Running, Flipping, & Jumping Endurance WOD

In preparation for tomorrow’s coaching, I completed the following WOD:

Run 45 sec out and 45 sec back

10 tire flips

Rest 90 sec

Run 45 sec out and 45 sec back

10 jumps into and out of tire

Rest 90 sec

Repeat 5x for 10 total rounds

This was challenging and fun! I focused on even and exact splits in regard to both distance and time. I ran 400m+ (running well past the second tree) for each of the 10 rounds, and usually ran back in 2 or 3 seconds less time, as the return in downhill. I immediately began flipping or jumping into the tire.

Rnd 1 | 2:21

Rnd 2 | 1:57

Rnd 3 | 2:21

Rnd 4 | 1:57

Rnd 5 | 2:24 (The tire rolled away!)

Rnd 6 | 1:54 (I made up for the lost 3 sec.)

Rnd 7 | 2:21

Rnd 8 | 1:55

Rnd 9 | 2:21

Rnd 10 | 1:57

For tomorrow’s coaching, I’ll reduce tire flips to 5 to even out splits, and probably have athletes do 6 or 8 rounds, as my total time was 35 minutes.

I practiced muscle ups and double unders, and called it a day.

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“Murphy”

I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to make it back to CFD in time complete the Hero WOD “Murphy”. Zeke @ CF Coastal had informed me yesterday that a Hero WOD would be chosen from the hopper. As luck would have it, “Murphy” was chosen at CF Coastal!

Those in attendance were given the option of completing a different Hero WOD, and most chose to do so.

Hero WOD “Murphy”

Run 1 mile

100 pull-ups

200 push-ups

300 air squats

Run 1 mile

I was basically on my own for the WOD, and I used my own watch to record time. My goal was to complete first mile in less than 7:30 and last in less than 8:00. The times were slow as I chose to wear a 20 lb vest for the running (but not the remainder of the WOD) and I was convinced that the distance was longer than a mile. The mile runs @ CF Coastal consist of 6 loops around a course on gravel and pavement, and I was told the loop was 300m. 300 x 6 is 1800, and that’s 200m more than a mile. My other goals were to focus on form, to complete all reps with proper form, and to do 10 rounds of 10, 20, and 30. 

It was also 95 degrees and very humid. CF Coastal is not air conditioned, and it was almost as hot inside as it was outside. And that’s okay!

I ran the first mile in 7:30. I took off the vest, and completed the first round unbroken, i.e., 10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups, & 30 air squats.

I completed 7 rounds of pull-ups unbroken, but was unable to complete rounds 7, 8, and 9 unbroken as the bar became very slippery and I just couldn’t hold my grip. I completed rounds 2 through 9 or push-ups in reps of 10, 6, & 4, and the last round in reps of 12 & 8. I completed rounds 2 through 10 or air squats in reps of 20 & 10. 

I ran the last mile in 7:45. It was tough, and I contemplated taking off the vest AND walking. I’m happy to say that I did not.

Time 44:09

CrossFit Coastal is a great box, and I highly recommend that you visit if you’re in the Wrightsville Beach or Wilmington areas. 


CrossFit Coastal & Muscle Ups

I attended CrossFit Coastal, owned & coached by Zeke. Upon arriving, I entered the box & immediately recognized Zeke from gymnastics certification we both attended this past December. He’s a strong gymnast, & was often called upon to demonstrate skills.

I was the only person in attendance @ the 2pm session. Zeke suggested that I do the main site WOD, but I suggested that I work on skill building.

As I hadn’t yet learned to kip when we attended cert, I asked him to observe & provide feedback.

I jumped on the bars & did a set of 10. “You’ve got all of the correct moves, but you’re not really kipping.” Zeke speaks the truth. He continued. “You’re just strong enough to continually get your chin over the bar without using your hips.” Zeke demonstrated & then coached. After a few failed attempts, I was able to grasp the  concept. Pull-ups are going to be dramatically easier & faster.

I mentioned to Zeke that I hadn’t done a muscle up in months. In fact, I hadn’t even tried. I also couldn’t do muscles ups in succession. We talked about form & the steps involved in a muscle up.

1. Hang from the rings

2. Swing legs back

3. Bend elbows, draw body up toward rings & – most importantly – raise legs and kick back

4. Shoot upper body through rings

5. If need be, kick legs to raise body

6. Lock arms

7. Lower body to rings

8. Turn out rings to return to starting position

Hands remain in false grip throughout.

I grabbed the rings. It took a full minute or more for me to put hands in proper false grip hold. I didn’t kip, but instead did dead hang muscle up. Zeke said, “Wow, you’re stronger than me!” I think he was just being polite. I dropped to the ground, once again grabbed the rings, and then did somewhat of a kipping muscle up. With Zeke’s encouragement, I repositioned the rings & did another & then another muscle up. My first ever in succession!

