Thursday, January 24, 2013

Light Weight!!!

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 - in the morning...

EMOTM for 10 minutes:

4 muscle ups
4 handstand pushups

WOD 2 - in the afternoon...

Safety Bar Box Squat triples
Band Deadlift doubles for speed
Reverse Hypers 3 x 20
Weighted Planks 3 x max time

Got back to Super Training today and under some heavy weight.  I really don't thrive on the safety bar, but today I actually felt pretty decent.  Which is surprising after the hill climb yesterday.  I got up to 335# for a triple before moving on to the deadlifts.

Band deadlifts are one of my favorite movements.  Just feels fast and strong.  We probably did 20 sets rapid fire between Travis, Arturo, and myself, the heaviest weight only getting to 305#.  All in all the workload was pretty light as these days with Mark typically go, but I still walked out feeling a little wobbly.  The speed work with bands is a tricky animal: you don't really feel the impact while you're doing the reps, but it's there.  Looking forward to a good rest day tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Training Hill Trail

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 - in the morning...

With a 15 minute cap, complete as much of the following as possible:

50 floor press @ bodyweight
25 push press @ bodyweight
25 jerks @ bodyweight

GHD situp 4 x 20
L Sit hold 4 x :15
Thick bar curls 4 x 10

WOD 2 - in the afternoon...

For completion:
1 mile hill climb with 60# sandbag

Pretty legit start to the training week.  Building off of the snatch sequence last Friday, I went with a bodyweight pressing workout to work on muscle endurance at heavy load.  I finished the WOD in 14:11, and it was a fight for much of it.  The floor presses took about 5 minutes, the push presses a little longer than that, and the jerks just less than 4.  The push presses were by far the most difficult because the triceps and shoulders are already smoked form the floor press.  I had to do sets of 2 and 3 the whole time at 185#.  By the time I got to the jerks I was in just go mode.  Sets of 5 all the way and no pause at the bottom of the movement.  Going directly up from the rebound and not stopping was the only way I was getting 5 reps in.  Great training right here.

In the afternoon I met up with Denny and company for what amounted to grunt work.  In Auburn there is a famous hill that runners, hikers, and mountain bikers frequent called "training hill trail."  It's a mile of 20% + climbing with only 2 flat portions to take the burn away.  Denny wanted to hike it with some extra weight so I obliged.  60# on my back, 30 minutes, and a world of pain later we were at the top.  OUCH.  Everything in my lower body was done, and we still had to get back down the mountain.  Check out a clip of the hike below.

Doing elements like this in training is so important because it reminds you how fine the line is between completion and failure.  It woulda been no big thing to set the bag down for 30 seconds, but none of us did.  Everyone was hurting more than they expected but found a way to keep going.  I was counting to 100 over and over again to keep my mind off the pain.  Do these WODs infrequently because they beat up your joints, but often enough to keep you mentally tough.  It carries over to a lot of other areas of life that seem harder than they are.

15 minute Snatch Ladder

Workout of the Day

In 15 minutes, complete as much of the following as possible:

10 snatch @ 60% 1RM
10 snatch @ 70% 1RM
10 snatch @ 80% 1RM
10 snatch @ 90% 1RM

Work to a tough double Clean and Jerk

Complete 2 cleans + 1 jerk EMOTM for 7 minutes

1 1/4 Front Squat 4 x 6-8

Was pretty sore going into this session due to the heavy squats and hill runs earlier in the week, but it was actually my back that felt like the limiting factor during the snatch sequence.  I went after the 60% reps fast, doing 2 x 5.  From there it was all singles, and I didn't miss until the 80% set.  During that segment I only missed 2.  I completed 10 @ 80% with about 5:30 left on the clock, but from there it was all downhill.  90% for me is 225 lb, and I was only able to make 2 lifts successfully at that weight.  The positive thing here is that all 8 or 9 of my misses were close.  Just a little forward or a little back.  It wasn't the power that was missing, just the consistency and balance under the bar.  I walked away from this feeling better about it than any strength sequence in a really long time. What a great way to get good reps in at heavy weight while under duress.

Now, going from this to the clean and jerks was not so nice.  I was gassed.  255# felt like 295# and I struggled all the way through, only making my 2 + 1's on 2 attempts.  I definitely have a ways to go on this lift, but I don't think this was the best representation of where I'm at.

