Friday, November 30, 2012


Back is feeling much better today. I am planning to go back to the gym on Wednesday. I have a hockey game on Monday so I don't want to push it that day and I figure I will take at least this weekend off. I will miss at least one other day next week too since I have dental surgery on Friday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday Workout

There was skill work at the beginning that was V-ups, have a look at this video for how it is done. I did some of these for the first 10 minutes as prescribed. The workout was next and was prescribed as 2 rounds for time:
  • 30 kettlebell swings (53/35)
  • 25 toes-to-bar
  • 20 clapping push-ups
  • 15 GHD sit-ups
  • 10 goblet lunges
  • 5 hand stand push-ups
Follow with core work:
  • 2 minutes V-ups as many as possible
Coach Brent walked us through all the moves and we tried all of them. During the warm-up my back felt a bit funny on the pull-ups and then when I tried out the hand stand push-up during the demo portion it hurt. I pushed off the floor to get my feet up to the wall and the left side of my lower back, same place as last week, started screaming. I dropped back down immediately and decided I would do box pike push-ups on a 24 inch box. I did the kettlebell swings with 35# and only did 20 toes-to-bar on each round because they bothered my back. I used the 35# kettlebell on the goblet lunges. I completed the workout in 13:28 but my back was pretty sore. I skipped the core work and went straight to stretching and by the time I left my back was sore. It got worse as the day went on but is much better today. I assume I aggravated the same injury from last week. I am going to skip tomorrow morning although I really want to go. I think it might be best to wait another day or two.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Workout

Well this is the 4th day in a row that I have been to the gym. That is the first time I have done that, I feel real good although a bit sore. My abs are especially sore but most everything else too but not in a bad way.

The warm up today started with an 800 meter row and the board actually said "800 meter row (fast)." I asked coach Brent what that meant and he said make sure you get warm. I am not sure why they need to specify fast, I never assumed I should be going slow. This was followed by 2 rounds:
  • 10 PVC arm circles
  • 10 PVC overhead squats
  • 10 back extensions
We were then supposed to do some skill work consisting of 10 minutes of snatch balance for weight but we did not do this. This exercise is shown and explained in this video. Instead coach Brent walked us through a Burgener Warm-Up to teach us the elements of the snatch movement. This is apparently the most difficult and technical of the lifts in crossfit and after this workout I would tend to agree. The workout was then prescribed as 5 rounds for time:
Followed by un-timed core work as follows:
  • 50 abmat sit-ups
I started out with a 20# wall ball but switched to a 16# ball half way through round 2. I was pretty surprised with my wall ball performance.I was doing 15 at a pop to start off with and even on round 5 I did 10 to start and before a couple second break. I only did 45# on the squat snatch instead of the prescribed 75#. This is the first time in my life doing this move and it is pretty tough so I figured start off slow. On the first round I started off doing 1 at a time trying to get the move down but by round 5 I was doing 3 at a time with pretty good form. I do think I was not getting down into the squat enough though and next time I will try to work on that. I think I could probably increase the weight a bit as well. I completed the workout in 24:53. 

Cool down was a 200 meter run and a bunch of stretches.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Workout

I don't usually go to the gym both days on the weekend but I was feeling like working out so I did. Maybe I will do it more often and get 5 days a week in instead of 4. Today the warm up started with a 500 meter row followed by 3 rounds of:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 walking lunges
  • 10 abmat sit-ups
Following this we did some strength work. 10 sets of 2 bench press for weight with a 60 second break in between each set. I did 115#, 155#, 165#, 175#, 175#, 170#, 170#, 165#, 165#, 165#. We then did a metcon which consisted of a 10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible):

  • 30 kettlebell swings (53/35)
  • 30 air squats
I scaled this using a 35# kettlebell instead of 53#. I completed 4 rounds and 20 additional kettlebell swings with that weight. I am feeling pretty good.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Worlout

My back was feeling way better as the day went on yesterday. It always amazes me ho doing some work can help so much more than sitting on your ass does. I am not suggesting going out and hurting yourself, I did skip the Wednesday workout, but I am suggesting that doing as much as you can without hurting yourself is the way to go. The hardest part for me over the last few years with my back has been learning the differences between pain and injury. If you can figure that out and work through pain and work around injury you should be good and be able to work out mos all the time.

