Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Smart Decision

Sometimes it's tough to take your own advice. Like the rest day I took on Monday. That turned out to be a great decision. I woke up Tuesday feeing like a million bucks. I lifted at lunch and did an afternoon WOD. And today I rowed at lunch and did a fun partner barbell WOD with Andy and Jeremy tonight. 

Rest and recover. So important and often overlooked. Take a step back. If you were programming for someone else, you'd build in days for them to rest. Make sure you do it for yourself. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Thoughts on Rest Days

Sometimes you look forward to rest days. Sometimes they are forced upon you. The hardest rest day to take is one you have to force on yourself. 

I really wanted to WOD today. But I was tired all day. It was different at the end of the day than "what a long day, in drained". Often times getting to the gym is like hitting reset. You leave feeling a lot better than when you got there. 

I am one of the biggest advocates for rest in other people. I know you have to have it to recover and get stronger. That's why I'm in bed early a lot more often these days. But not goingntonworkout, when you really want to just kinda sucks. 

Taking the day off was the right thing to do and I'm proud of myself for making the smart decision. I came home. Crashed and caught an hour nap. Cooked dinner, watched some tv and now and going to bed. 

Sometimes putting off everything else to have a quite night is just what the body needs. 

If you're fighting taking a rest day. Figure out why. If it's because you don't like the workout, you should probably go. Odds are you don't like it because it's a weakness. If it's because you're feeling dragged down and coffee isn't doing what it normally does. Take a day, maybe too. Rest and recover and when you get back to the box you will have a new intensity. 

Doing what you don't want to do does suck. But making those decisions can really boy off in the long run. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Feeling Good

The sporadic updates continue. If you've read anything on here you should be used to that though. I will make an effort to not lead every post off like that.

I've been hitting the gym 4-6 times per week, going in for some extra rowing / conditioning sessions when I can at lunch.

I added walking lunges 4 days a week 3 weeks ago. The first 2 weeks I did 100 meters. The first 2 days of that were terrible, my ass really was quite sore. Then this last week I upped it to 150 meters, and the soreness is back. Not as bad as it was before, but the first 2 days of 150m were tough.

I'm hoping to start working on double unders after class or before class every day this week. I think after class will be better because if I can learn them fatigued, during the workout should be better. Someone once told me that so we'll see if they are right. On Saturday Andy was having my do higher jumps for my singles and it feels really exaggerated but I know it isn't.

Flexible dieting has been going really well for April and I'm pumped about that after a so-so march. I think I'm really going to be pleased with the results. I should probably just call it flexible eating because it isn't strict like some diets but it does control your calories and macro- nutrients.

I have several posts I want to write but we will have to see when I will make time for them. After working and spending time in the gym, then cooking dinner, I usually don't want to sit back down in front of the computer.

I will close this one out by sharing something I read the other day. "You are only as happy as you choose to be. So today, choose happiness."

Until next time. Be Happy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 CrossFit Open Ongiong Post - 15.4 Done

I started CrossFit last year right before the Open and was not ready to sign up to test myself in many things I had never even heard of yet. This year I signed up on Day 1. Excited to be a part of the first step in the selection process to the fittest in the world. I have no illusions about being that person but it will be a fun ride.

15.1 & 15.1A
15.1 -
15 TTB
10 Deadlifts 115#
5 Snatch 115#

15.1A -
6 Min to establish a max Clean & Jerk

The scaned version for week one used hanging knee raises in place of TTB and lighter weight. I did it scaled first and got 188 reps and 140 Clean & Jerk. I was bummed that I didn't go into it with a plan on how I wanted the C&J to progress in weights and I knew I could have gotten a better lift. My grip got complelty fried on this one. I'd never been to the point that I wasn't sure if I could hang onto the bar. And the first C&J it was like I couldn't feel the bar, wasn't sure it was going to come off the ground.

Redid it on Sunday and did it Rx to see what I could do. I didn't like any TTB but instead did singles so I could move along at a good pace. 115 snatch is relatively heavy for me and after chasing the first one around for a secone I did okay with the rest. 100 Reps.

