session was that my lats got more work than they’ve gotten in a long while. This should serve as a lesson to all of us. You don’t always need a WOD to get sore or to get good work in. Simply playing on a bar, seeing what you can do, is in fact a good workout. Every once in a while, take this into account and use your allotted time to play, rather than WOD. You might enjoy the results.

The remaining sessions offered some good action as well. I jerked 335# from my back, the most weight I’ve gotten overhead by 16#, and it felt pretty good. We followed this up with some incline bench press at bodyweight, which totally took me back to the days before constantly varied functional movement. I managed 17 reps the first attempt, 13 and 10 the remaining 2. As fun as that was, the 5 x 500 m row was equally as shitty. This might be the most un-fun conditioning exercise ever. I’ve done it a few times before, but often I’d add in a max set of pushups or something else to distract myself from the rowing. Only one other time did I do it purely for the times and that was back when I lived in Paris in January, 2010. My times back then were 1:39.3, 1:38.9, 1:39.5, 1:41.7, and 1:39.8, averaging out to 1:39.8. This time around I rowed 1:38.8, 1:39.1, 1:39.6, 1:40.1, and 1:39.5. This averages out to 1:39.4. Even though this improvement appears minimal, the suck factor was SO high that I’m stoked to have even matched my previous score.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

AIr-Dyne and Sandbag Carry

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning… 30 muscle ups for time WOD 2 – in the afternoon… 3 x 3 Power Clean 3 x max Power Clean @ 185# unbroken 3 rounds for completion: 20 GHD situps 1 pegboard assent

WOD 3 – in the evening… 7 minute AMRAP: .50 mile Air-Dyne 100 meter front rack sandbag carry (110#)

Today was my first full day back after a de-load week, but I snuck a training session in over the weekend down in Stockton with Gabe and the 209 crew. For that WOD we did “The Seven.” Nice welcome back workout, that one. I was surprisingly not too sore, however, so coming into today’s work I was ready.

The best part of today was the conditioning session. I LOVE the Air-Dyne as a WOD in itself, but it’s also really useful as a component of a longer workout. It’s really easy to loaf it on there so it forces you to stay mentally connected what you’re doing the entire time. For me, the half mile bike portion was definitely more mental than anything else. The 100 meter carry was the real work. Carrying a 110# sandbag on your chest makes it nearly impossible to breath, so as you’re getting crushed by the WOD and trying to push through all you can do is let out these little grunts of breath that sound more like you’re getting punched in the stomach than getting air to your lungs. Convincing yourself to operate at a high level in these conditions is fantastic training.

The video link for this workout is below.

Monday, April 2, 2012

63 deadlifts

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning… Go as far into the following sequence in 12 minutes: 1 deadlift (315#), 1 toe to bar, 1 burpee 2 deadlifts (315#), 2 toes to bar, 2 burpees 3 deadlifts, (315#), 3 toes to bar, 3 burpees etc…

WOD 2 – in the afternoon… 5 mile trail run

The goal today was to work heavy deadlits into a WOD that would require me to do them at a high heart rate. Borrowing the template from 12.5 I felt a capped time with increasing reps was the best way to keep things heavy but get some volume in as well. I made it through 10 roundsd + 8 deadlifts in 12 minutes. Definitely a good one to try for those of you heavy lifters that struggle with bodyweight exercises, or you bodyweight ninjas that are scared to lift heavy. A good balance of both.

The trail run was amidst rain, mud, and cold weather, taking me back to the mountain run I did in Wales not too long ago. So much fun getting wet on a run!! My calves and back were screaming pretty good the whole way but I still managed to get through the distance in 35 minutes. Getting these kind of runs in is vital for my training… it teaches you how to breathe when you’re tired and gets a 30-40 minute non-stop effort on the books, which rarely happens in CrossFit.