Tuesday, June 18, 2013

225# Hang Snatches

Workout of the Day


1 mile run
10 minutes practicing plow transitions


Hang Snatch + Full Snatch 10 x 1
20 back squats (235#) + 20 overhead squats (175#) for time
30 perfect hang cleans @ 205#

Snuck this session in on a Sunday before Father's Day, mostly to practice snatches.  After not feeling great last week, I was pretty solid today.  Made it up to 225# and successfully hang snatched it three times, only to miss all three of the full snatches that followed.  All of these sets were done without a reset, so tap and go from hang to full.  I found that this really encouraged me not to think about the lift and just explode with everything I had.

The squats felt equally good, if not better.  I added 10# from last week and did it 10 seconds faster... go figure.  All 40 reps in 2:49.  More of the same on the hang cleans.  Instead of sets of 4, I did sets of 5 and felt like the weight was flying up.  Going to add weight to 215# next week and hopefully keep getting stronger.

Only one rest day before heading back down to Super Training, better be a good one.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Elbow Levers and more

Workout of the Day

2000 meter row
Elbow Lever Progressions

10 minute AMRAP for proficiency:
30 unbroken double unders
1 turkish getup each arm

Floor Press 5 x 3 w/ pause
Push Jerk x 3 EMOTM for 10 minutes
3 rounds for completion:
100 meter waiter walk each arm
1:00 battling ropes
10 thick bar curls

Surprisingly didn't feel any massive soreness from the muscle ups and pullups in a weight vest yesterday.  I did, however, feel a little tender in my lower joints from running in the vest.  Enough for me to bag off the 4 mile run I had planned for later this evening.  Always let the body be the boss when it comes to it's joints.

The coolest part of today's training was the elbow lever progressions we did before getting started.  Everyone has really been enjoying the Tacfit progressions, and this one was no exception.  Actually much easier than it looks, going through this progression step by step was a great way to learn the basics of this skill.  As usual with things that look like circus acts, so much of this was about finding the right balance point.  Strength is a pre-requisite, of course, but it doesn't take a ridiculous amount to be able to do this lever.  After a few minutes of trying and practicing, most of us were getting close to success.  Another great example of training the brain to learn new things apart from the intensity of a workout.  You can't tell me this type of balancing won't translate to other types.

Following this we hit the skill WOD (I actually used a 50# slamball for the TGUs) and then the strength.  With Ben Alderman there pushing me, I got up to 305# for 2 1/2 reps with a pause at the bottom.  Not bad for a skinny white boy.  We did the jerks at 205#, no problems there, and the assistance sequence was great.  Really like the waiters walk as a substitute for more standard overhead carries.  Unilateral training doesn't rear it's head enough.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Workout of the Day


3 rounds for time in a 20# vest:
9 muscle ups
15 burpee pullups
21 pullups
800 meter run

So... today was supposed to be my rest day, but my friend and fellow sadist Brian McIntyre has been unsuccessfully inviting me to hit a hero WOD with him for well over a year now.  Not that I have anything against hero WODs, I actually really like them.  Just, for one reason or another, I keep dodging them whenever he brings it up.  So finally I decided enough was enough, and I hit this one with him today.

To be perfectly honest, it wasn't as bad as I expected.  I never missed any reps, and the hardest part was the running.  For the muscle ups I did sets of 3 the entire way, for the burpee pull-ups I picked a steady unbroken pace, and for the pullups I did sets of 7.  I never really felt in danger of bonking until the final 800 meters when I dialed myself up to full speed.  If done right, I think most hero WODs should feel this way.  They're more about pacing, consistency, and mental toughness than they are about speed.  So although I'm sure I will feel the weighted muscle ups and pullups in the morning, I don't think my body will be too destroyed from today's lack of rest.  My time was 24:15.

To limit the damage, I took a 10 minute soak in the American River (temperature hovering around 60 degrees) and then grabbed a massage.  The 10 minutes I spent submerged in the water felt so natural and relaxing I can't even tell you.  This should be a regular practice for anyone with access to fresh flowing reservoirs of water.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Workout of the Day

WOD 1 - in the morning...

1 mile run
10 minutes scorpion transition practice

Back Squat 5 x 5 with 3 second pause
Sumo Deadlift 10 x 1 from elevation

3 rounds for completion:
6 unbroken squat cleans @ BW + 10#
6 atlas stones to shoulder @ 165#
10 Glute Ham raises

WOD 2 - in the evening...

KB swing (32 kg)
Burpee over box (24")

After a nice weekend of recovery, today came hard and fast.  The strength portion of the workout was challenging but fun, the most difficult part being the squat cleans/atlas stone combination.  I had worked up to 300# for my top set of 5 pause squats and 475# for my top sumo DL, but none of that felt as painful as the assistance exercises.  I firmly believe that while doing the major lifts is non-negotiable, Crossfitters benefit hugely from picking the right accessory work to follow them.  Being able to apply strength in different manners and variations is what keeps us progressing.  Getting strong in specific movements is great, but it's not enough.  The truly fit are strong regardless of the implement.  Training a wide variety in the form of supplemental exercises is a great way to accomplish this.

