Jet Plane

I spent most of yesterday coaching and encouraging Ashlee and Lauren as they competed in the Throwdown in the Triangle. A very respectable 4th place finish! I am exceedingly proud.

I attended the 8:30 session led by Coach Jeff. This was as tough as I imagined it would be.

A: Metcon (Time)

Complete 20 reps of the following
– Thrusters (95)
– SDHPs
– Power jerks
– OHS
– FS

Complete 4 burpees every minute on the minute until complete, beginning with 4 burpees.

Yup, beginning with 4 burpees. I knew that the overhead squats were going to be the most challenging of the lifts, having completed 75 reps @ 95# just 2 day ago. I was correct.

I set up my barbell between the end of the pull-up rig and the ropes. Why, you ask? That’s a legitimate question.

I’ve begun watching the BBC version of “Sherlock,” and it’s incredible. Deductive reasoning. Give it a try.

I began with 15 thrusters and made sure to allow 10 seconds of rest before burpees. I didn’t stick to this strategy for all of the remaining rounds. I finished the thrusters and only got in 5 SDHPs. I then completed another 11 the next round. Weak.

I completed the last 4 SDHPs and got in 8 power jerks. I’ve become much more adept at completing unbroken power jerks. I finished the power jerks, dropped the bar to the floor instead of bringing to my back, and had to clean the bar once again to get ready for OHS. Yup, I’m still babying my left shoulder. No snatching just yet.

Oh, OHS, how you slowed me down. I completed a mere 6, 6, & 5 reps per rounds, and missed 4 reps. Dammit. I just couldn’t keep my arms locked out. Dammit.

I finished the last 3 OHS and got in 5 FS. Then this happened…

I completed 14 FS and had squatted by not risen to full extension on the 20th rep when the next round began. I had to complete 4 burpees and then 1 last FS. If only I hadn’t rested just 1 or 2 seconds during the workout! And, those last 4 burpees were excruciating.

I called “Time!” at 11:20.

B: Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

Wall ball shots
EMOTM for 10 minutes
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 reps (20/14 & 10/9)
Commit to completing 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, or 100 reps
Complete unbroken reps for Rx+

This wasn’t nearly as awful as I imagined it would be. I settled on 7 reps, you know, because of the shoulder and all. I completed all 10 rounds in unbroken reps. Fun!

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Rx, 14, 4 “no rep”

I worked out with the 11:45 crew, led by Coach Emily and attended by Kelli, among others. Kelli is important to the story, although she didn’t know it then and probably won’t know it unless she reads this blog.

A: Nancy (Time)

5 Rounds for time of:
400m Run
15 Overhead Squats, 95#

I distinctly remember the first and second times I completed this benchmark, as I couldn’t overhead squat for shit back then. Looking though records, it appears that, whether intentional or unintentional, I haven’t completed this workout in about 3 years.

My goal was to complete all rounds of OHS without dropping the bar. As this is a benchmark, I ensured that every rep counted.

An aside. I struggle as a coach and box owner with athletes who disregard proper form and instead focus on finishing fast. Person A in the 6am session comes to mind. I repeatedly told him, “Squat below parallel. You’re about 2 or 3 inches above parallel. That rep doesn’t count.” Yet he counted each and every rep, continued to squat well above parallel, and posted a fast time, you know, because the weight was as prescribed. I don’t give a shit if you’re lifting the prescribed weight if the reps are not properly executed. Compare that to Person B from the same session who scaled appropriately, even dropping weight during the workout. He’s an athlete that I admire, and I told him so. He, however, had one of the slowest posted times and didn’t lift anywhere close to the prescribed weight.

Guess which athlete I’d much rather coach?

Going on.