The Clean and Jerk went much better and I hit 165, Just 10 shy of my max at that time. This is the score I went with and we will see where things go from here.

In 3 minutes do 10 OHS / 10 C2B / 10 OHS / 10C2B. If completed at 3 minutes, you have 3 more minutes to do 12's. So on and so forth until you don't finish a round.
Another fun Friday Night Lights at College Hill CrossFit tonight.
I thought about doing scaled when this workout came out but I pushed to to Rx. The 10 OHS weren't too bad. Now, going into this workout I'd only recently learned I could do a Chest to Bar pull-up. I had done 4 total, EVER. In the workout I doubled that number and finished with 8. After 8 they just went and I couldn't get another one. Progress is made and I know that I need to work on the kip for these to get more efficient with them. My score of 18 isn't anything to write home about but it will help me track future progress with this workout and other Open tests as well. Seeing some of the competitors at the gym, especially the ladies put up such awesome results is really inspiring. These ladies put in the wrk late every night because they also have jobs and they continue to kick ass.

Bring on 15.3!

14 Min AMRAP
7 Muscle Ups
50 Wall Balls
100 Double Unders

Scaled Option is:
50 Wall Balls
200 Singles

Seems like this is a polarizing workout. Lots of people upset that Muscles Ups are in the beginning. The way I see it, maybe you don't want to do "scaled" but if you went Rx in any competition you should expect to see Muscle Ups in it, at least in the finals. If the point of the open is to test the community as a whole, and get the very best athletes to regionals, then this workout will do it.

Last year Muscle Ups were only in the end of 14.4's chipper. People could get there, get through those and get back to the start. People may have been able to motor through the other movements and get the MU's but still be weak at them. There won't be any hiding from weaknesses here.

All that being said, I am not really looking forward to this workout. It's going to be A LOT of wallballs and jump rope. My calves are a little tender from the running and DU practice this week. I will be missing out on Friday night lights to cheer on UVA in the ACC Tournament Semi-Finals so I'll hit the workout tomorrow and see what happens.

15.3 Workout
Saturday 3/14 was the day that I did 15.3. I was a little worried about the workout because of all the jump rope practice my calves were still a little sore and I just knew it was going to be a lot of wall balls. I honestly wasn't really mentally ready to tackle this workout. After warming up the wall balls I almost decided to push the workout by a day and do it on Sunday but I wanted to get it done.
At 3-2-1 Go I grabbed the wall ball and had a plan of doing the wall balls in 10's and the jump rope in 50's. The plan went well for the entire first round and after 40 wall balls the 2nd time I did 2 sets of 5's. The jump rope took a little bit longer on the second round. I started to feel my calves burning during the second round of wall balls and was a little worried but kept moving. I did the 3rd set of wall balls in sets of 5's and it was getting tough. Had a couple of minutes left and went to 25's on the single unders and broke a few times. It was really hard to get going again each time but thankfully I had some friends shouting at me nearby. I wasn't fast but without them there and Mason, my judge, pushing me forward I wouldn't have gotten as far as I did. I did 191 of the next 200 singles and finished with 741 reps.

I briefly thought about hitting the workout again to try and finish that round but decided that would be crazy. I'm pleased with my effort on this one and am ready to see what will be revealed with 15.4.

15.3 Other Thoughts -
I was really surprised to see a few things. First was the amazing amount of people who pushed themselves to get their first and next muscle ups. That was so awesome.

The bad part was how many people were so upset with the scaled options if they didn't have muscle ups. The Open has many purposes as I eluded to earlier and one of those is to get the best athletes to regionals. Another will be to help give you new goals for the next year. Maybe more folks like myself will add a goal of getting some muslce ups in the next year. I'm glad that

8 Min AMRAP of Hand Stand Push Ups / Cleans

Another one I'd be doing scaled. The scaled workout was still plenty tough.
10 Push Press at 95# / 10 Cleans at 115# - also 8 min AMRAP.

The Open show introduced a new standard for HSPU's and that caught a lot of people by surprise.

For my workout I got 85 reps which I was okay with but not really happy. Didn't want to redo it. After about half way i could feel my wrist with each clean. And while I know it isn't going to get injured, it still hurts. And gets in my head. I need to keep working on it and move past that. It was also a workout that gassed me quicker than i thought it would. Those push presses were no fun!

