An Inspiring "Terrorist"?

Are those bombs or 2.5 lb weights?

Jeff joined me @ LFF. His foot is still hurting, so he joined me for a C2 rower lesson.

David, one of the trainers, approached me as I was stretching and said, “Did you wear a weight vest when you entered the gym?” “Yes,” I replied. “Why do you ask?” He smiled and said, “Some woman reported you to the front desk. She said you looked like a terrorist with a bomb strapped to your chest.” Haha! Again, I don’t think a weight vest would ever be mistaken as an explosive device at a CrossFit box. 

I taught Jeff how to set the flexfoot and damper, and the mechanics of rowing, i.e., catch, drive, finish, and recovery. He caught on very quickly.

I used the opportunity to warm up, and found that I needed a higher damper setting than normal. I set the damper @ 7.5.

C2 Rower
100m, :22.6, 1:53/500m pace, 50 s/m
15 sec rest
200m, :44.9, 1:52.2, 35
30 sec rest
300m, 1:06.6, 1:51.0, 33
45 sec rest
400m, 1:30.1, 1:52.6, 31
1:30 rest
500m, 1:53.2, 31
2 min rest
400m1:27.3, 1:49.1, 34
1:30 rest
300m, 1:05.4, 1:49.0, 35
45 sec rest
200m, 44, 1:50, 35
30 sec rest
100m (I didn’t record, but it was fast! I know I was rowing @ 1:39/500m)

I wore a 25 lb, non-explosive weight vest for added intensity. While rowing the first 200m, one of the men who work at the front desk told me more details about the women reporting a terrorist. We all had another laugh.

During my rest after the 500m, a man kept looking at me and then finally approached. He said, “I just want you to know that you inspire me. After seeing you do intervals, I started to do them on the treadmill. I’ve gotten much faster, I feel fitter, and I’ve lost weight. Again, you’re an inspiration.” Jeff listened to the entire conversation, and said he wasn’t at at all surprised. He said, “See, you inspire people.” He didn’t roll his eyes, so I think he was serious. I’m not sure what to make of this…  Haha!

Back to the WOD. This was tough! This is the first time I’ve rowed with a weight vest, and it certainly adds to the workout. As the recovery time was generally short, it was challenging catching my breath and getting ready for the next rep. Jeff asked me or more than one occasion if was okay. I kept saying, “I’m doing reps! I don’t care if people hear me breathing hard!”

I just asked Jeff how my breathing sounded when I was rowing. He replied, “You were loud. And it was kind of scary. It sounded like you were running out of air.” Oh, interval training, how I adore thee!

I Heart Stew

Stew “Coaching”

I noticed Stew reading the e-mail message from Dave listing this week’s WODs. “Stew,” I said, “today is practicing double unders and then 4 rounds for time of 20 burpees and 500 meter row. I get the WODs from Dave now, too.” Stew snarkily said, “I know, you’re and ‘endurance’ coach. Everyone knows endurance isn’t important.” “Stew,” I said, “all of your lady friends might tell you endurance isn’t important, but believe me, it is.”

Score:  Stew 0, Paul 1

I don’t recall the actual topic of conversation, but Craig said, “Paul, you’re gay? I thought it was just a fad.” “Ha ha, Craig. If it’s just a phase, I’ve been in the phase for a long time. My mother thought I’d grow out of the phase, too.” Stew had to add his two cents. “I bet she did. I bet she did.” I replied, “That’s not at all the case. My mother is awesome.” Stew replied, “Yes, she is, Paul. Yes, she is.”

Score:  Stew 1, Paul 1

After yet another “dynamic stretching”, i.e., yoga, warm-up Stew had us grab our ropes to practice double unders. He observed that I was using my shoulders too much and my wrists not enough. My dus immediately improved when I focused on keeping my arms stationary by my sides and using my wrists to rotate the rope.

