Jackie | Eikcaj

I coached the 6am and attended the 7am session at CFBC this morning. Kirk and I shared a somewhat lengthy exchange regarding the expectations for today’s WOD. As I coach the first session on Thursdays, I like to make sure I do things correctly. I’m just that nice.

Kirsten, Daryl, Tom, Sue, Jazzi, Jill (who’s a hoot and a half), and David attended the 6am session, and all were spectacular. None more so, however, than Sue, who completed reverse Jackie faster than forward Jackie. I’ve never heard her yell “Time!” so loudly or enthusiastically!

I led both sessions through a warmup. Josh informed me that we might want to record warmups and sell the series. I think that’s called “infotainment”.

“Jackie”

For Time:

  • 1000 Meter Row
  • 50 Thrusters (45,35)
  • 30 Pull-Ups

Rest 5 Minutes

“Reverse Jackie”

For Time:

  • 30 Pull-Ups
  • 50 Thrusters
  • 1000 Meter Row

10-minute time cap for both Jackie and Reverse Jackie

To the best of my recollection and searching abilities, I had not attempted this benchmark WOD prior to today, although I’ve coached it a few times and completed modified versions. As is often the case, after having coached the WOD I had little desire to complete the WOD. I honestly had no idea how long it would take me, but only hoped I’d be able to complete within 10 minutes.

I was full of excuses this morning. “I’m a slow rower because my legs are so damn short.” “I slow down with pull-ups because I haven’t yet learned how to butterfly.” “Forty-five pounds is a third of my bodyweight.” I wanted to tell myself to shut the frack up. (I’ve learned that both “frak” and “frack” are acceptable spellings of the word. I prefer “frack”.)

My goals were to row at or below 22 s/m, to complete thrusters in reps of 10 and to rest the bar behind my neck, and to just make it through the fracking pull-ups.

Uhm, so I like really kept the strokes per minute less than 22, often falling below 20 and as low as 18. I nonetheless rowed at about a 1:56/500m pace, and I’m fine with that. I wasn’t even the first person off of the rower. (Joe, were you off of the rower before me?)

I completed 4 sets of 10 thrusters, and the last 10 in 2 sets of 5 reps, and I’m fine with that. As I had warned others, even 45 pounds begins to feel heavy when you’re doing so many reps.

I completed pull-ups in 4 sets of 5 reps, and the remaining 10 doing whatever it took to ensure that my chin went above the bar. The 30th rep was indeed a single, and I’m fine with that. I called “Time!” at 8:26. While not my best performance, (you guessed it) I’m fine with that.

I was the first to finish of the 8amers, not that Joe Alexis Martin Chris Nadia Josh anyone was keeping score.

I rested exactly 5 minutes and the sheer drudgery began.

I completed pull-ups in reps of 10, 5, 4, and then whatever it took. Yup, lots of singles.

Thrusters were much more challenging this time around, and I frequently gently placed the bar to (i.e., not just dropped on) the floor. I completed in reps of 10, 6 sets of 5 reps, and 10. I had already begun to grunt loudly.

Rowing was miserable. Just miserable. In fact so miserable that I stopped rowing after 250m. I’ve never stopped rowing in a WOD before! My left shoulder was on fire. I informed Josh and he suggested that I stop at 500m. Do you even know me, Josh? My pace was 2:07/500m, i.e., sloooooow. And I cared naught. With just 200m left I sprinted if for no other reason to get the fracking rowing over and done with. Joe made a comment that I didn’t quite hear over my own grunting, but I imagine it was this: “Paul’s grunts are awesome! I only wish I could record the sounds, you know, for my spank bank.”

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Out of sight? Out of mind.

Kirk led the 6am session at CFBC, and there were 5 athletes in attendance, including yours truly. Five male athletes. What? No women?

Kirk led us through a great warmup and mobility session before we moved to the push press.

Strength
Push Press
5-5-5-5-5

Kirk reviewed proper form, and we were instructed to do 10 reps with just the bar. I felt strong this morning, and I’m almost free of pain in my left shoulder (although I still experience numbness in my left thumb). I recorded all sets. I also received coaching from Kirk on all sets as well.