The evening conditioning WOD almost didn't happen for me.  I'd been battling a headache for most of the afternoon and it didn't subside until during the final class of the day at the gym.  Thankfully I jumped in at the last second with a few guys and got this thing done in 4:30.  I was happy with my engine towards the end of the workout--I was able to accelerate through my final 9 burpees, sprinting to the finish rather than crawling.  This also leads me to believe I may have been able to push the pace on the burpees a little sooner, but who knows.  Overall, I was happy with that time.

Going a little off script and hitting a hero WOD tomorrow with my friend and glutten for punishment Brian McIntyre.  "McClusky" here we come.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Squeezing it in before Icehouse

Workout of the Day

10 minutes to establish 1RM snatch

5 minute to complete:
20 back squats @ 1RM snatch
20 oh squats @ 75% 1RM snatch

Perform 30 perfect hang power cleans

For day 3 of my training cycle I had to hustle in to the gym early.  A group of us were heading up the hill for a camping trip so I knew I wasn't going to be able to lift otherwise.  Overall, the session was decent.  The snatches definitely weren't going up easy, but I held myself to the 10 minute cap.  My top weight was 225#... could've used another 10 minutes to keep warming up I think.  Still, if I can always snatch 225# when I need to I'll be happy.

Taking that weight and doing the squat portion of the WOD was a lot of fun.  The goal was to finish both sets as fast as possible (back squat at 225#, oh squat @ 165#).  I did the first portion unbroken, quickly stripped the weights, and knocked out 12 on the second.  I tried to force myself to keep the break small before finishing the final 8, but at this point my legs were getting the wobble.  I managed to make it through in a total time of 2:59.  And I'm soooo sore from it!!  Crazy how such a small amount of work can crush you if you're not used to it.  Definitely a cool sequence to try if you're bored of your regular lifting routine.

Once up at the lake, it felt like everything in the world faded away.  I was on the boat wake surfing, in the middle of the lake swimming, and doing morning yoga on the shore.  The group that came up was all about playing cornhole and horseshoes, cooking amazing food, and enjoying the stars.  Not that any of this is surprising or newsworthy, just a pleasant reminder of how fun it is to disconnect from the urban landscape.

Got a big week coming up with a lot of tough workouts.  Looking forward to sharing it.

Friday, June 7, 2013

330# Floor Press

Workout of the Day

2000 meter row for completion
10 minutes Half Crow progression

EMOTM for 10 minutes:
5 c2b pullups
10 meter handstand walk

10 x 1 Floor Press
EMOTM for 10 minutes:
5 unbroken push jerks @ 185#
3 rounds for completion:
10 axel presses (110#)
20 ring dips
40 hollow rocks

Continuing to get stronger on floor press, go figure.  Can't quite figure out why but I love it!!  Got all the way through 330# without a miss and the heavier weights just don't feel as heavy as they used to out of the rack.  305#, 315#... they feel like foregone conclusions.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Air dyne, box jumps, and muscle ups... oh my!

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 - in the morning...

1 mile run
10 minutes pigeon to pigeon transitions as seen here
Accumulate the following:
2 minutes in bottom of front squat
2 minutes in free handstand
2 minutes in L sit

WOD 2 - in the afternoon at Super Training...

3RM Box Squat
8 x 1 squat clean w/ 5 second pause
3 rounds for completion:
10 bent row
12 reverse hyper
1:00 plank w/ chains
10 glute ham raises

WOD 3 - in the evening...

12 minute AMRAP:
1 mile air dyne
50 box jumps
30 muscle ups

Today was Day 1 of the new training cycle, so of course the load is pretty substantial.  But it felt great today.  My box squats were solid up to 380#, squat cleans felt fine at 240#, and all the assistance work during the afternoon session sucked as usual...  Thanks Mark Bell.

Something I'm making a more diligent effort to include is the Prasara yoga flows put out by Tacfit.  If you don't know these guys, they're a cool group that meshes yoga with jiujitsu to form a ton of great mobility resources.  So often I feel that crossfit ignores non-linear movement patterns that are so useful in daily life... this is a way to bridge that gap without taking too much time away from strength and conditioning.  I'm making all our competitors practice this stuff in our pre-WOD sessions, so we'll see if it helps limit injury and mobilize training.

But without doubt the coup de gras of today was the conditioning session.  A variation of Open WOD 13.3, this was primarily a muscle up test.  When tired, how efficiently can you move through 30 muscle ups.  And if you do, can you give yourself enough time and save enough energy to get back on the bike.  I was very happy with my technique and work capacity on the rings (these just keep getting better and better), finishing my 30 at the 9:30 mark.  That gave me a little less than 2:30 to peddle the bike to the finish.  Sadly, I made it to .95 miles before time ran out.  SO CLOSE!!!