Many in our box struggled with the HSPU's and I'm certain that is something that a lot of people will continue to work on and turn it into a strengh over the next year.

My exciting news was that I got back into a Handstand position. First time since my injury. That was cool, I tried doing a push up but I can't lower myself down that far. And I tried using dumbells so I wouldn't be on my fingertips on my left hand but that hurt worse.

I'll adapt, and keep working on it.
The best part of this open for me was seeing my friend Andy, PR his clean and get 185 done. He got 12 reps of this RX and that was awesome. A 20# PR and some funny stories to go with it. Like his chest looking like it was mauled by a tiger from the catch of the clean.
I'm ready to see what the final week of the open brings and see some more people astonish themselves with what they are capable of.

Training Week of 3/9 - Complete

Monday 3/9 - Rest Day. After hitting it hard with multiple workouts on Saturday and Sunday it was a good day to take off.

Tuesday 3/10 -
Run 2 Miles
Class WOD - Teams of 3 (5 min row for cals / 4 min burpee box jump overs / 3 min row / 2 min bbjo / 1 min row)
5 Min Double Under practice
4 RFT - 400m Run / 25 Ab Mat Situps

Continuing on the I need to run more so I hate it less train today. Went out for a mile before the WOD and just kept going, and when I could see the turn around for 2 miles had no reason not to get there. First mile actually felt great, 2nd mile I could feel my legs weren't used to it yet.

Did the class WOD with Teresa and Megan and it was a very good workout. We moved well and got a good burn.

Strung 2 DU's together a few times and got decent at 3 Singles & a Double. Need to stay focused on these.

Finished out with another mile and 100 sit ups. That's a pretty good push and a workout I could vary in so many ways. I think 25 light thursters and running might get spicy.

Wednesday 3/11 - 
1 Mile Run at lunch.

Class WOD
Odd - 7 power cleans / 30 DU
Even - 7 Pull Ups / 7 Wall Balls

After Class
2K Row. Every 3 minutes do 10 Burpees

Good day in the box. After the extra running the jump rope killed my calves. Was so sore after the WOD.

Thursday 3/12 - 
Rest Day

Friday 3/13 - 
With plans to go to the ACC tournament I went in after lunch today and did some active recovery with rowing and mobility work.
Row 2000 / 1500 / 1000 / 500 for a total of 5K but had plenty of rest between and did a lot of moblity with hips and shoulders.

Calves still sore, damn you jump rope!

Saturday 3/13
Open 15.3. See Open post for thoughts on 15.3

Sunday 3/14
Class WOD
600m run
60 Doubles
500m run
50 air squats
400m run
40 ab mat situps
300 m run
30 burpees
200m run
20 box jumps
100m run
10 pull ups

Did that in around 22 minutes.

Yoga was awesome to stretch things out and work on some mobility.

Finished the afternoon by pulling a rower out into the sun and rowing a 5x1000 w/ 2 minutes rest in between. Held around a 2:00 min pace. It was such a beautiful day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I'm Back, I think!?!?

I certainly go through phases of this blog where I like to write a lot, and then it goes away. Chronicle every workout or just some of them.

I have a few products I'd like to review and more workouts I want to put down on "paper" somewhere. The weather is warmer and I've got a renewed focus of doing extra conditioning work. More daylight and more time to get work done. I may have a limitation on how much weight I can lift right now, but I don't have an excuse to hate running so much. So lets see where a little hard work pounding the pavement can take my wods that involve running.

Thanks for following along!

Monday, February 9, 2015

PR City

I've been on a monster of a tear lately. Really seeing some gains in the box. 

I've PR'd my OHS, my clean, my jerk, my & squat snatch. The technique plus added focus from the lifting class has helped a lot of those. 

My best moment was a retest of a workout called Macho Man. 

Every Min on the Minute
3 Power Cleans / 3 Front Squats / 3 Jerks
In the 11th minute go to 4s, 12th 5s etc

Last time we tested this was a week before I broke my wrist. I went at a decently light weight of 95# and made it 7 rounds and 7 reps. (Macho Man - First Time)

This time I made it 12 rounds and 17 reps. At the same weight! Fella's, I've never left the gym feeling so damn good. 