Here are the specific things Kirk noticed as well as his suggestions for improvement:

  • I tend to dip/drop too quickly. I obviously needed to slow down.
  • I slowed down but added a pause at the bottom. Uhm, I needed to immediately explode at the bottom of the dip.
  • From a side angle, Kirk noticed that the bar was leaving my shoulders. Why? Because I was still dipping/dropping too quickly. “Be methodical,” Kirk suggested. I was, and the issue was resolved.

I completed sets @ 65, 85, 100, 110, and 120#. Kirk observed set @ 120 and provided positive feedback. I asked, “Should I do another set? Should I attempt to go to failure?” Please note that even coaches can experience moments of insecurity. Okay? Okay. Going on. Kirk replied, “Yes, you can do another set and see if you can get in 3 or 4 good reps before you have to drop the bar.” “How much weight should I go up?” I asked. “That’s 120? Do 125. Don’t put 135 on the bar.” Ha! That made me laugh.

I did one last set @ 125#, and all 5 reps were successful. I immediately looked toward Kirk even before racking the bar. Kirk said, “You sold yourself short. You should have lifted 135.” Ha! I felt strong and in control this morning, and I like that! I certainly give Kirk much credit for the excellent coaching he provided.

I completed 5 reps @ 80% of 1RM of 155# and 5 reps @ 87% of bodyweight. You are probably in awe, as well you should be.

5 Rounds:

  • 4 Seated Box Jumps (increasing height each round)
  • Sprint out the back door to the curb and back

This is not for time but be conscious of your time.  Rest should be limited to you adjusting your box height and then jumping.

I haven’t done seated box jumps in a very long time. Even though Kirk thought I’d be too short to use, I was able to sit on a bench and still have upper leg parallel to ground. Remember, Kirk, that I have long arms and legs.

This was a tremendous amount of fun!

I completed the first round jumping 24”. Jumps were fast, as was the sprint. Duh. I nonetheless decided to ease into things and merely put a 10# plate on 24” box for a height of 25#. Fast and furious it was. I placed a 25# plate on the box for a height of 26”. Easy. I placed a 45# plate on 24” box for a height of 26 ¾”. Still easy. Uhm, I was running out of rounds. I jumped to a height of 30”. Easy. I put a 25# plate and jumped to a height of 32”. “Kirk, may we do more than 5 rounds?” “We have time, yes,” Kirk replied. I put a 45# plate on the 30” box and jumped 32 3/4”. Easy. Two, 45# plates to a height of 35.5”. Still easy.

Daryl had begun to put away the plates he was using. I made direct eye contact with him, but didn’t say a word. He kept going. Ha!

I added at 25# plate and jumped to a final height of 38.5”. I reminded Kirk of my awesomeness. He didn’t need to be reminded.

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All Ablaze

My woman’s intuition was all ablaze this morning. Check the CFBC website to see what today’s WOD is. I did, and it included running (Yay!), toes to bar (reminds me of a certain someone…), KB lunges (ugh!), and rope climbs (ugh?). I put on a pair of Reebok compression socks and Nike compression shorts so as to protect my left as well as third leg. REMINDER: This blog is rated PG-14. I should’ve placed that reminder at the beginning of this post. Next time, perhaps.

I put my Lululemon gym bag in the Golf TDI, made sure Luke was settled in the back seat, and started the TDI – but my woman’s intuition was still all ablaze. You forgot your rope climbing shoes! I retrieved my Reebok Nanos and was on my way.

A mere 13 hours later and I was back at the box. Aaaaand, who’s the first person I see once again? Nikki, who coached this morning’s session!

Nikki led us through mobility. Unfortunately, I had spent time wrapping my leg and putting on my shoes, so I didn’t get that extra bit of stretching that this middle-aged body so desperately needs. My bad.

Nikki reviewed the WOD, we had an opportunity to practice each of the activities and set up our stations, I peed, and we began.

4 rounds for time:
Run 400m
20 KB lunges (10/leg), 52#
10 toes to bar
2 rope ascents, 20’

I set my goals to do KB lunges and T2B unbroken, to only pause ever so briefly between 2 rope ascents, and to complete WOD in less than 20 minutes. . Uhm, so let’s get this out of the way now: I did not achieve all of my goals. Can you believe it? I hardly can. Maybe I’m not as awesome as Scott keeps telling people that I am.

