Ribs and Battle of the Ages

MON APRIL 11, 2016 | WEEK THREE

Push Press (3-6-9-12-12-9-6-max reps @ 55% of 1RM)

Every 1:10

I’m truly enjoying the challenge of the programming. Who comes up with this shit? Oh, right, that’d be me. I completed reps @ 95#, a little more than 55% of 1RM, and completed rounds in unbroken reps until, of course, the last round of max reps. I made sure to not push myself too hard due to the upcoming Battle of the Ages competition. I completed 18 reps the last round for a total of 75 reps. That’s a lot of push presses!

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

10-min AMRAP
5/leg walking overhead lunges (55)
5 plate burpees
5 burpee box jumps (27.5)

I set up my workstation in 7303, and in retrospect this impeded my performance as I spent too much time repositioning equipment.

The walking overhead lunges were, well, tough. At some point during the workout I injured myself, and I don’t know specifically what occurred or how it happened. I do know that a mid-rib on my left side hurt. Hurt badly. It was everything I could do to lean to the right. Dammit. And with the competition just days away!

Score = 4 rounds + 8 reps

I took some ibuprofen and felt slightly better.

TUE APRIL 12, 2016 | WALK THIS WAY

As Endurance is held Tuesday evenings, attendance during regular session is light. Today was no exception, and Debbie was the only attendee at the 7 am session. So I joined her!

Handstand Walk 

Take up to 10 minutes practicing handstand walking and progressions

I did just that, and whilst I getting better I’m nowhere near to mastering this skill. Dammit. Debbie,  however, is most certainly skilled at handstand walking.

Metcon (Weight)

EMOM for 10 minutes
1 clean pull + 1 power clean + 1 clean

Work up to the heaviest weight

Debbie completed at the top of the round and I took my turn next. This worked out well. I worked up to a pull + PC + clean @ 155#. And my back didn’t hurt until 8th rep. And I should’ve stopped then. But I didn’t. Dammit.

Metcon (6 Rounds for reps)

“Ones”
Complete max reps/calories of following activities; rest 1:30 between rounds
A. Bike for calories
B. Row for calories
C. Back squats Floor presses (95)
D. Stiff-legged deadlifts
E. Slam balls
F. Alternating arm sledgehammer swings (1 rep – l & r arm)

This is the first time I’ve biked for calories, and I didn’t enjoy it. Ha! I biked a mere 18 calories. As frequent readers know, I detest rowing for calories. I rowed a mere 24 calories. As squatting caused back pain I substituted floor presses and completed 30 reps. I could’ve completed more back squats. I didn’t stop working during minute of stiff-legged deadlifts and completed 43 reps. I also didn’t stop working during minute of slam balls and completed 38 reps. I finished with 20 sledgehammer swings. Debbie and I had mistakenly left our sledgehammers outside and, as it was raining lightly, the handles were slippery and slowed us down a bit.

I took more ibuprofen. I detest taking any drug, including ibuprofen.

Total = 173 reps

Luke joined me and helped the Endurances athletes run a 5K. I estimate that Luke and I ran 4 or even 5 miles by the end of the session. Running didn’t exacerbate my back pain.

I rested Wednesday, even though I really wanted to complete deadlifts and “bearish” workout. I rested Thursday, although I did fartlek run with Endurance athletes. I rested Friday. Yup, I really wanted to work out but knew that an additional day of rest would do me good.

I also visited Dr. Heather twice for chiropractic adjustments and visited Debbie once for an awesome deep tissue massage.

Jeff and I traveled to Prineville Friday night. We shared a very enjoyable meal with Nick, Meredith, Laurie, and Jaclyn. Jaclyn is my favorite.

SAT APRIL 16, 2016 | BATTLE OF THE AGES

IMG_8376Four coaches comprised the CrossFit Surmount team: James (20s), Nick (30s), Jeff (40s) and yours truly (50s). Our goal was to have fun, and we most certainly achieved this goal. We hadn’t had an opportunity to do more than discuss strategy, i.e., we didn’t first attempt any of the workouts.

The pain in my back and rib had subsided considerably. What a relief!

Event 1: Max Lifting

1RM Snatch, Clean, Back Squat, and Deadlift

There will be 600 lbs at each station.There will be a designated lifting warm up area with two male bars and two female bars with plates and two squat racks. This is a shared area. There is a 5 minute interval between heats. During that 5 minute period on your heat you can load bars and warm up. When the clock starts you must have an empty bar. 

At James’ suggestion, Jeff snatched, Nick cleaned, James squatted, and I deadlifted. This worked out very well. Nick and Jeff shared a bar as did James and I. I used Nick’s and Jeff’s barbell to warm up when they were resting between attempts. James took about 7 minutes to work up to a very heavy back squat of 405#. We worked very well together loading his bar and when he had completed last rep we stripped the bar of all but 3, 45# plates, i.e., 315#.

I easily deadlifted 315# and added 15s and 5s. I easily deadlifted 355# and replaced 15s with 25s. I easily deadlifted 370#. I thought, “Okay, match recently achieved PR of 395#.” And I did just that. Again, the lift felt quite easy. Uhm, and I even posed at the top of the deadlift and made sure that spectators captured the moment. I asked James, “Should I go for 400 or 405?” He didn’t hesitate and said, “405.” And that’s what I did, again quite easily deadlifting that weight. After standing to full extension I looked at Michelle, Kelli, Laurie, Heflin, and Jaclyn (she’s my favorite) and said, “How the f@ck did that happen?” That’s a 10# PR and I achieved lifelong goal of deadlifting 400 pounds! That’s 280% of my bodyweight. With just a little bit of time left I attempted 410#, but the bar didn’t leave the floor. And I honestly didn’t care. Ha! I was elated with my lift, and it was an awesome way to start the day.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the overwhelming majority of the 30 all-males teams consisted of men in teens, 20, 30, and 40s. Yup, I was one of the oldest men there.