It was very humid this afternoon, and I was sweating profusely before the workout even began. I ran the 1st 400m at a moderate pace, and Kelli was just about 20m behind me at the 200m turnaround. I began every round of OHS by cleaning and jerking the bar overhead (still babying the left shoulder), repositioning my hands, and power jerking the bar from behind my neck to the locked out overhead position. I used hook grip consistently, and also focused on extending my wrists. I completed the first round in reps of 10 & 5, resting the bar on my shoulders between sets of reps this and all remaining rounds. Uhm, but I failed the 1st rep in that I didn’t break parallel. Dammit. I also failed the 11th rep for the very same reason. I don’t count reps if there’s a break in form. See how that works?

Running after squatting is never easy. Squatting after running is even more difficult. I ran the 2nd 400m at a faster pace, and Kelli was about 50m behind me at the turnaround. I usually said “Good job, Kelli” as we passed. I completed the OHS in reps of 7, 5, & 3, once again not counting a rep, this time because I didn’t keep the bar locked out overhead as I ascended. I even said aloud, “No rep, Paul.”

Running was becoming increasingly challenging. I passed Kelli 100m after the turnaround. I thought, “Try to lap her by the last round.” Ha! If she only knew… I was gasping for air as I completed the 3rd 400m, and had developed a side stitch. I completed OHS in reps of 4, 4, 4, & 3. Ninety-five pounds felt heavy. My wrists hurt, even though I was wearing wrist wraps.

I passed Kelli after running about 150m past the turnaround . I completed OHS in reps of 7, 3, 3, & 2. I started strong but had yet another failed attempt on the 14th rep. Huh? Fourteen is my lucky number! Not today. I also had to will myself to complete the last 2 rounds, thinking, “Come on, Paul, it’s just 2 reps. Why are you waiting so long? Power jerk the bar overhead. I’m waiting. Do it.”

I was gasping for air the the final 400m, and was struggling mightily with the run. I was entering the box as Kelli was leaving for her final round. I caught her! And she didn’t even know that I was trying to do so. I completed the last round of OHS in reps of 5, 5, 3, & 2. Once again, I had to will myself to complete the last 2 reps.

Time = 16:49

As prescribed. Each and every rep.

B: Metcon (No Measure)

Rope climbs

My shoulders were smoked, so I knew I’d only probably have one good attempt at a legless rope climb. Kelly-May was kind enough to record. I did indeed touch the beam; thus, as successful climb. It took my about 7 seconds to do so.

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Hero WOD “Kevin”

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I coached from 6 to 8, took Luke for a walk to celebrate National Dog Day, and attended the well-attended 9:30 session led by the always delightful and often yippy Coach Deborah.

Metcon (Time)

Hero WOD “Kevin”

3 RFT
32 deadlifts (185)
32 hanging hip touches, alternating arms
800-meter running farmer’s carry with dumbbells (15)

Hero workouts are always justifiably difficult. What surprised me, though, we how wrong I was in regard to what I thought was going to be the easiest (running with dumbbells) and hardest (hanging hip touches) activities. You guessed it, hanging hip touches were easy and running with dumbbells was hard. Very, very hard.

While the deadlifts weren’t overly challenging given the relatively light weight, the volume was high, you know, 4 reps shy of 100. I completed the 1st round in reps of 16 (as I told myself to get half of the reps out of the way), 8, & 8, the 2nd round in reps of 5, 5, 5, 5, 7, & 5, and the last round in reps of 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, & 3. I grunted loudly. As always, I offer no apologies.

I completed the first 2 rounds of hanging hip touches unbroken. Yay! I had every intention of doing so the last round unbroken as well, but my hands had become very sweaty and I slipped off of the bar after completing the 6th and then once again after completing the 22nd rep. Dammit.

Thirty pounds felt very heavy today, and the weight felt increasingly heavy the 2nd and then final rounds. I ran while holding the dumbbells, and didn’t stop the 1st round. I did, however, rest for about 5 seconds after running 200 and then another 400 meters during the 2nd round.