All of those PR's above are real PR's. Not post injury PR's. So although my wrist won't let me do everything I want to, and I still have some ways to go to get flexibility to where it needs to be I've really had some great improvements.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

War of the WODs - Competition 1.17.2015

On Saturday January 17th I headed over to the Greensboro Coliseum for the War of the WODs CrossFit competition. I was in the beginner division as I wasn't quite ready for some of the weights / movements in the scaled category. Thanks to my dad for all the great photos and support (mom was there in spirit, she was a little busy taking care of an aunt in the hospital) , Tara for hanging out during a long day, and of course all the folks from CHC that were there supporting Joe, Anita and myself. 

WOW 2015

WOD 1 - Spartacus
8 minutes to complete as much as possible of: 25 Russian KB Swings/25 Burpee Box jump overs /150 singles or 50 double unders/max wall balls.

I felt pretty good about this one as I'd ran through it a few times, once doing the wall balls and once not. During the workout I did fine with the KBS, and may have pushed a bit on the BBJO because I had some trouble getting started without breaking for the jump rope. The hardest part of this WOD was the max wallballs. I got no rep'd about 8 times because I hit the area in between the targets and I had to hit the middle of the top target. My arms were on fire which surprised me a little bit. I didn't feel to great about my effort when the workout was over but after seeing that I finished in 5th I was pretty pleased with that result. (there were problems with the leaderboard updating all day, after it was all said and done I placed 7th in this event) I should have gotten more wall balls though. In the pictures you can see the guy to my left, he's in a blue shirt. He was about 15-20 wall balls ahead of me, that sucked. But, the guy to my right was on his knees resting a few times and telling his judge that he was dying. I forgot about that until I saw the pictures and laughed a little. Could have been better, but certainly could have been worse.
Russian Kettlebell Swings

Down & Up

Left hand won't get flat anymore


Should have thrown my wallball at the guy killing me in blue. 

One of those moments after a tough WOD where you can't decide what hurts the most. 

These Nano's rock. 

WOD 2 - Chariot Race
At go the athlete will have 5 min to go as far as they can in the following AMRAP:

100m Row/1 Sled Push/150m Row/1 sled Push/200m Row… etc.
The score is the total distance in meters rowed added to the total distance pushed on the sled. Every complete sled push counts as 200 extra added to your meters rowed. The sled push will be broken down into 4 sections going one way and 4 sections coming back for partial scores.

I haven't pushed a sled much so I wasn't really sure how taxing it would be. Now I know. I didn't fly out on the row because I wanted to pace myself through this workout. The first trip with the sled wasn't much problem. 150 meters went by a little slower than I'd hoped and the 2nd sled push started to hurt. 200m down and the sled push went from a run to a fast walk so I would not stop moving. I placed 11th in this workout. I don't really have a lot of thoughts on how that one should have went. I need to get more intervals and sprinting done. I'm not a good runner and running with a sled didn't really change that fact. This was a very interesting workout. And the fact that it was the same across all divisions you can look at it that way.

This push got hard in a hurry. Added to the list of things I should do more often. 

Back to the rower

That was a long 5 minutes...
 WOD 3 - Romulus & Remus 
At the count of go, athletes will have 6 minutes to complete the following -
Beginner Athletes:
12 Jumping Rope Pullups/12 Thrusters
9 Jumping Rope Pullups/9 Thrusters
6 Jumping Rope Pullups/6 Thrusters
3 Jumping Rope Pullups/3 Thrusters

I, like most people I talked to, had never heard of a jumping rope pull up. The goal was to get every division on the ropes. You fully extend your arms up and grab the rope, you jump and pull yourself until your chin rises above your hands. After you do those you move onto the thrusters, a standard (and mostly hated) crossfit movement.