Score:  Stew 2, Paul 1

Stew then walked us through a series of tabata, consisting of single unders and single under/double under combination. “It will help if you get a ‘ditty’,” said Stew. “The ditty can be as simple as one-two, doing a single under on the ‘one’ and a double under on the ‘two’.” “I know what my ditty is, Stew!” I said. “Stew Peters, Stew Peters.” It worked! Stew said, “My ditty is Troie – Paul, Troie – Paul.” We each earned a point.

Score:  Stew 3, Paul 2

Stew then described how he and a “jabbing” partner (I’m not sure what they were jabbing, but I have some ideas) say the other person’s name when they jab. Stew demonstrated. “Stew! Tom!” (I’m not sure if the name is correct.) “Thanks, Stew! I now have an image to think about later tonight.”

Score:  Stew 3, Paul 3

Stew instructed us to grab a C2 rower, and that’s what I did. I then quickly used the restroom, and by the time I returned Nick had confiscated my rower! “Nick,” I said, “you took my rower!” “Uhm, I didn’t know it was yours. It was just here.” I was really looking forward to rowing, as I’ve done this metcon before and I wanted to see if I could improve upon my time.  Stew said, “Why don’t you just run instead.” “Okay,” I said, “but 500 isn’t going to be long enough. How about if I run 600?” Stew agreed.

While everyone else completed burpees and rowing inside, I got to spend the morning outside and enjoy the nice, cool weather.

After completing the first round of burpees, I hit my foot on the metal rooster outside of CFD. It hurt—and my foot still hurts over an hour later. Stupid metal rooster. I nonetheless completed all rounds of burpees unbroken, and immediately ran after rounds of burpees. Thus, this was a continuous metcon with no rest. I will admit that the uphill run after the burpees was difficult. Stew informed me that I was at 7 minutes just as I started round 3. I finished in 13:39 (3 seconds after rower-stealing Nick), and was pleased with the negative split.

Coach Stew provided “good” coaching today.

Final Score:  Stew 4, Paul 3.  At least it wasn’t a knockout!

Dumb Waiter

Jack led today’s session, and the focus was on the back squat, specifically week 3 of Wendler 5-3-1. I claimed a rack, determined weight to lift, and quietly said to Nick, “You’re lifting with me.” Here’s why: last week he and I teamed for the WOD consisting of 30 bodyweight back squats and 500m row. Nick had casually mentioned that he had never completed a back squat, but, since he was skilled with the overhead squat, he was confident that he could complete all reps. I should have encouraged him to NOT lift bodyweight, as he struggled mightily during last 15 or so reps, and his form was not good. This is not meant to be a disparaging comment toward Nick, as he’s a very nice young man, and is always eager to learn. “Nick,” I said, “I’m not the person to go for direction regarding how to snatch or clean and jerk. I can, however, provide direction on the press, dead-lift, bench press, and back squat.” I enjoy coaching, and am always looking for opportunities to do so. (It is, after all, what I do for a living…) I made sure that I confirmed with Jack any and all guidance I provided to Nick. I was pleased that Jack and I agreed. For example, instructing Nick to keep a neutral neck, track knees over toes, drive with heels, etc. Yay, me!
Back squat
5 reps @ 40%, 65 lb
5 @ 50, 95
3 @ 60, 110
5 @ 75, 140
3 @ 85, 160
Max reps @ 95, 175, 6 reps completed
I asked Jack to observe last set, and he was kind enough to do so. He reminded me to keep my weight in my heels. I asked him afterwards if I had squatted deeply enough, and he said “Yes.”
4 rounds for time
“Waiter’s” walk holding 50 lb sand bag overhead
35 squats holding 50 lb sand bag
There was quite a bit of discussion concerning what bags weighed 30 and 50 lb, as it appeared that NO bags weighed 50 lb. I placed 2, 10 lb sand bags in a sack along with 30 lb (or at least I thought it was 30 lb), and asked Jack for guidance regarding how to carry the bag overhead. Jack suggested holding straps at the ends of bag. This became an exercise in futility, as the 2, 10 lb bags kept shifting. It also became a matter of grip strength, as it was very challenging to hold the ends of the bag. Ugh. Can you tell that I did not like this metcon? I became so frustrated that I ended up just resting the sandbag on the top of my head during half of the 3rd and all of the last 200m walk. After completing back squats earlier, completing an additional 140 squats holding a 50 lb sandbag on my shoulders was just plain misery. I was able to complete as many as 25 unbroken—and that was during the last rep, when I wanted to at least finish under 10 minutes. I finished in 9:57, but I’m not going to call it Rx, as I didn’t hold the bag above my head with locked arms.
[Insert comments regarding inconsistency of weights of sandbags, i.e., some 50 lb bags were lighter than others.]