Round 1 – Running went well, although I do not like running in the Nanos, as the Nanos are too much shoe for me. KB lunges were challenging from the first round. I held the KB upside down with my hands cradling the KB, i.e., not holding the KB handle. I completed the first round of T2B unbroken. I focused on form and climbed the rope the best I’ve ever climbed. I did take my time doing so. Form, consistency, and then intensity.

Round 2 – I ran this and the last round in the opposite (clockwise) direction so as to keep track of rounds. Running again went well, and I once again completed KB lunges and T2B unbroken. Even the rope ascents went well.

Round 3 – Running still went well and I completed KB lunges and T2B unbroken. Uhm, yeah, so the compression part of my Nike shorts had ridden up during the previous 4 ascents and the inside of my left thigh was all ablaze – just like my woman’s intuition had been earlier. In addition, my ring and pinky fingers of both hands had gone numb; thus, I felt like I was hanging on the rope with just my thumbs and index and middle fingers. Weird, huh? Someone tell me why this happens! Regardless, I slowed down considerably on the ascents, and I began to use my arms far too much.

As an aside, I have a rather odd way of descending from the rope. I merely place my feet on the sides of the rope and use my arms to descend. Sore forearms? Well, I don’t mind if I do!

Round 4 – Running was a big, hot mess, as I developed a side stitch after running a mere 100m. As my arms were all ablaze from the rope climbs, I swung them across my chest for most of the run. I did manage to completed KB lunges unbroken. I did, however, fail on the 8th T2B and thus had to do last 3 reps as singles. I. Did. Not. Want. To. Climb. That. Damn. Rope. My inner thigh was (you guessed it) all ablaze, and I was in pain. I briefly considered wrapping the rope around my right instead of left leg, but feared that I’d hurt my third leg as I dress to the right. Too much information? I glanced at the clock and realized that I only had about 90 seconds to ascend the rope twice if I was going to achieve my time goal. I climbed it once, paused briefly, climbed it again, and yelled “Time!” Nikki wrote 19:17 on the board. Is that an awesome time? I’ll let Scott decide.

Jazzi said I’m like a robot rabbit on crack. Discuss.

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Rx
A picture is worth a thousand words.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Thanks for taking the pic, Sue!
Thanks for taking the pic, Sue!
Luke keeps my seat warm while I'm working out.
Luke keeps my seat warm while I’m working out.
Luke likes to pretend that he's knows how to drive.
Luke likes to pretend that he’s knows how to drive.
Luke give great kisses!
Luke gives great kisses!
Hello, readers! It's me, Luke!
Hello, readers! It’s me, Luke!

Kirk, I need you!

Jeff completed the 2-day CrossFit Level 1 training held in Wilmington. I’m very, very proud of him! He suggested that he shadow as I coach, offering suggestions to athletes regarding form when needed. I’m all for it. Jeff has heard me repeatedly say that proper form and technique trump all else.

I enjoyed hearing Jeff share his experiences, and it doesn’t appear that much has changed since I went through the training a couple of years ago. He said that the instructors emphasized focusing on form – and not necessarily cheering and/or encouragement – when coaching a session. An occasional “good job” is fine, and I’ll give you that. Jeff also said that the instructors also emphasized the importance of ensuring that athletes work on their weaknesses, and for me this includes but is not limited to pistols, snatches, bar muscle-ups (although in fairness I’ve only attempted once), and handstand walking. Faithful readers know that I’ve been focusing on snatches. I have much more work to do. Starting. Right. Now.

Uhm, yeah, so overhead squats used to be one of my biggest weaknesses.

As we traveled home this morning, I attended the 4pm session at CFBC this afternoon. I was immediately greeting – and hugged – by Nikki! I thought, “My day is complete. I should just go home now.” As overhead squats are almost as much fun as spending time with Nikki, I decided to stay.

Hell, I was bound and determined to attend today’s session if for no other reason than the strength was overhead squats. Read that again. I now wholeheartedly love overhead squats.

Kirk led today’s session, and began with an excellent warmup focusing on loosening the hips and shoulders. I can’t recall the last time I did jumping jacks. Good times.