I told myself that I could rest every 100 meters if necessary during the last round. That’s 100 meters. Good. Keep going. Remember that the faster you run the sooner you’ll be able to put down the dumbbells. (Note that I don’t end a sentence with a preposition even when talking to myself.) Two hundred meters. Keep going. Make it three hundred meters. Oh, look, there’s Liz. You don’t want to stop when anyone is looking. Keep going. Four hundred meters. Rest. And I did, shaking out my arms and counting to 5. Pick up the dumbbells. That’s 500 hundred meters. Six hundred meters. Keep going. Don’t put down the dumbbells. Okay, you’ve made it 700 hundred meters. Keep going. Just 100 meters left. Pick up the pace. Done! 

While my internal monologue was focused on keeping grasp of the dumbbells, I was loudly grunting even as I ran. It helps! I occasionally held the dumbbells overhead but never rested them on my shoulders.

Time = 25:22

While difficult, yesterday’s workout was even more challenging than “Kevin,” and may become a benchmark WOD at CrossFit Surmount.

Angst

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I attended the 9:30 am session, led by Coach Deborah and also attended by Alexus and Kelly-May. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I was anxious about today’s metcon. Will I be able to complete burpee pull-overs? If so, will I be able to do so for 20 minutes? Will I chafe? If so, how badly?

I had completed about 5 burpee pull-overs on Sunday. I was going to have to do many more than that today. 

CD reviewed the workout and then asked if I’d like to demo a burpee pull-over. I replied, “I’m saving all of my reps for the metcon.” Because I was. I had, however, demonstrated a burpee pull-up for the 6 am athletes by request of Miss Holly. I hadn’t, however, applied Bodglide, and that one and only rep left a mark. 

A: Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

20-min AMRAP

10 burpee pull-overs
30 air squats
60 seconds of handstand hold

I did slather Bodyglide around my waist. I’m glad that I did.

The clock counted down and my heart began to race. “Three, two, one, go!” And I rather easily completed about 4 or 5 burpee pull-overs. I did, however, get what can only be described as “stuck” on one of the latter reps of the round, i.e., the upper half of my body made it over the bar but the lower half of my body wasn’t moving. Dammit. I reminded myself that I didn’t have to redo the burpee. I did manage to complete all 10 reps. As I was completing air squats I yelled, “You two are crushing me, Alexus and Kelly-May!” ‘Twas the truth. I held the handstand for 1 minute, moved a poker chip, and began the second round.

Uhm, and the second round was my worst round. I got “stuck” on two reps, and began to doubt that I’d even be able to finish the metcon as prescribed. I was filled with self doubt. Me? Yup, me. I’m allowed. Bitches. Midway through the round of burpee pull-ups I had gotten CD’s attention and asked her to record my burpee pull-ups. She said, “I can never remember your code. What is it?” Suffice it to say that my code has both the numerals “4” and “5.” I told her the code and then thought, Shit. Was I on rep 4 or 5? Shit, that means I’m on rep 4. Shit, shit, shit. Yup, I thought that. Shit, shit, shit. Another 30 unbroken air squats (easily the easiest of the three activities), and a handstand held in increments of 40 and 20 seconds. I once again moved a poker chip and began the third round.

And things finally clicked. I didn’t get “stuck” once. Yay! Deborah once again asked for my code so that she could record me, I gave her the code and then once again thought, Shit, am I on rep 4 or 5? Shit, shit, shit. That means I’m on rep 4. Thirty unbroken air squats and handstand held in increments of 30 and 30 seconds. Poker chip, fourth round. I also yelled, “Kelly-May and Alexus, today is a day that you should be happy that you don’t have a penis. I keep hitting mine on the bar.” And I did. Next time I’ll remember to wear a cup. 

I had really gotten into my groove, and the fourth round of burpee pull-ups was perhaps my best. Whilst completing 30 unbroken air squats I thought, “Well at least I won’t have to do any more of these.” I was wrong. Handstand in increments of 40 and 20 seconds, poker chip, and the start of the fifth round.