Colin > Brad > Paul > Mats

Xander joined me this morning, as the hardwood floors were being removed and we feared he’d slip out the front door. I took him for a 1/2 mile walk around the old stadium. I also let him eat a chicken bone he found. 

The always entertaining Colin led today’s session, and the focus was on the bench press; specifically week 3 of Wendler 5-3-1. 

Coach Colin first led us through a push-up warm-up session. I completed a few of the Z-Fit warm-up stretches I learned yesterday (and assured Channa that her testimonial was right on the money). I teamed with Brad. He only wore one tee-shirt today. 

5 reps @ 40%, 45 lb
5 @ 50, 70
5 (supposed to only do 3) @ 60, 85
5 @ 75, 115
3 @ 85, 125
Max reps @ 95, 135 (was supposed to only be 132); 4 reps completed

I’m still recovering from Death By Pull-ups, and I could tell.

10 wall ball shots (10′ target, 20 lb wall ball)
10 pull-ups

Yeah, uhm, there was no way I was going to do pull-ups. Colin suggested that we substitute KTE, and all but Brad did so. Brad wore gloves though, so his score doesn’t count. I completed KTE on rings.

I completed all reps of wall ball shots and KTE unbroken, walked (and not meandered) from the wall to the rings, and didn’t stop for a drink. As I forgot to have my book and pen with me, Colin was kind enough to get me a piece of paper and a pen so that I could record rounds. “Your wish is my command,” said Colin. That makes him tied with Jack as my favorite coach. I none-so-secretly wish that Colin taught more than just the Sunday sessions. 

My time after 5 rounds was 4:30, so I set my goal to complete the last 5 rounds in the same time. I missed doing this by 6 seconds, and it wasn’t the wall ball shots that slowed me down. My abs were on fire! I did focus on form for wall ball shots, making sure my heels were grounded, I squatted below parallel, I hit the 10′ mark, etc. I also focused on form for the ring KTE, making sure that I didn’t bend my arms but used my abs to bring my knees to my elbows. 

Time (if you didn’t already do the math yourself) was 9:06.

I cheered for my peeps. “That wall isn’t going to ball itself, Keri!” “Squat lower, Chad. You know that a doctor would squat correctly. Just because you’re a murse doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do so.” “Knees to your elbows, Jordan. Your knees aren’t going to get there unless you use your abs.” “Speed it up, Mats. My grandmother could go faster than you.” (BTW, Mats was doing his own metcon. He must no longer like us.)

The 11 o’clock group began to appear. “Nice knees to elbows, Theo! Wait, you’re practicing double unders, aren’t you?” He hugged me for that. Haha!

We ended 10 minutes early, so Colin showed Brad and me a Spiderman (the movie, not the musical) move. I have no vertical jump, so I could not make it from the starting point to the wall. Brad could; thus, he is greater than Paul. Colin could jump to the wall AND scurry across; thus, he is greater than Brad. Mats is slower than my grandmother; thus, we are all greater than Mats.

Speaking of Mats, he is convinced that the ONLY way to do a metcon is as fast as you can. I beg to differ in that I think you should also focus on form. For example, I firmly think/feel that the elbows should be locked when doing KTEs, but Mats thinks that if you can complete KTE faster if using your arms then you should do so. 