Strength
Overhead Squats
5-5-5-5-5

“Kirk”, I asked, “what percentage of our one rep maximum should we work up to?” “Seventy-five to 80 percent,” he replied. Just as I suspected he’d say. That Kirk is almost as smart as I am.

I did 10 reps with the bar, and started light so as to ensure that my left shoulder was up to the task. I then completed 5 reps @ 65, 75, & 95. Reps felt the most solid that they’ve ever felt. I recorded each set and made sure to review before attempting the next set. I also selfishly asked Kirk to observe a number of times, either as I was squatting or the recording after the set.

“Kirk”, I asked, “should I go up 5 or 10 pounds?” Kirk replied, “How did that last set feel?” “Very good,” I responded. “Then go up 10.” And that’s what I did. I overhead squatted 105# for 5 reps, taking my time on the way down, ensuring that I broke parallel, keeping the bar in control, and rising to the top. As Scott F. would say, “Paul is awesome!” I am, Scott. I truly am.

I knew full well that I had 1 set left, but I needed reassurance. “Kirk,” I asked, “should I attempt another set, maybe just adding 5 pounds?” “Yes,” Kirk replied, “and even if you fail, it’s good to know your limits.” I added 2, 2.5# plates to the ends of the bar. I squatted beneath the bar and placed it on my back. I jerked the bar overhead, making sure I had active shoulders and that I thought to point the pits of my elbows toward the ceiling. I then remembered something. “Kirk,” I yelled, “I need you!”

I can be so damn selfish sometimes.

I wanted to make sure that the reps counted. I completed 1. Good rep. I completed a second. Good rep. I completed a third, although the bar started to go too far back and I almost lost it. I completed a fourth rep. I could sense all eyes on me. Normally I would assume that people were checking out my ass, but as I was facing them I safely assumed that they were checking out my awesome overhead squat form. I paused before the fifth and final rep and told myself, “Stay focused. Stay tight. Look straight ahead. Squat below parallel. Rise with force.” And that, ladies and gentlemen and Josh, is exactly what I did.

It wasn’t too long ago that 105# was my one rep maximum, and 110# is 81% of 1RM. CrossFit has made me a much stronger athlete.

Conditioning
In 5 minutes complete:
30 Power Cleans (155,105)
Max rep lateral bar jumps

For whatever reason I had in my mind that we were to do full squat cleans, and I was actually looking forward to it. I warmed up with 95 and then 115# and was ready to go. Josh happened to pass by and I asked, “Josh, should I just do 95# to make sure that my elbow and arm are up to the task?” Josh replied, “It depends upon your goal for today blah, blah, blah, blah. Yes, lift 95#” And that’s what I did and here’s what happened.

I completed 20 unbroken, 95# power cleans. I began to worry that I was going to be perceived as a sandbagger, so even though I could’ve completed 30 unbroken I did the last 10 in reps of 5. I glanced at the clock, and a mere 2:30 had passed. I thought, “Shit, now I’ve got two and a half minutes of lateral bar jumps.” I set my goal to complete 50 reps at a time, and I completed 5 sets for a total of 250 – and with a few seconds to spare. That’s 50 lateral bar hops, including a short rest, every 30 seconds.

I very much enjoyed today’s workout! Thanks, Kirk!

Midline Stability

Kelly was kind enough to invite me to join her for an awesome workout at CrossFit Coastal. Thanks, Kelly! You do indeed talk the talk and walk the walk.

While Kelly worked on snatches, I completed dead-lifts, if for no other reason than I don’t want to re-injure my left arm. I did enough cleans, front squats, and overhead squats yesterday anywho.

Strength
Dead-lifts
3-3-3-3-3

I completed sets at 275, 305, 315, 225, & 335. Not much more to say, as dead-lifts are one of my stronger lifts.

Kelly asked me to create today’s metcon, with the caveat that it couldn’t include ring dips, pull-ups, and a laundry list of other activities. Kelly is nursing a sore left pec, so I was more than happy to oblige – and empathize.

