Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Weight Vest Muscle Ups

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

3 position isometric handstand holds on parralettes

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

Every minute on the minute Deadlifts @ 70% 1RM. Use a decending ladder rep scheme from 10 to 1.

Weighted chin up 8, 8, 8 Barbell good morning 8, 8, 8

Single arm pulley extensions

WOD 3 – in the evening…

3 minute time cap with 22# vest:

5 muscle ups 250 meter row AMRAP double unders

Rest 3 minutes and repeat for 3 rounds

Body felt extremely productive today, and now extremely exhausted. I tried a new emotm sequence for deadlifts, cascading the reps by one per round. I wasn’t able to go unbroken the entire time, but overall felt pretty strong @ 335#. The evening conditioning WOD was a great aerobic tester with the awkwardness of the vest to spice things up. Doing double unders with that thing banging around was a new experience. I managed 126 reps the first round, 115 the second, and only 75 the third. This was due mostly to fatigue on the muscle ups. After going unbroken the first round, I fell after 4 on the second round, and after 2 on the third. Turns out it takes a little more power to pull my bodyweight plus 22#. Big ups to the big men out there doing shit on the rings. No joke.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sandbags and Prowlers

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Front Lever Progressions WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

Clean and Jerk 2, 2, 2, 2, 2

Front Squat 3 every minute on the minute @ 80% 1RM until failure to complete. 10 minute cap.

GHD Situp 3 x 15 GHD Raise 3 x 10 Ring Dips 3 x 20

WOD 3 – in the evening…

6 rounds for time:

10 sandbag shoulder to overhead

50 meter sandbag prowler push

Load for each movement increases as follows: 30#, 40#, 50#, 60#, 80#, 110#

Great day-well balanced and fun. Hit 275# for a C&J double, leaving me psyched for next week’s max effort attempts. Followed it up with 10 rounds of 3 front squats at 265#, a weight that wound up feeling a little to light. It’s hard to convince yourself that you can make it 30 reps when the weight feels so damn heavy on the first set. But, invariably, the body adjusts and proves you wrong. 275# should’ve been the number here in retrospect.

The evening conditioning session kind of got thrown together, but turned out to be one of the simplest, most original WODs I’ve come up with in a while. 10 shoulder to overhead with increasingly loaded sandbags, then 50 meters on a prowler that’s being increasingly loaded with those same sandbags. The goal here is to do everything unbroken while managing the heartrate somewhere around 85-90%. If you can keep your wits about you and do good work in this range, you’re going to be a beast at whatever task it is you’re asked to complete. I found that the prowler was mental until the last two sets, then it got physical. Way physical. It took me 6:02 to finish and I ended up with jello legs and a wobbly boot for 15 minutes afterwards. All in a good day, as they say.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lactate Training

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

4 minute AMRAP: 5 Toes to Bar 10 Ball Sprawls

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

4 minute AMRAP: Picnic bench Prowler Push 10 pushups 10 situps

Before leaving Scottsdale I did a short AMRAP at the all new, still being unwrapped Optimum Performance Training Center. Both WODs today were based on an idea that James and company are pursuing through their testing of CrossFit athletes: Lactate training. The basic premise is that the chemical by-product of the glycolitic pathway (lactate) is a very potent and useable fuel source that most people don’t properly train themselves to use. It only gets used at near 100% effort during constantly high turnover or high power activities. That means that you can’t train it during intervals, or while you are pacing a WOD at sub-maximal effort. It’s also most effectively trained between the 4-8 minute time domain. Learning these facts was eye-opening for me because those are exactly the types of WODs that I feel weakest in. So, after some coaching on how best to structure this type of training I wrote a plan on how to work it in to my current program.

