Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A State of Grace

30 reps for time of 135 lb clean and jerk


That's right. I just finished Grace as prescribed in 10 minutes and 17 seconds. (Probably a little faster but I timed myself so I lost time from the watch to the bar and from the bar to the watch again.)

A prescribed olympic lift workout and I finished it. I can't say how ecstatic I am. Who cares if it was 15 degrees outside with a torturous wind? I finished Grace!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Double Dating (Michele Meets Cindy)

For the first time ever, my wife joined me for a CrossFit workout. We met Cindy and for her first time, Michele did great.

In 20 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of
5 pull-ups (we both subbed jumping pull ups)
10 push-ups (Michele did most from her knees)
15 squats

I finished 9 rounds plush the 10th set of jumping pull ups. Michele finished 9 rounds, the pull-ups and the push-ups.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Worst Run Yet

I ran the 4 mile race in the Frostbite Series. This run was horrible. Between the squats and sprints on Thursday and the sandbag lifts Friday, my legs were spent almost before I started. I was walking and in severe pain by 1.5 miles and running again about a mile later. The short course overlapped with the half marathon course and the constant stream of half marathoners passing me at double my pace was disheartening. My usual end of race burst was trimmed from several hundred yards to barely 100 feet, if that. All of this was enough to make me never want to race again.

Oh, my official time was 50:09. Considering I'd been hoping for something closer to 40 minutes, this was a very disappointing run.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Snatching Defeat

My birthday workout was 7 rounds of 1 rep max snatch. After warming up, I jumped about 40 lbs for my first 1 RM. This led to nearly injuring my left shoulder as I completely failed to get under the bar.

1RM attempts:
135 lbs (failed)
115 lbs
125 lbs
115 lbs
115 lbs
135 lbs
135 lbs

I need to do a lot more work at lighter weights. All attempts were much closer to muscle snatches than I like.

After the workout, I played around with Dan's new sandbag. At 175 lbs, I was quite pleased to get it to my shoulder 3 or 4 times. Of course Dan nearly overhead pressed it, barely missing lockout.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nancy Stole My Dinner

For time
5 rounds
400 meter run
15 x overhead squats 95 lbs

I used 65 lbs for my OHS and finished in 24:32.

This workout sounds simple but was hellishly brutal. My first 400m was pretty quick for me. The first overhead squats were pretty easy but left me gassed. The next 3 rounds are a blur. After squatting, I barely maintained a fast walking pace on the laps. Every time I tried to speed up my heart rate went through the roof and I quickly ran into panic breathing. Even at a fast walk my breathing was barely under control.

Orie helped me set the pace on my last lap. It wasn't anything near my first lap's pace but it was definitely faster than the middle laps. I kept the pace up despite pukie's constant threat to visit. As I bent to grab the bar for my last squats pukie got the best of me and I left most of my dinner at the side of the track. Snatch the bar over my head, 5 reps and I dropped the bar on the 6th at the bottom. Another brief rest, snatch and 10 more reps. Finally, I was done.

The cold was a factor. Hours later, my lungs are still burning from gasping in the freezing air. As I lay there on the ground wondering who had lit my back on fire, the sweat froze solid in my hair. There is nothing quite like working out in adverse weather to build character. I think the temperature was hovering around 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tabata x Four

Today's WOD from class was 4 continuous rounds of tabata with no extra break.

So 32 rounds, each round is 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest. 8 rounds each of 4 exercises. I used normal tabata scoring for each exercise because tracking every round was too hard. Normal tabata scoring is minimum number of reps completed in a round for the exercise. That means if you complete 7 rounds of 1000 reps and 1 round of 2 reps, your score is 2.

As performed
8 x Tabata Wall Ball (8 lbs)
8 x Tabata Push-Ups
8 x Tabata Squats
8 x Tabata Sit-Ups

I scored 10 on the wall balls, 5 on the push ups, 8 on the squats (I started going for 10 but by round 5 or 6 I couldn't complete 10 any more.), and 8 on the sit-ups.

This was my first exposure to tabatas and I really enjoyed it. It seems to teach your body to maximize recovery in a minimum amount of time and also gives you a lot of chances to dig deep psychologically.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Spring Shower

Bret, Orie, Dan and I met to do the painstorm tonight. Fortunately, reason overcame ego and I did the Spring Shower version instead of the full blown pain storm. Props to everyone else who did the whole thing with times ranging from under 48 minutes to under 58 minutes.