Conditioning
20-min AMRAP
5 dead-lifts (245/165)
5 vertical ring pull-ups/handstand pushups
10 box jumps (30/24)
30-sec plank hold

I suppose I have some explaining to do. Here goes…

I wanted to lift a heavier weight than is typically included in a metcon, i.e., heavier than 225#. I did, however, want a weight that I could dead-lift 5 reps unbroken; thus, 245#. I was right on the money. I’m not the least bit surprised, you know, because I’m as awesome as Kelly says I am.

Kelly did handstand pushups. Uhm, so I’m not quite sure what to call the activity I completed, so I settled on “vertical ring pull-ups”. I would jump to the rings, hang upside down and point my toes to the ceiling to become, well, vertical. I would then pull my body up until my hands were at my waistline. Make sense? Good. Going on.

I like a metcon that includes plank holds, as holding a plank after doing dead-lifts, vertical pull-ups, and box jumps is quite a challenge.

My goals were to complete 10 rounds, as I estimated that a round should take about 2 minutes, and to complete all rounds unbroken.

I surpassed my goals, you know, because I’m just that awesome. Don’t believe me? Ask Kelly.

(As an aside, I have to consistently correct the misspelling of Kelly’s name, as my fingers automatically type “Kelley”. Dammit.)

The four activities were challenging in the order that they were completed, i.e., dead-lifts were the most and plank holds the least challenging.

During the last few rounds of box jumps I kept thinking “Unbroken. Don’t miss a jump. One after the other.” I was overly concerned with completing box jumps unbroken for, as I mentioned, my goal was to complete all rounds unbroken.

Even though plank holds were the least challenging, holding a plank for 30 seconds was nonetheless a challenge.

After completing round 10 I said, “Sh!t, I have to do more dead-lifts.” Both Kelly and I chuckled.

I truly enjoyed this metcon, mostly because I got to complete it with Kelly. She swears, and faithful readers know that I love a woman who swears. Kelly said “sh!t” an average of 3 times a round. As she completed 8 rounds plus a few reps, I estimate that she said “sh!t” 25 times. She said some other choice words as well, but this blog is rated PG14 so I can’t include.

I completed 10 rounds + 5 dead-lifts + 3 vertical ring pull-ups. That’s 55 dead-lifts, 53 vertical ring pull-ups, 100 box jumps, and 5 minutes holding a plank.

Be sure to ask Kelly if she thinks that I’m awesome. She does.

More burpees, please.

After yesterday’s ordeal of driving in an ice storm, I was ready for a good workout today. As I often do while in Wilmington, I joined my very good friend Kelly and worked out at CrossFit Coastal.

Kelly’s husband, Scott is one very lucky man.

There were about 20 people present (and I later learned that this was also the Community WOD) and we completed a partner WOD. As Kelly partnered with her daughter, Ameron, I partnered with Lori. We made a very good team.

Station #1
Row 750m
30 FS (135/95)
Station #2
50 burpess
30 thrusters (95/65)
Station #3
50 dips
30 OHS (95/65)

The instructions were somewhat confusing, but Lori I and figured it out and determined our strategy. We began with Station #3, then completed #2 and finished with #1. Each partner had to do all reps, e.g., both partners had to row 750m, and only one partner could be working at a time.

Lori and I couldn’t find a set of bar clips. Given this, I didn’t even consider doing the prescribed weight for men and instead decided to share a bar with Lori set my goal to do fast reps. Oh, our strategy was to do sets in as many reps as we were comfortable doing. This generally worked out well.

Lori began and completed 15 OHS. I completed 30 unbroken reps, but as the weight was very light this isn’t really that much of an accomplishment. I do, however, now very much enjoy squatting with the bar over mah head. I completed rings dips in 4 sets of 10 reps and 2 sets of 5 reps. Fifty rings dips is a helluva lot to do in any workout.

I began with the row, and we both rowed in 3 sets of 250m. We completed FS outside and had to spend some time putting weight and clips on the bar. I think not doing cleans for do long truly was for the best, as my form has suddenly dramatically improved. And I’m pain free!

Thrusters also felt very light, and I completed in 3 sets of 10 reps. I also completed 3 sets of 10 reps of burpees, and when Lori completed her 30th burpee I mistakenly yelled “Time!” Uhm, we were to each do 50 burpees. I did another 10, as did Lori. I had told her that I loved burpees. Lori informed me, well, that she did not love burpees.