I grabbed my iPhone & had Zeke record & coach as I did 3 more. Here’s the video. I’m starting to get it. I rested a minute or 2 and said, “I’m done.” Zeke replied, “Not yet. Give me a few more.” I completed 3 once again in succession & then failed on last attempt. And that’s okay! I made tremendous progress today, and I owe it all to Zeke’s coaching. We’re both somewhat small guys (he’s 150 lb) & struggle during WODs with heavy Rx weights. We both kick ass on body weight WODs.

Zeke & I had a lengthy conversation regarding strength training, metcons, & nutrition.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s WOD & to wearing my CrossFit Coastal tee shirt.

How to separate the men from the Troies

Part 1: Endurance
I led my first Saturday session, with Jay (!), Kim, Jayme, Brad, and Michael Kelley in attendance. Yes, Michael Kelley. We ran around the old Durham Bulls stadium, using a metronome set @ 170, then decreased to 160. I reminded athletes to focus on posture, lean, and lift. Next were wall drills, followed by “Death by 10 Meters”. I was somewhat impressed with Michael Kelley, and very, very impressed with Jay, who remembered that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish! We finished the day with stretching. Ah, stretching…

Michael Kelley, I quote thee: “That was great! You’re now my favorite coach.”

Part 2: Troie’s (27th) Birthday WOD
Ryan led today’s session. I had the pleasure of completing this WOD with “Paulie’s Angels”, Nelly (nice haircut!), Kelly, and Anna. I was already warmed up, but nonetheless rowed 1K per Ryan’s request. 3:53. Not a bad time for not really trying.

Troie is a regular 6:15er, and an all around nice guy. I wasn’t, however, looking forward to this WOD. 4 rounds? Sheesh.

4 Rounds For Time:
27 Jumping air squats
27 Plyo pushups (hand release at the top)
27 Dead-lifts (bodyweight)
27 Abmat sit-ups
27 seconds of “chin over the bar hold” (aka, flexed arm hang)

I was reviewing times of those who completed WOD @ 9. Troie completed in 32 and change and Doug in 28 and change, if I recall correctly. I was surprised when Shayne, Doug’s relational partner, approached me.

Shayne: I want you to crush Doug.
Me: What?
Shayne: Beat Doug’s time. Crush him.
Me: Uhm, Why?
Shayne: Because he always boasts when he completes a WOD faster than someone younger than he is.
Me: Everyone is younger than I am, Shayne!
Shayne: Crush him.
Me: I don’t know if I can. That’s a very good time he posted. I’ll try.

The WOD began. I was chagrined to discover that Doug, Shayne, and Brad remained. Oh, no, an audience! The pressure!

I completed the 1st round unbroken. Ryan reminded me to squat deeply and to ensure that my chest touched the floor. I completed the first round in less than 4 minutes, and I vaguely recall Ryan saying something like, “Under 4. That’s good.”

The 2nd round went reasonably well. I completed squats, sit-ups, and flexed arm hang unbroken. The plyo push-ups got challenging, and I completed in reps of between 10 and 5. Ouch. Dead-lifts felt solid, and I completed in reps of 10, 10, and 7 for this and remaining rounds. The onlookers were encouraging me, although I can’t recall anything anyone specifically said. I blame this on oxygen deprivation

Ryan provided excellent direction for dead-lift form, instructing me to allow the bar to briefly touch the ground and then to lift explosively. Thanks, Ryan!

I began to slow somewhat during 3rd round, although I was able to complete squats and sit-ups unbroken. Push-ups became very challenging, and I completed in reps of between only 6 and 4. I did manage to hang on to the pull-up bar for 20 seconds, and then quickly regained composure and held for remaining 7. The cheering continued. I think. It’s all a pain-induced blur.

The final round was, of course, the most difficult! I had to even briefly pause after 20 air squats, and was only able to do sit-ups unbroken. Worse still was the flexed arm hang. I grabbed the bar,  looked at the clock, and held on as long as I could, which was 15 seconds. I paused briefly, grabbed the bar, kipped my way up, and held on for another 9 seconds. Only 3 more to go! Ryan, however, yelled, “20 seconds!” Oh, no! Did I really have 7 more seconds? I grabbed, kipped, and held for just 4 seconds. Ugh! I paused briefly, grabbed the bar, kipped up, and counted to 3.

I. Was. Spent. I found myself lying prostate (not prostrate, Michael Kelley) on the floor, drenched in sweat, and trying to catch my breath.