I had originally planned to do some conditioning in addition to the lifting later in the evening, but I was so smoked after the past few days that I decided to call it a week.  Looking forward to seeing the NorCal 40's masters competition in the bay area this weekend and cheering on the 3 members of my gym throwing down!!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hill Running

Workout of the Day

20 minute AMRAP:

Lake Natoma Hill run for max climbs

Today's workout was as simple and raw as it gets.  Go find a hill and run it as many times as you can in 20 minutes.  Jason, Stef, and Corey were out there running with me, along with Larry, the trusty dalmation.  Luckily for our crew, the weather was beyond beautiful today and there wasn't anybody else on the trail to get in our way.

For a workout like this you have to know your goal.  It's meant to be low gear, constant movement, and grinding.  You should be at near max heart rate the entire time, constantly battling to maintain momentum.  Jason and I stayed with each other for the majority of the time, both finishing 7 rounds up the 100 meter hill.  I should mention for those out there who haven't seen any videos I've posted of this ass kicker that the grade on this hill is 20% or higher.  MONSTER.

Also got a chance to test out the GoPro while we were out there.  Amazing quality on that little guy, just not a lot of smooth footage on a run like this.  But now that I know it works I'm looking forward to using it a whole lot more in the future.  Could take this youtube workout game to a whole new level.

Below is a clip from that Mark Bell posted of our squat session this past Tuesday.  Enjoy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

415# Double

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 - in the afternoon...

Back Squat Triples up to 405#
Deadlifts from blocks x 5
Reverse Hypers 3 x 20
GHD Situps 3 x 20

WOD 2 - in the evening...

10 rounds for time:
5 c2b pullups
10 ring pushups
15 air squats

It took me a few days to recover from the snowshoeing this weekend, believe it or not.  There was some deep powder off the trail that made the hiking pretty tough in spots and my hip flexors and back were still knotted up a bit through Monday.  Therefore I didn't train until Tuesday, foregoing the pressing workouts I had planned for Monday.  Anyways, I'm glad I did because I went into the strength session feeling great Tuesday.  Worked straight up to a 405# triple that I hit in spite of a wobbly 2nd rep.  No knee sleeves or back belt, just felt stronger than the bar.  I attempted to go another at 415#, but after a grinding 2nd rep decided not to go back down for the 3rd.

Deadlifts were great again.  Continuing to feel stronger and more stable against heavier and heavier weight.  Was able to do 2 sets at 405# straight through and felt no lumbar movement at all.  Mark has really been hitting the assistance movements for the back and hamstrings hard so that's where I attribute the gains.

In the evening I did the above version of Cindy, but only for 10 rounds.  The idea here was to pick a smooth pace and not deviate from it.  Hitting burnout on bodyweight exercises is something that tends to happen when we get too amped up and perform reps at a pace that is more explosive than fast.  Most times we don't need to be explosive during said exercises, but smooth instead.  I went straight through, not breaking the ring pushups until the final 2 rounds, and finished in 8:08.

Thursday I'm planning on hitting the hills at Lake Natoma for some old fashioned "cardio."  Should be a bear and a dream :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weekend Snowshoeing

Workout of the Day

4 mile snowshoe + 21-15-9 HSPU/Log Squat

CrossFit Anywhere took the show on the road this past weekend and tackled a 4 mile hike along Tahoe's north shore.  Early morning wake up and caravan called for sub zero temperatures at the trail head, but by the time we got there the sun was shining bright and the energy was high enough to make up for any frozen appendages.  As you might expect, getting out and away from the confines of suburbia and our regular box was literally a breath of fresh air.  Not to mention the view from the top was of Lake Tahoe, arguably one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.  Can't really go wrong with that plan for a Saturday.

Afterwards a few of us headed into Squaw Valley to watch the 49ers kick some ass while throwing back a few beers.  Such a great finish to the day.

Check out the video clip of the hike below.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 - in the afternoon...

Safety Bar box squats w/ chains 10 x 2
Deadlift 5 x 2
Romanian Deadlift from elevation 2 x 6
Hammer Row 3 x 12
GHD situp 3 x 20

WOD 2 - in the evening...