I completed 10 burpee pull-ups, often resting a brief moment between reps to shake out my arms. CD yelled, “Thirty seconds!” just as I was beginning 30 air squats. I had completed 14 when she yelled, “Fifteen seconds!” I picked up the pace. She counted down from 3 and I counted up to 30. I had squatted below parallel and risen hallway when the clock beeped. Dammit, one rep shy of 30. 

Score = 4 rounds + 39 reps. Rx, yo. 

B: Bent Over Row (5-5-5-5-5)

Work up to heaviest set of 5 reps.

What, strength after conditioning? Why, yes! I warmed up with 95, and then completed a set at 135. I felt strong today, so I made an on-the-spot goal to do 5 reps at 200#. I completed sets at 165, 185, and then 200#. Goal achieved. I thought, Go for it. Put another 10 pounds on the bar. Even if you can’t complete all reps you still will have achieved your goal. 

CD watched as I began. Uhm, the first rep didn’t count, as the bar didn’t make contact with my body. I didn’t put down the bar but instead completed 5 unbroken reps. When I finished CD said, “But that was 5 reps.” I said, “I know, the first rep didn’t count since the bar didn’t touch my chest, so I didn’t count it. I don’t cheat. And I don’t count bad reps.” 

I know with certainty that I’ve ever completed bent over rows at or above 200, let alone 5 unbroken reps at 210#. PR, yo. 

‘Twas a very good day. 

Sometimes I surprise myself

I worked out at 11:45 this morning. The session was lead by Coach Emily, and there were quite a few in attendance. Yay! I like working out with others, even if they are gum chewers. And gum snappers. 

A: Metcon (Distance)

Spend up to 5 minutes practicing handstand walking

I’m finding my sense of balance, and have certainly overcome any fear of toppling over. I managed to walk on my hands for a little over 6 feet. 

B: Metcon (Time)

Spend up to 5 minutes practicing vertical ring holds

I tried something different today, grasping the rings much more with fingers than with palm. I held vertical hold 1 second longer than the 1-minute hold I had planned. 

C: Thruster

Work up to your heaviest set of 3 reps

I set a goal to complete 3 thrusters at 145#, just a little over bodyweight. I completed sets of 3 at 75, 95, 115, 135, & 145. I thought, Why not go for 155? And that’s what I did. I made sure to rest with the bar locked out overhead between reps, to take a deep breath before squatting, and to ensure that I locked out my arms at the top of the rep. I felt as if all eyes were on me when I completed sets, you know, because all eyes were on me.  

I’ve looked at the recording a couple of times, and I’m surprised by how good the full squat cleans was, how deep the front squats were, and how explosive the presses were. The title of this blog says it all. 

D: Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

10-min AMRAP
(10) double unders
(4) 1-armed KB swings (53)
(6) box jumps (30)

I scaled up to unbroken double unders and 33″ box jumps. I also set a goal to complete unbroken box jumps, and it was the first time that I’ve jumped higher than 30″ and didn’t first step from the plate(s) to the box and then to the floor. In other words, I jumped 33″ from the top of the box to the floor, quickly rebounded off of the floor, and jumped onto the plate on top of the box.

All whilst grunting loudly. 

i had to redo 2 rounds of double unders, i.e., I didn’t complete 10 unbroken on first attempt. Dammit. (You were waiting for that, weren’t you?) All rounds of a mere 4 KB swings were completed unbroken, as were all rounds of box jumps. 

Score = 11 rounds + 13 reps

Coach Emily captured some action shots. 

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The Other Total

Zac says, "Be aggressive!"
Zac says, “Be aggressive!”
Luke hides his head as I overhead squat.
Luke hides his head as I overhead squat.

I coached the 8:30 am session, and it was a light crowd today. Uhm, just because there isn’t a metcon doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get in a good workout and work up a sweat. During Open Gym I practiced burpee pull-overs and ring and bar muscle ups.