I’m beginning to think that I may be only person who loves burpees.

I glanced at the clock. I said to Lori, “I’m going to do my last set of 10 burpees in less than 30 seconds. If I do, that’ll give you a full minute to do 10 burpees. If you can do 10 burpees in 1 minute, we’ll be able to finish in less than 30 minutes.”

Lori completed her 40th burpee. I glanced at the clock at it read 28:33. I did my last 10 burpees and once again glanced at the clock. I read 28:53. Lori only had 20 seconds of rest. I nonetheless encouraged her to start right away. (I can only imagine how awful it must be to be my partner for a WOD. Sorry, Lori!) Lori finished her 50th burpee and I once again yelled “Time!” The clock read 29:38. We had 22 seconds to spare!

As Lori and crushed this WOD, I had time to observe and coach the Kelly and Ameron on FS. Remember, hips forward and drive out the knees.

Jeff is attending the Level 1 cert, and Kelly, Ameron, and I met him for lunch. He appears to be enjoying himself, although he’s dreading “Fran”.

Both Kelly and I have pumpkin butts, and we’re proud of it.

Lori post-50 burpees

Paul and Lori!

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Ameron, Paul, & Kelly

25B 25C

Kelly is very strong.

Some very tired children

CFBC is clean and I can clean

I coached the 6am session at CFBC yesterday morning. I told myself that I would rest – even if Josh put my name on the whiteboard. Which he did. Was I tempted to stay and do the workout? Well, maybe a little bit. I was able to resist the temptation.

I had lunch with my former best friend my current best friend an acquaintance yesterday as well. Lunch was good. The conversation? Meh. I kid because I loathe love.

I also gave Dave, owner of CFZ, and my former best friend my current best friend an acquaintance a tour of the space. Dave was like a kid in a candy store while my former best friend my current best friend an acquaintance was like a bull in a china shop.

Based upon feedback, I’ve decided to tear down the wall between the two rooms and make one BIG, 2000 sq. ft. room. I’m also going to install a wall-mounted pull-up rig. I ordered bumper plates and jump ropes yesterday, I’m finalizing order for tractor mats, Abmats, and various other equipment today, and I’m submitting final order to Rogue for pricing. I also set up MindBody account. Things certainly continue to fall into place.

Again, Dave has been exceptionally helpful, not only providing suggestions for the best use of the space but also providing names of vendors – along with websites – for equipment. He also gave me a referral to BB&T for banking, and both he and I got $100 credited to our accounts. Dave, you are an exceptional businessman. I’m not sure, however, if a puffy coat suits you.

Uhm, yeah, so I’m supposed to blog about my workouts. Here goes.

I attended the 6am session @ CFBC led by the one and only Kirk. This may have been one of my favorite strength workouts to date.

Strength

Clean Pulls 3-3-3

3 Position Clean 50%, 60%, 70% 1 rep max

As just Jazzi and I attended the session, I was able to talk Kirk into joining us, even though it was his rest day. I’m obviously much more persuasive and better looking than Josh.

I was able to clean pain-free for the first time in weeks! That alone was cause for celebration. Am I still protecting my left shoulder? Yes. I completed sets of clean pulls @ 155, 165, & 175#. I coulda shoulda even gone heavier. I reviewed the recordings and am most pleased that I’m finally extending my hips. No lie.

The 3-position cleans were a little more challenging. Sets @ 80 and 95# went remarkably well. I attempted set @ 115, and failed on clean at hang position. I attempted again and failed on clean at high hang position. I am convinced that my failure was psychological and not physical.

By the way, I fell on my ass. I fell on my ass twice. I fell on my beautiful, round ass twice.

Conditioning
Bottom to Bottom Tabata Squats

Bottom to bottom. That makes me giggle.

Having done this workout years ago, I knew what to expect. That’s just how memorable bottom to bottom air squats are.

My goal was a score of 20. I did not reach this goal. Dammit.

I completed 20 reps the first 6 rounds, but had to shake out my legs twice during the 7th round and only managed to complete 17 reps. I stopped at 17 the last round even though I had 3 seconds left.

The most challenging part was not only holding the bottom of squat for 10 seconds between rounds, but remembering to do so!

As score is lowest number of reps completed, my score was 17.

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