Going forward I think this will become easier to organize (Max deadlifting has left me a bit sore), but I have to say the initial attempts at this went really well. To keep this effective you have to keep the pace VERY high, to the point that it’s more important to alter the rep scheme mid-WOD than it is to complete all reps and risk muscle fatigue slowing you down. Kind of a novel approach—target the response rather than the work. The response is an almost numbing sensation where you lose a little of your connection to the tasks being done. All you’re thinking about is moving as fast as you can. James describes this as an almost spiritual experience, and he’s right. It’s like nitric oxide for your muscles. The problem with this is that you can’t dip into it too often. Like a type II diabetic that can no longer produce insulin in response to high blood sugar, someone who constantly “goes there” will lose the ability to utilize lactate as a viable fuel source over time. Therefore it’s important to stagger these sessions in the course of a day and then give yourself a good week off in between. Training this way will allow your body to learn to use lactate without burning out.

Friday, December 23, 2011

In Scottsdale - PR Deadlift!

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Work up to a 1RM deadlift. Rest 10 minutes then do AMRAP @ 85% of that 1RM.

3 x 10 Barbell walking lunges (205#)

3 x 18 foot L-sit rope climb

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

4 mile trail run

5 rounds for completion: 5 wall walks & 10 box jumps

After a quick early morning flight I am here in Scottsdale with James Fitzgerald at the new home of Optimum Performance Training. The work being done here, and the implications it has for CrossFit and fitness in general for the future, is staggering. These guys are looking at everything from blood lactate to psychology, measuring and recording every bit of data possible that could lead to a more comprehensive picture of what it takes to optimize human performance. The possibilities are exciting to say the least; the science is kind of mind-blowing. My opinions and methodology are rooted mostly in experience and instinct, so to discuss them with minds that have such a thorough and accurate understanding of how the body works is really cool. Thankfully for my own sanity, the training template I’ve recently employed has been received positively by the guys down here, though Im hoping to learn new ways to tweak and improve.

While here I’m taking part in some general testing that will help build a database of information from which to draw conclusions. The deadlifting today was an example of one of these tests. It was exciting for me because I hit a 20# PR in the movement, lifting 475# for my top set. The AMRAP set at 405# only lasted 4 reps unfortunately… was feeling pretty smoked by then.

After grabbing some food I got the opportunity to go explore a bit of the Sonoran Preserve in North Scottsdale. This is a small mountain range rising above the desert that is dotted with trails, cactus, and views that are breath taking. I did a moderate intensity run to one of the peaks for the view, then took my time getting down before tackling a bodyweight WOD at the bottom. It was a great way to unwind the day and try to flush out the legs and back from the heavy work earlier on.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Training Resumed

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Iso Position Handstand Holds

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

Clean and Jerk 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Front Squat 5 every minute on the minute @ 70% 1RM until failure to complete. 10 minute maximum.

Apologies for the recent lack of posting. After the Wales trip I’ve been on a serious rest week and been preoccupied with a few other projects. There is plenty more to come on the Anywherefit Wales trip, so stay tuned for that, but for now just a minor update on training.

A few members of my gym joined me in Fairfield for the Capoot Memorial partner WOD challenge on Saturday, a day that has left me pretty damn sore. My arms, back, and hamstrings are all smoked, and I felt it during the lifting session today. Was only able to get 275# for a single on the C&J. Pissed me off a bit, actually. But some days just aren’t your best and you gotta deal with it accordingly. I squatted decently- 225# for all 10 minutes, but I’m looking to build on this number big time over the course of the next 3 weeks. The OC Throwdown is coming up in January and the competition looks awesome. Looking forward to training against some other Gamers outside of the Games.

Speaking of Gamers, I’m planning a trip to visit the original Fittest Man on Earth, James Fitzgerald, at his new facility in Scottsdale, AZ in just a matter of days. How sick is that???

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wales and Dragon CrossFit

Workout of the Day

Weighted Chin Up 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

With a 2 minute timecap, complete the following for max lunges:

7 muscle ups

AMRAP overhead lunges (55#)

Rest 2 minutes and complete 4 rounds

I’m in Wales bitches!!! Eating Welsh stuff, getting soaked to the skin by the driving rain, and training at Dragon CrossFit in Cardiff. After a break of dawn arrival at Heathrow International where I was greeted by good friends Ross and Dan of Icelandic cinematographic fame, I spent most of the day getting acquainted with the venues which we will use for the Anywherefit adventure on Sunday. Without giving too much away, I can tell you that this thing is going to be far more epic than I first imagined. Those of you out there who are planning on joining us, come ready for a day of mixed modalities, harsh elements, and unreal scenery. We will lift, run, carry, and climb our way through Wales and towards a deadman’s slumber that night, this I promise you.