I attended the 11 am session, led by Coach James. 

The Other Total (Total Weight)

Clean
Bench Press
Overhead Squat

After a 10-minute warmup, we began. I knew I’d have to work fast in order to complete the work in the remaining 50 minutes. And work fast I did! My goal was to achieve a 1RM for all three lifts. Sadly, this did not happen. Happily, I started and finished strong.

Clean
I’ve been stuck at 165# for a loooong time, so after completing a full squat clean at 155 I put 167# on the bar. And easily completed the lift. Yay! I then successfully cleaned 170#, but failed at 3 attempts at 170#, with the first attempt being the best of the 3. 

Bench Press
Kelly-May was kind enough to spot for me. I successfully bench pressed 185#, but failed at 1 attempt at 195#, 5# more than current 1RM. I felt a slight twinge in my right shoulder. Yup, my right shoulder. I called it a day.

Overhead Squat
Lifts felt heavy. I failed at 135#, so I lowered the weight to 130# and completed the lift. I put 142# on the bar, a mere 2# heavier than 1RM. I failed miserably at the first attempt. I rested 2 minutes, and attempted the lift again. The weight felt much lighter, and I was able to successfully complete the lift. Yay!

Total: 170+185+142=497

I think I can break 500.

 

Go, PAK!

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Coach Deborah graciously accepted my request to lead the 9:45 session so that I could work out. Thanks, CD! I think I’ll start calling her CD, that was I can exclaim “Oh, CD!” 

In TEAMS of 3 or 4
– 1600m row; one team member must be in the plank the entire row

– 20 wall ball shots each; relay (20# & 10′)

– 40 unison sit-ups; arms interlaced

– 20 shoulder to overhead each; relay (115)

– 40 unison American KB swings (53)

– 1600m run; one team member must hold barbell at full extension, e.g., like at top of dead-lift (115)

– 20 box jumps each; one rep/team member at a time (24)

– 20 unison burpees with forward facing jump over parallette

I asked Kevin and Anthony if they’d like to be on my team. At first Kevin thought I was merely suggesting that he and Anthony be on a team, as he assumed I was coaching and not working out. Ha! I tried not to be a d!ck, and I think that I was moderately successful in achieving this goal. 

Kevin began with the row as I held a plank. I rested, rowed, and held plank some more. This was an easy way to start.

I was the first to complete wall balls, and I did so in unbroken reps. Wall ball shots felt easy today. 

I was the “anchor” for the sit-ups in that I was in the center, with Kevin to my left and Anthony to my right. We completed reps in sets of 10 or less. Could I have completed 40 unbroken reps? Yes, but I made sure to not insist that we do so. I’m just that nice. Really.

Anthony completed 20 shoulder to overhead and it was then my turn. Uhm, I thought is was going to be lot more difficult than it turned out to me, and I completed in sets of 10, 5, & 5. I also completed reps rather quickly. 

KB swings in unison were a communication challenge, as I usually begin with a swing, i.e., the first rep is overhead. We had discussed completing in sets of 10 reps, but during the first set I said, “Let’s keep going.” We didn’t. The last 10 reps were done in sets of 5. 

I wasn’t being a d!ck, though, so I was on my way to achieving a PR.

I grabbed the leash so that Luke could join me for the 800m run. When I returned, Kevin was holding the dead-lift. He looked pale and out of sorts. I suggested that I run another 400m, and he agreed. I also suggested that he sit out box jumps and burpees if needed.

I returned from run and Anthony and I began box jumps. I said, “We’ll need to do a total of 60 reps.” I kept count. Somewhere in the mid-30s Kevin joined and Anthony rested; thus I completed 30 box jumps. 

Anthony and I began burpees. I made sure to go at a slower pace than i normally would, and Anthony did a good job of keeping up with me. He requested a rest after 15 reps. Kevin joined us for a few of the reps as well.

Time = 33:46

That was fun!