We placed 16th. As there were quite a few men that deadlifted 500# or more, we were at a disadvantage. I don’t know, though, that many men back squatted 405#, a PR for James. James is ungodly strong. Jeff snatched 155 (tying his PR) and Nick cleaned 235, also achieving a PR. We lifted 12,ooo#.

Event 2: 400m Sprint Relay

My preconceived notion of what would transpire was vastly different than what occurred, as the relay was actually 4, 100m shuttle sprints, i.e., we ran 100m downhill, traversed around a cone, ran 100m uphill to the start, turned around and repeated for a total of 400m before handing off baton. We were with one of the fastest groups of the day, racing with 4 very strong and fast teams.

Nick started and we were in last place when he handed off the baton to Jeff. Jeff was our slowest runner (and that’s okay), so we remained in last place. I sprinted very quickly but struggled with the turnaround, as not only did our team have to run around a cone but also had to complete the turnaround or rocky and sandy soil. ‘Twas tough.

I honestly don’t know if I passed anyone but I do know that I set up James for a strong finish. And that’s what he did! He passed 2 and tied for 2nd. We placed 6th overall with a time of 3:11.

Event 3: Gymnastics

5 minutes to establish:
Max distance handstand walking
Max reps pull-ups
Max distance broad jumps
Max reps toes to bar

We knew that handstand walking was going to be our nemesis. And it was. Jeff began and walked about 12 or so feet, I went next and walked about that same distance. Nick and James followed and added a few feet. I can’t recall total distance, but it wasn’t very far. I know what skill I’ll be working on until I master it!

James suggested that we keep the same order for remaining activities. Jeff completed 29 pull-ups. As he began to do singles I suggested that he drop from the bar to allow enough time for all of us to complete a turn. I went next and completed 30 unbroken and then added 2 singles. I could’ve (and probably should’ve) completed more, but I was also concerned that Nick and James wouldn’t have enough time. Nick completed 34 reps and it was James’ turn. Whilst I can’t recall how many he completed, I know it was more than Nick. Unfortunately, James slipped off the bar with 30 seconds remaining. Yup, I should’ve completed more reps.

I’ll never be able to jump very far. I managed to jump 6’5″, nonetheless a PR. My legs are just too damned short for a long broad jump beginning from stationary position.

I began with 20+ unbroken toes to bar and then completed singles for a total of 32 reps. Once again, I could’ve and should’ve stayed on the bar, as I completed the most reps for the team. And I certainly could’ve stayed on the bar for a longer time.

I didn’t record total score but know that we once again placed 16th. Damned handstand walking.

Event 4: Rowing, Burpees, and Hanging from the Bar

Team member(s) row 5K. Remaining team members complete burpee to 45# plate. One member must be hanging from bar as burpees are completed. A second is subtracted from 5K row time for each burpee completed. 

The best laid plans of mice and men? We had decided that James, an exceedingly strong rower, would row entire 5K and that I would do all of the burpees as Jeff and Nick took turns hanging from the bar. Whilst James did indeed row the entire distance, Jeff and Nick did complete some burpees. And here’s why…

I began burpees at a very rapid pace but realized that I was slowing down and wouldn’t be able to maintain pace. I asked Nick and Jeff to help with burpees, letting them know that I’d take my turn on the bar. This worked out very well, and I know from having spoken with Jeff and Nick that they appreciated the opportunity to do burpees instead of hanging from the bar.

What this meant for me, however, was that I working most of the 20 minutes, for as soon as Jeff or Nick took a turn with the burpees I would get on the bar as quickly as possible. I would sometimes ask that Jeff or Nick take a 5-second turn hanging from the bar (to give myself a brief rest) and then would immediately hang from the bar once again. When it was my turn I completed burpees very quickly, jumping laterally onto the plate and alternating direction, i.e., to the left and to the right. I would often begin round of burpees facing the audience and thus with my back to Jeff and Nick, but then would twist as I jumped off of the plate so that I could face and communicate with them. This worked very well. Uhm, so yeah, I was the person telling everyone what to do.

James completed the row in 18:05 and then sprawled out on the floor. I yelled, “Get ready to help us, James!” Nick and I began taking turns with burpees and if I recall correctly Jeff and I also took turns. With a minute left I yelled at James, “Get on the bar! GET ON THE BAR!!” He looked at me, well, dazed and confused, but he did take a final turn on the bar. I completed the very last rep as the clock sounded. We completed 377 burpees and I’d conservatively estimate that I completed 25o of said burpees. I quite literally (a term I’m loathe to use) hopped onto and the off of the plate, using my arms for momentum.

I also made sure that I had fun whilst hanging from the bar, getting the attention of Michelle, Kelli, Laurie, Heflin, and Jaclyn (she’s my favorite) to witness, you know, as I completed leg raises, L-sits, and smooth dance moves whilst nonetheless still hanging from the bar.

We placed 5th overall. A very strong finish!

We placed 11th overall for the event. While not spectacular, certainly not embarrassing. And we had a hell of a lot of fun!

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