Spring Shower
for time:
50 lb KB thrusters (25 lb KB in each hand)
25 lb KB swings
jumping pull-ups

Finish each round with 100 single-unders (jump rope)

I finished in 24:04.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Heavy Dreams

I'm incredibly blessed by my loving wife. I just opened the first of my birthday presents (my birthday is January 25, a week from tomorrow) and I got the gift I most wanted this time around. I am now the proud owner of a Pendlay CrossFit olympic barbell and 2 x 45lb, 2 x 25lb, and 2 x 10lb bumper plates. All together, that is a maximum of 205 lbs for my dead-lifting, squatting, overhead pressing, cleaning, jerking and snatching pleasure. I can now do many CrossFit workouts at home. I can't say how excited I am. I'd probably be lifting all night but I have a killer workout scheduled for tomorrow.


Last night, I went to the evening class at CrossFit Des Peres. After warming up, we did some heavy work with barbells and kettlebells. I especially enjoyed the bottoms up presses.

For the WOD (workout of the day), we did the Bodyweight 400.

5 rounds for time of
10 push-ups
20 squats
10 sit-ups
20 split lunges
20 jumping jacks

Unfortunately, I only finished 3 rounds. I'm still kicking myself for not slowing down and gutting it out. I've got to overcome my quitters attitude. Maybe tomorrow's painstorm will give me a chance to redeem myself. I'm not sure who to blame but tomorrow we will be doing a painstorm which combines the exercises from "Fran", "Diane", "Helen", and "Elizabeth". I can feel the fear building.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Elizabeth Goes on a Diet

Elizabeth as prescribed:
complete for time:
135# cleans
ring dips

Elizabeth as I scaled it:
95# cleans
bar dips (leg assisted)


I did a much better job of scaling Elizabeth than I did Diane on Sunday. I pushed a lot closer to my limits. Unfortunately, my cleans were really atrocious. Iron Maven would probably slap me silly if she'd seen them.

Doing CrossFit at a YMCA, and worse one I don't know, is hard. There really wasn't anyplace to do cleans. At least there were few enough people in the free weight room that moving between the bench I did my cleans at and the dip station was easy and I didn't get in anyone's way.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Diane (Lite)

I've been wanting to do more of the prescribed CrossFit workouts. I know I have to scale them but I hope to work up to the full blown workouts. Today, I attempted Friday's prescribed workout Diane.

As prescribed, Diane is 3 rounds of 225 lbs deadlifts (DL) and hand stand push ups (HSPU), 21 reps the first round, 15 reps the seconds round and 9 reps the third round. I can't do HSPU so I subbed in modified HSPU with my knees supported in front of my body at hip height. I only used 135 lbs for the deadlifts and I only did 15-12-9.

Diane (lite)
135# DL
HSPU modified

4:03 (4 minutes, 3 seconds)

I learned that I need to use more weight, a harder version of the HSPU and I might need to switch to the full reps. As performed today, I challenged my mental ability to push myself but completely failed to push my body to its limits. At least I have a baseline for my next attempt.

Mental Weakness

Last week after the CrossFit Total, I had severe pain in right shoulder, neck and chest. I scheduled a massage for Wednesday and took the week off. I ate worse than I have since I started working out back in April and I sat on my butt through Sunday. I even missed my Frostbite Series 5K that I was supposed to run on Saturday.

I am not letting myself off the hook for last week. I could have done lower body exercises during the week and by Saturday the pain was completely gone in my shoulder and I had my full range of motion back. I feel pretty lame for missing my run. There is no excuse.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

CrossFit Total - Lifted 3.24 x Body Weight

Today, weighing 245 lbs and standing 6’0” tall, I achieved a CrossFit Total of 795 lbs. This included a deadlift of 375 lbs, an overhead press of 145 lbs, and a back squat of 275 lbs. As a baseline for my first attempt at this, I am ecstatic with this weight.

I did have some problems. For several weeks, I’ve had something causing pain in my right neck and shoulder and radiating down my back into my right hip. The overhead press made this much worse, causing similar pain under my collarbone. The pain in my shoulder was great enough to force me to switch from a low bar position in the back squat to a high bar position and I really felt I lost some top end weight from this. With the longer moment arm, I had a much harder time stabilizing my core a high weights. The lack of stability caused me to fail to go deep enough on my attempt at 285 lbs.

All things considered, I’m very happy. I exceeded my goal of 3 x my bodyweight by 60 lbs. The group of people attempting this workout today was awesome. Megan did an amazing job. Seeing her deadlift twice her bodyweight was impressive. Kim did great and pushed herself to some great records. Elizabeth came late but still did a great job. Dan looked like the silverback he is, lifting close to 5x his bodyweight. And it was nice to meet the other Dan. Orie scores the sportsman of the day award for his efforts, lifting 790 lbs the day after 2 days of food poisoning.

CrossFit Total

The CrossFit Total is a CrossFit benchmark workout intended to give insight into and to train total strength. It is the sum of your single rep max weight for three exercises, the deadlift, the overhead press, and the back squat.

CrossFit Standards and instructions for completing the CrossFit TotalCrossFit Total Rankings