Brad, Mats, Chad, Colin, and I also had a discussion about the CrossFit Games. I’m convinced that people are going to overtrain and/or injure themselves by over-practicing and/or repeatedly performing the same WODs, hoping to get a better score. I think/feel you should get one try and one try only. Imagine if you spent 3 months training for a marathon, but you had a bad day come the day of the race. You still only have that one shot to do well. Yes, you could choose to not run that marathon and run another marathon the next weekend, but it would be a different marathon, with a different course, different competitors, different weather, etc. We all have good AND bad days. We all have strengths AND weaknesses. That’s what makes CrossFit so exciting and challenging. You’re certainly welcome to share your thoughts, but no hating on me or anyone else. 

Jack Attack (and skill-building)

For this and the next 6 Saturdays, the WOD is going to be the posted workout for the 2011 CrossFit Games. Yes, I’ve registered as a member of CFD. No, I’m not much interested in competing. Why? Even I don’t have an answer…

My hands are still very ripped up from yesterday’s Death By Pull-ups. If I had been competing, I probably wouldn’t have completed that or done a different workout. Since I knew I wasn’t competing, I wasn’t all that concerned. 

The first WOD is a 10-minute AMRAP of 30 double unders and 15 power snatches (75 lb Rx for men).

I went to see how others were faring. Jay (who has mastered double unders), Amy (using her new Buddy Lee rope), and Sarah were in the first round I observed, and all did splendidly. It looked like a grueling workout. I observed Brad and Dave next, and it didn’t look any easier. Dave even broke a plate. I had planned on observing Michael Kelley, since I hate him so very, very much, but Jack asked me to count for him. I couldn’t very well so “no”, as Jack is my favorite coach. 

I know very well how strong Jack is, and he’s usually who I fear the most during a head-to-head metcon. As Gabe would say, Jack is a beast. Jack completed 4 rounds + 30 double unders and 10 power snatches. I could possibly complete (maybe on a very, very good day) 3 rounds. Double unders in succession still elude me. Power snatches are just about impossible. I have no desire whatsoever to attempt this WOD. 

I’m also not sure if I make a very good counter, as I tend to get far too emotionally involved. I said things to Jack like, “That’s enough rest, Jack, pick up the bar.” “Do five at a time. Don’t put down the bar until you do at least five.” “You’ve only got 2 minutes left. Power though.” I’m sure there were times when Jack wished that I would shut the freak up. 

I led Anthony and Chad through the CFE warmup that Erin demonstrated, i.e., 800m easy run, skill-building, and 100m pick-ups at increasing intensity. Next I completed 4 x 25 GHD back extensions followed by a 1500k row @ 1:48/500m pace and avg 28 s/m. I joined Channa and Anna for 100m of their 400m walking lunges. Perhaps the most fun of my day was when I joined the 11 o’clock group of CFD visitors. I began by running with them during the first 200m of their 15-minute AMRAP to show them the turn-around. I then coached a couple of the participants as they completed the WOD, that in addition to running also included kettle bell swings, air squats, and push-ups. At the end of the WOD, one of the men asked me if I was a personal trainer. Haha! I finished my workout with front lever practice on the rings.

I attended the Z-Fit seminar, led by Jason, from noon until 3, and learned much about getting my body ready for lifting, running, walking, and everything else involved with living. As usual, I was generally the exception to the rule. If I did the opposite of what others did I benefitted far more. For example, if I rolled my foot to the outside it didn’t help me as it helped others, but if I rolled my foot to the inside it helped. I saw significant improvement with press in particular. Jason taught my some exercises that will hopefully help me with the pain in my right arm. Michael Kelley also attended, and he gave me an unexpected hug. He’s so needy. I also treated him to lunch. I actually loaned him the money, so he owes me. As my mother always says, “It’s better to owe you than to cheat you out of it.” 