As for tonight’s workout, Andy and the kind gents at Dragon CrossFit opened their doors and took on the above WOD with me. As an interval, I expected this to be a middle of the row type workout, mostly targeting the upper body. It turned out to be a bit more difficult than that and the limiting factor was my legs! Either I’m still a bit worn out from the travelling or my legs don’t have quite the pop I’d hoped they would. Probably a bit of both. Either way I managed the muscle ups pretty well considering, making all 7 the first 3 rounds and 5+2 the final. My lunge totals were 57, 45, 40, and 34, respectively, for a total of 176.

Loved the feel of this gym and the people in it. Looking forward to getting back there Saturday for some technical skill practice before embarking on the big day Sunday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From the Archive: 20 burpee wall climbs for time

Here's a video of a burpee wall climb face off I had with Gabe Subry last week in Stockton. Thanks for posting this Gabe, can't wait to come back down. To check out more on Gabe's training, go here.

240# Snatch

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Slow strength handstand pushups 5 x 5 (wall-facing)

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

Snatch 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1

1 Back Squat every minute on the minute @ 90% 1RM until failure tom complete. 10 minute cap.

Pegboard, 5 ascents

WOD 3 – in the evening…

500 meter row for time

5 rounds of:

10 ring dips

20 hollow rocks

PR Day!!!!! It’s been a very long while since I loaded up the bar and went for a record on snatch, so needless to say I was excited about today. Also a little curious to see if my method of training has produced any tangible results. My report is this: weight feels light when you’re used to lifting a lot of it. I pr’d my snatch by 5.5 lbs today, moving up to 240.5. So pumped about this I can’t contain myself. Then I did my emotm back squat set at 403#, 20 lbs over what my current max dictates. This can only mean one thing: my back squat max has gone up. Not sure when I will test this next, but I’m hoping for something in the neighborhood of 440-450#.

Everything else I did today was merely a shadow compared to the strength session. Tomorrow I am off to Wales to rejoin my good friends Ross and Dan for a weekend of exploration and fitness in the UK. On the docket are the dunes along the coast, the confines of Dragon CrossFit, and an empty 70,000 seat stadium. SICK is an understatement.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rope Climb/KB couplet

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Isometric ring handstand holds – 3 positions

Isometric wall handstand holds – 3 positions

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

Snatch Balance 3, 3, 3, 2, 2

Push Press 7, 7, 7

Pegboard Ascent x 3

WOD 3 – in the evening…

For Time:

21, 15, 9 kb swing (32 kg) 3, 2, 1 rope climb (20 ft)

Not nearly as sore after the squat work this week as last… crediting my trip to cryotherapy on Monday after the WOD with some of that relief. Also, getting back in the groove of training after a few weeks off can take a few sessions. Today was very productive during the skill and conditioning portions, but a bit lax in the afternoon. I didn’t really like the plan I had for the day and it showed. Committing to whatever it is you’re working on is so important to doing it well. The shitty program done phenomenal is always better than the phenomenal program done shitty. Today was a bit of both.

The evening WOD was a great test. At the Games this past year I felt like I paced myself too much on the rope climb clean and jerk event, so tonight I really tried to push my pace. The kb swings were unbroken all the way and my rest intervals were very short for the climbs. The only hiccup was during the last rope climb, my arms pumping out a few feet from the top. I had to switch to a leg lock and take the weight off my hands for 5-10 seconds in order to regain the strength to finish it off. Still, I think if I had done this better any improvement on my time of 3:20 would be marginal at best. Not much left in the tank afterwards.

Looking forward to a big night’s sleep and hopefully an outdoor WOD this Friday. The weather’s been a little tougher to work with the last week or so, but I’m itching to get back outside. Also, if anyone out there is in the Bay Area this weekend, a group of us is doing an urban hike from Stern Grove to the Presidio. Plan is to meet around 8am at Stern Grove and go from there. Join in if you’re up for it.