At some point in time during my last round someone yelled, “Try to do this in under 20, Paul!” I did so, with a time of 18:59.

Brad likes math.

Brad: You averaged 5 minutes a round.
Me: I completed in 19 minutes, so that’s 4 minutes and 45 seconds a round.
Brad: To make things simple, let’s say it was 20 minutes. There were 5 exercises a round, so you averaged a minute an exercise.

I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Brad’s a good mathematician, but not a very good conversationalist.

Part 3: Community WOD
Ryan was kind enough to allow me to lead today’s community WOD, which I always truly enjoy doing. There was a large group of 20 or so, including Doug, Shayne, Meaghan, and Lindsey. I had planned on wall ball shots for skill building, but as Dave was painting the “wall ball” wall, this was not an option. Just as well, as there wouldn’t have been enough wall space anyhow! So there, Dave!

10-min AMRAP of the following:
10 kettle bell swings
10 air squats
10 push-ups
Run 200m

While taking questions, I let them know that Dave was also present. “There’s Dave, the owner of CFD. He looks like an indigent. He probably can’t spell ‘indigent’. Dave, spell ‘indigent’! I told you he couldn’t.”

I may be fired soon. Haha!

A fun, exhausting day!

Four Minutes of Pure Torture, i.e., Tabata Run

I had originally planned on doing a Tabata row, but I felt a slight twinge in my right hip flexor and decided to run instead. During recent CFE certification, Max discussed how painful this particular workout could be. It was posted on the main site today, so I decided there was no time like the present. I was, however, smart enough to scale.

Tabata run (as prescribed):  Use a treadmill, set at 12% grade at 0-30 sec slower pace per mile than best 5k pace. Do not reduce the speed!

As this was my first attempt, I instead set the treadmill at 10% grade. I contemplated running a 6:15 mpm pace, but wisely settled on 6:27 mpm instead.

This was painful. Truly painful. Each 20-second interval seemed like an eternity, and each interval got progressively and exponentially worse. Ten seconds was not nearly enough time to recover, and it took every ounce of effort to make myself begin the last 5 or so intervals. Worse still, it took every ounce of effort to run the total 20 seconds.

Ladies and gentlemen, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! Of all of the endurance WODs I’ve done, this is by far the absolute most difficult and grueling.

Upon completing, it was all that I could do to not hurl. Did I mention that I was at Lifestyle Family Fitness? I could lose my membership for doing something like that.

Pull-ups Galore!

Jack eventually (more in a moment) led today’s session, and the focus was on pull-ups.

I arrived @ 5:55, unlocked CFD (as I now have a key) and began my warm-up as others eventually arrived. Jack and I talked just this past Tuesday about my early arrival, and I assured him that I would arrive no later than 6 on days when I was attending 6:15 WOD. Thus, he need not arrive 15 minutes early, and he could get an additional 15 or more minutes of sleep if he so desired. I’m that kind of guy. I’m a giver, not a taker. That and the nuns at St. Joseph’s Catholic School taught me to never, ever be late. “Early is on time. On time is late.”

At about 6:15, Audrey, Max, Griff, Renee, and even Troie began asking, “Are you leading today’s session?” Note that those five words were said many different manners. Most frequently, there was an emphasis on “you”. Haha! It was 6:20, and still no Jack. I asked Audrey if she’d like to join me for a shoulder warm-up, and she agreed to do so. I said, “Audrey and I are warming up, and anyone who’d like to join us may do so.” Most did just that. We completed walking lunge pass throughs, reverse walking lunge pass thoughts, push-ups, and 6-count burpees.

I then led the group through the strength session.

Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes:
5 pull-ups
L-pull-ups (elite)
Strict or weighted (advanced)
Kipping (intermediate)
Banded (beginner)

I completed the first round strict, and the second round with 25 lbs.

I texted Jack during the brief pause.
Me: U coming?
Jack: Yes. Alarm didn’t go.
Jack is excused, as prior to today he has NEVER been late! He does, however, owe me a big-ass cup of coffee.

Back to the pull-ups… For the third round, I decided to at least give L-pull-ups a try, and was delighted (yes, delighted!) that I was able to do so. I completed the remaining rounds as L-pull-ups, and completed all rounds unbroken and within 15 seconds. That’s 50 freaking pull-ups. Good thing the metcon didn’t include pull-ups. Oh, wait, it did…

Metcon
12-minute AMRAP of the following
4 chest to bar pull-ups
6 push-ups
8 broad jumps

Jack arrived prior to the metcon. This is a Paul WOD. Paul Pi, perhaps, but not Paul Po, as I am not very skilled at broad jumps. I blame Colin. And Michael Kelley.