Partner "Angie"

200 pullups
200 pushups
200 situps
200 squats

I was pretty fired up to head back into Super Training after a week off.  But of course... Mark had to select the safety bar.  For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the safety bar is a bar with two padded forks sticking out of it that you hold while squatting.  Imagine one of those old cowboy collars NFL linebackers in the 80's wore to protect their necks and you're in the ballpark.  The deal with this apparatus is that the weight sits a little differently on the back/neck then a normal bar and forces you to drive up with your arms more out of the bottom.  Tricky enough as is, but then add a box and chains and you're really challenging the nervous system to figure some shit out.  Needless to say, the weight moved is significantly lighter than any of the other variations we do in there, at least for me.   Even with  180# of chains I don't think I even got to 440# of total weight at the top of the movement (for a chain set you should expect to be well above your max because the chains pile on the ground during the descent and lessen the load).

We followed the squat session with conventional deads from the ground.  Felt strong during these and worked up to a pretty easy 465# in just 5 sets.  Then came the destroyer of the day.  RDL's from elevation.  If you've ever done a strict romanian deadlift, you know what your hamstrings are in for.  This should have been 3 sets but my legs started to cramp after two so I had to call it.  Woah mamma is this going to be pain tomorrow.

Later in the evening I hit the conditioning workout with Denny at the still under construction CFA Roseville location.  What a fun workout.  200 of everything is a big number, and because it's a partner WOD what you end up with is essentially an interval based effort.  Short bursts of work followed by short bursts of rest.  Denny and I pounded out sets of 5-10 on pullups, pushups, and sit-ups, and sets of 25 on squats.  No more than 15 seconds of rest ever so muscle endurance is critical.  We finished the entire workload in 17:57.

I've attached a video of one of the box squat sets so you can see what I'm talking about.  Check it out below.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

10 minute Air Dyne

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 - in the morning...

Pressing Complex 10 x 1

1 rep = 1 strict press, 2 push press, 3 jerk

Bent row 5 x 6

100 meter waiter walks 2 x each arm

WOD 2 - in the evening...

10 minutes max distance on the Air Dyne

After riding my bike Saturday and enjoying all that it entailed, going 10 minutes on a stationary air dyne felt a bit like torture.  But I stuck it out anyways for the good of the program and definitely got something out of it.  Pure muscle endurance in the legs.  I wound up peddling a total of 3.64 miles, not a huge number (I definitely think 4 miles is possible), but not horrible either.

The earlier session was a blast.  Barbell complexes always are fun but I don't seem to program them in as much as I could.  This one definitely was limited by strict pressing strength, an area I've never felt strong.  Today my top set was 185#, which I repeated twice.  The benefit of training the strict press in a complex format like today is that you can go straight into push presses and jerks as if you were in a WOD.  I liked the challenge of doing all reps in rhythm and not having to break or reset.

Tomorrow I'm heading back to Super Training to squat and deadlift at the strongest gym in the west.  God only knows what Bell has in store.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Go Ride A Bike

Workout of the Day

15 mile bike ride

In preparation for the grand opening of CrossFit Anywhere El Dorado Hills, a few members and I undertook the ride from the Folsom location around the lake to the new box in EDH.  It had been awhile since I've gone for a ride so I was excited for the opportunity, even though 15 miles wasn't a long ride by any stretch.

As usual, I forgot how enjoyable something as simple as riding a bike can be.  Traveling the same route I've driven by car numerous times in the past few months, I felt like I was experiencing the scenery for the first time.  Sometimes a mere change in angle or vantage point can unlock a whole world of visual experience previously unseen.  Then there was the discovery of how steep hills are hidden when inside a motorized vehicle... not so much when on your bike.  I found myself hoofing it pretty hard up a couple climbs that I hadn't remembered being so arduous.  By the time we rolled up to the new gym, our legs were pretty much smoked.

Being that this is a rest week in my training cycle, the ride was a great way to flush out the stiffness and get ready for another hard week upcoming.  Not to mention a beautiful way to spend a winter morning. More people than not own a bike, but far too few use them.  Most are collecting dust in the back corner of their garage.  This year one of my hopes is that I get out and ride at least a couple times a month.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Stability WOD

After the CrossFit One World Holiday Invitational last Sunday, I was a little beat up.  Gabe was spending new years eve on the beach in Aptos so I drove out to join him for a few hours before heading back inland for the festivities.  While there we broke out the chains and did some cool overhead drills with a piece of driftwood we found on the sand.  Just something light to keep things moving, but it was a ton of fun.  Nick Lucchesi was there as well, showing off his brute strength as usual.  Just because you're sore or away from your voodoo floss doesn't mean you can't do something to progress.

I caught a few clips on video and included them below.