Tomorrow’s metcon is 10 rounds of 10 wall ball shots (10′ target, 20 lb ball) and 10 pull-ups. Yes, pull-ups. Really, Dave? Pull-ups? 

Death Becomes Her (and by "her", I mean Stew)

Stewie “led” today’s session, and the focus was on the lunge, as we were instructed to complete 100 lunges with both the right and left legs. Stewie “demonstrated” a lunge, and we began.

Given the number of lunges we were to complete, I had already determined my goal: focus on form, starting easy and eventually increasing degree of difficulty. I completed the first 20 lunges with hands on hips and not above head as prescribed.

New Guy:  Your hands are supposed to be above your head.
Me:  I’ll do it my way; you do it your way.
Stewie:  Paul never does anything as prescribed.

Walking lunges
20 hands on hips
30 hands above head
10 with 10 lb kettle bell held above head with shoulders locked
20 with 20 lb KB
20 with 30 lb KB

New Guy:  I should have kept my mouth shut, huh…
Me:  Don’t worry about it, New Guy, I can dish it out and I can take it. You never need to worry about hurting my feelings.
Stewie:  Paul never does anything as prescribed.

Stewie has a limited range of witty comebacks as well as a limited vocabulary. He also shaves his chest.

DEATH by Pull-up
Perform 1 pull-up the first minute, 2 the second, 3 the third, etc., until you can’t complete the prescribed number or reps for that minute.

Right Hand

I had been looking forward to this workout, and I’m not quite sure why. I performed all sets unbroken—and kipping—until the round of 12, when I did 10 and 2. By the last round, I was doing one at a time. It wasn’t that I couldn’t kip (I did). It wasn’t that I was feeling weak (as I’m strong and awesome). It wasn’t that I couldn’t get my chin above the bar (even though I’m not big-chinned like Stewie). It was because my hands, particularly my right hand, were torn to shreds, and I was bleeding all over the bar and myself. To make matters worse, Stewie (who completed the workout with us but ONLY made it through round 14) attempted (unsuccessfully) to make me his bitch. He watched and counted every rep. During the round of 14, he said, “That one barely counted. Your chin barely made it above the bar. If you had a chin like mine it would be easier.” (Again, I’m not big-chinned like Stewie). I did an extra pull-up so he’d shut his chin and mouth. I made it through 15 with just 3 seconds to spare, and my hands were aching. I completed 15 pull-ups but just couldn’t (and really didn’t want to) get the last pull-up during the round of 16.

I had just washed off all of the blood

Total pull-ups:  136
(I’m counting the additional pull-up I did to appease Stewie.)

Death by 10 Meters

Erin led this evening’s CrossFit Endurance session, and I was along for the ride. In the future, she and I will be co-coaching or, if need be, separating the rowing and running sessions (or coaching solo if one of us it out of town, like I’ll be for most of next month).

Kristen (sister-wife, not 6:15 Kriste), Gabe, Tripp, and a few others (whose names I must learn) attended. Amy, where the hell were you?

Erin taught and led us through the CFE warm-up, which consists of an easy 800m run, pick-ups, and skill-building. Erin focused on the pose method of running, which I’m familiar with but have not yet mastered.

Endurance Workout
Death by 10 Meters
Every minute on the minute run 10 meters, adding 10 meters each round. Thus, run 10 meters at the start and rest the remaining time, run 20 minutes at the 1-minute mark and rest the remaining time, etc., until you could not run the distance in the time allotment.

This was fun! Most CFers ran 14 or more rounds, and Gabe (and I think a few others) made it to round 17. I finished round 19 with a few seconds to spare, but was somewhat embarrassed that all of the attention was focused on me for rounds 18 and 19. I had some left in the tank, but called it a day. (Those who know me well know that I take great pleasure in providing positive support for others, but do NOT like to be cheered for myself.)

Rowing next Monday? We’ll see. (Erin, be sure to keep it a secret!)