Chest to bar pull-ups are my bitch. Chest to floor push-ups have been my bitch for quite some time. I did consistently jump about the same distance each broad jump. I left a trail of sweat as proof.

About midway through the metcon, Jack said, “Good job, Craig.” Since Jack said “good job” I assumed he was talking to me, so I said, “Thank you, Jack!” His reply? “Nice job, Paul.” I take my coffee with extra cream.

My goal was to complete 12 rounds – and ALL rounds unbroken. My goal was to also complete the metcon shirtless. I surpassed my goal in that not only did I complete all rounds unbroken, I completed a total of 13 rounds. I’m that kind of guy. In other words, I’m not a sandbagger. Take that, Phillip! I also look very good when not wearing a shirt. Or pants.

Upon completing the metcon, Jack commented on my trail of sweat — that he mistakenly thought was tears.

We had extra time, so Audrey was kind enough to allow me to video record her running style and to provide a quick analysis. You’re extending your leading foot too far out in front of you Audrey, and you need to bend from the ankles and not the waist.

The following is a conversation that took place between Max, Troie, and yours truly.

Troie: Are you going to be here Saturday at 9 to do my birthday WOD?
Me: I’m coaching at 9, but I plan on doing your birthday WOD at 10. As you’re doing the WOD at 9 I’ll know what time I have to beat. Not that you’re any competition.
Max: What’s the WOD?
Troie: Jumping air squats, plyo push-ups, Abmat sit-ups, and some other things. The Abmat sit-ups are going to be challenging.
Me: I’m going to do GHD sit-ups instead.
Max: Why?
Me: That’s how you separate the men from the Troies.

Jack, I don’t particularly care for flavored coffee. French Roast, please. Large with extra cream.

Squat Cleans, Box Jumps, and Ring Dips

Today was the first ever 6:15am Endurance WOD, that I called “Trial by Fire!”  I had debated what to do this morning. Time trial? Intervals? Drills? Myofascial release? More than anything, I wanted attendees to begin to understand what endurance is – so we did all of the above. We stretched, used the lacrosse ball for myofascial release on foot, did a brief drill, and were off!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” Endurance, baby. E-N-D-U-R-A-N-C-E.

Today’s WOD:
ALL
Run 1 mile
If time is 7:30; rest 3 min
ALL
Run 800m
If time is 3:15; rest 2 min
ALL
Run 400m
If time is 1:30; rest 4 min
ALL
After resting 4 min, run 1 mile AFAP — and with negative split!

For regular readers, you know that this is the workout I did this past Monday. I wanted to make sure that ALL runners finished at about the same time, and that faster runners (I’m talking to you, Doug) wouldn’t think of this as a race. I attempted to communicate to athletes that the goal was for their last to be their fastest mile. Of the 6 in attendance, 2 were able to do so. Lesson learned?

I ran a total of about 3.5 miles myself, as I ran to, beside, and in front of runners so that I could observe form and provide direction and support. Lindsay is the closest to running with proper form. Yeah, Lindsay!

I made sure that each person set a goal for our next meeting, specifically one aspect of their form that they want to work on improving.

I then joined the 7:15ers, led by Alison B. There were but 6 in attendance, including my friends Cliff and Don. (Don, about that squat…)

squat cleans

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday was blah. What’s the opposite of blah? Non-blah? If so, today was a non-blah day.

1 @ 65, 75, and 80.
Alison observed lift @ 80, and suggested that I make sure I open my hips. I lifted again, and fell on my ass. Haha! I lifted a 3rd time, and it was a success.

1 @ 95, 105, and 115. My previous PR was 115, so I was happy that I was able to lift this weight. AND, did I mention that I no longer feel pain in my right elbow? Non-blah, indeed!

Alison mentioned that her PR was 135 lb, and that I could talk shit when I was able to lift that weight. “That’s just 5 pounds less that my bodyweight!” I exclaimed. Don said, “Show off!” I replied, “I’m not a show off, Don. Wait, yes I am.”

Alison observed lift @ 115, and noticed that my elbows are up when I drop under the bar, but then I allow them to drop when I’m in the squat. I had her record next lift, and we watched together to confirm.

1 @ 125 – a PR! I had 1 last lift.

1 @ 135 – an even newer PR! Uhm, Alison, I matched your PR. Let the shit-talk commence!

Metcon
21-15-9
30” box jumps
Ring dips

This is a Paul WOD. My goal was to complete unbroken, and I did not reach this goal. I did complete all box jumps unbroken, and didn’t miss a one. I did round of 21 rings dips unbroken, 15 in 8, 4, and 3, and round of 15 in 6, 5, 3, and 1.

Time 4:04 Rx.

I can remember a time in the not so distance past when I couldn’t complete 1, 30” box jump.