I tested this one out and felt pretty good about being able to improve my time. I did each set unbroken but made sure to take a few breathes before picking up the bar to do the first thrusters because I didn't want to put it down until they were done. I was told that the bars would bounce, and whatever type of bumper places those weights were sure did. You can see in the photos below that since my left wrist won't bend my right hand goes down further. According to Tara it gets a little worse as the workout goes on, but it doesn't bother me and I think I moved through this well. I did the WOD 40 seconds faster than I tested it! Some freaking jackrabbits with short arms blasted my time in the second heat and I placed 8th in this workout.

Jumping Rope Pull Up. Yes, it felt as silly as it looks. 

One of these things is not like the others (here's looking at you left wrist)

WOD 4 - The Arena
This is a timed ladder. When the judge says go, the athlete will race into the ladder and have 1 min to lift the most amount of load possible with the prescribed movement for their division. Load is calculated by adding together the weight on the bars lifted at each station.

Weights on the men’s bars: 95/115/135/155/175/195/215/225/235/245/255
Beginner: 2 Rep Deadlift. The weight is taken from the ground to the hips. The athlete must show control at the top with knees and hips extended. Sumo deadlifts are not acceptable.

The weights were the same for RX / Scaled / Beginner, but the movements were different. Rx was Snatch. Scaled was 2 rep ground to overhead and mine was 2 rep deadlift. 

I tested this one out as well. I started with 6 bars and had about half a minute left. I ran it again with 8 bars and had 14 seconds, so I was trying to decide on 9 or 10 bars. Then I saw a guy run the whole ladder and have time to do burpees at the end which are the tie breaker. I knew I'd have to move a little quicker and go for all 11.

I started good and then around 225 is started feeling a little heavy but I know that I can dead lift well over 255 so I kept pushing through and had time to get 3 burpees in after it was done. I finished 3rd in this event for my best finish of the competition.

1st Rep

2nd Rep! Ladder Cleared, all 11 bars!

Overall Finish 7/18.

Overall Thoughts - Competing is a lot of fun. You have something to focus on and get excited to train for. Then during the competition you'll probably question what the heck did you sign up for this for. Afterwards when you have time to reflect you have so many good memories from the day. Warming up and competing in the same type events with people on your level all the way through regional athletes. Having family there to cheer you on is great, and with several people from our gym competing there was a ton of College Hill CrossFit folks all around yelling and cheering you to go faster. I can look back and see things I did well, and things I can do better and work on. I know that I can push a little bit harder during regular workouts and get even better. I'm sure winning is even better, but for most of us at the competition it isn't about winning or loosing it's about pushing yourself, having fun and enjoying the atmosphere and challenge. If I progress enough in the next year to move into the scaled category, I'll do that, and if I end up in the beginner category because of the weights with my wrist I'll accept that fate too.  The scaled category had 73 competitors and I hope to be there next year. When I signed up there were movement standards I couldn't meet. Today, I'm pretty confident with the weights, just need to keep working on some of the movements like pull-ups and rope climbs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

War of the WODs - "Arena" Test

Tested a couple of this weekends competition WODs yesterday. 

The first event is called The Arena,  a ladder, where you try to total the most weight. I'm in the beginner category so my lift is 2 deadlifts. (Rx is snatch, scaled is 2 GTO)

11 bars starting at 95, ending at 255. 

It took a long time during open gym to set it up but I'm really glad I did. I thought I would hit the last 6 bars. So I started at 195 and cleared them all and had like 24 seconds remaining. 

Waited a few and ran it again. Cleared 8 bars and still had ~13 seconds left. I plan on making it 9 bars for the competition. 

I'm lucky in the sense that the deadlift is a lift that I don't have problems with and 255 isn't too heavy. I wonder if I could clear 10 bars, but it was such a pain to set up and breakdown that I'm not testing it again.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Still plugging along

Haven't posted much but I'm still loving CrossFit. 

Tested one of the WODs from this weekends competition. 

Beginner Male is 
8 min 

25 R KBS
25 burpee box jump overs
150 single unders
Max wall balls remaining time 

I did 40 wall balls. I can do 60 in the comp. I did over 200 Friday and 45 Saturday in workouts so I wasn't really pumped to wall ball it. Glad I tested it and am ready now. Testing the other 3 tomorrow afternoon / night.