Today's warm up started with a 400 meter run, actually by the time I got back from the run the whiteboard had been changed to a 500 meter row. This was followed by 3 rounds of:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 sit-ups (I did abmat)
  • 10 air squats
The workout was the bear complex. A good example with explanation of restrictions can be seen here. It was prescribed on the board as follows.

5 Rounds, 7 Sets, For Weight:

  • Power clean
  • Front squat
  • Push press
  • Back squat
  • Push press
I had done this one before back in August so I was able to see what my performance then was and see how I did compared to that. You can look back at that one if you want here. Coach Jay was there and as with the last time the instructions given did not match what I found online. We were told we could rest with the bar on the floor as long as our hands remained on the bar. I mentioned last time we did this that the instructions I found for this workout indicate you may rest anywhere but on the ground, i.e. touch and go on the ground for the 7 reps. I did this using the touch and go method progressing through 65#, 75#, 85#, 95# (4/3), and 90#. So I did the first 3 sets unbroken without rest on the floor with the weights shown. when I got to the 4th set @ 95# I made it through 4 reps and failed, I dropped the bar. I finished the set off with another 3 but counted only the 4 prior to failure. On the last set I dropped the weight to 90# and did the first 4 as prescribed but stopped for a 3 count on the ground on the last 3 reps. I was the only one doing these without resting on the ground. I guess you still get a workout that way but I assume they define no rest on the ground for a reason. I was thinking I might be able to do more weight on this based on my last effort in August and the fact that I am now a few months into this but I guess I improved a good bit given I didn't rest this time. That weight seems real heave, especially when you are doing a push press from behind the head. I think for next time I will shoot for 95# complete set unbroken.

I have started looking at the workouts the night before going to the gym which I had been avoiding before. I was originally avoiding it because I did not want to see something I did not want to do and not go. I think I am beyond that concern now and looking the night before gives me a chance to look back and see what kind of performance I should be shooting for to improve which I think might be useful.

Cool down was a 500 meter row followed by a bunch of stretching.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Workout

Went back to the gym today and worked out again, first time since last Saturday. The warm up was a 400 meter run followed by 3 rounds of:

  • 10 air squats
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 burpees
I started out the warm up and tried kipping for the first set of pull- ups and it hurt my back, I only did one. I switched up and did all dead hang pull-ups for the rest. I was a bit nervous after reading the workout. It started with strength work of front squat 5 rep max with a 15 minute time limit. Followed by 5 rounds for time of:

  • 10 front squats (135/85)
  • 20 leg lifts
  • 20 abmat sit-ups
I talked to coach Michelle about my back and she said to make sure I take it easy and don't go too heavy. I started off on the front squat max with just the bar and worked my way up to 95#. I didn't really feel like I was at my max but I did feel that if I increased I might screw my back up again so I stopped. So my max was a whopping 95# today. Not that I feel bad about that, I need to be smart. I dropped the weight down to 85# for the workout and completed it in about 13:00, it is not on the website yet so not sure exactly. The leg lifts turned out to be the thing that was worst on my back. I was able to do it all though and I feel pretty good right now. We will see how I feel in the morning, or later today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I did not work out on Monday since I had a hockey game Sunday night. My back was actually bothering me, presumably from the bone headed crap I pulled with the max squats last week. It has been bothering me some since then and was still bothering me yesterday although it is getting better. I skipped this morning as well since I don't want to screw anything up and have to miss more. It is just a muscle issue and I think, based on how it feels today that I should be back at the gym on Friday.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday Workout

Not sure what the deal was today but there were only 3 of us there for the 9:00 am class. Usually this one is packed, maybe the Thanksgiving holiday has people out of town. The warm up started with a 400 meter run followed by 3 rounds of:

  • 10 air squats
  • 10 mountain climbers
  • 10 push-ups
The workout prescribed was "fight gone bad". It is a 5 round workout for rep count prescribed as follows.

  • Wall ball (20)
  • Sumo deadlift high pull (75)
  • Box jumps (20 in)
  • Push press (75)
  • Row for calories
  • Rest for 60 seconds
The way this works is you do as many reps as possible of the first exercise in one minute and then move on to the next for one minute and the next for one minute. After the one minute rest at the end you do the whole thing again. repeat 5 rounds. Your score is the total rep count for all exercises, with calories burned used for the row instead of reps. This was designed as a training tool for MMA fighters to simulate the five minute rounds of a fight with a one minute rest between. Sometimes you will see it done with only 3 rounds which would be a non-title fight. My score was 333 reps. The wall balls kick the crap out of me every time no matter what workout you put them in.

The cool down was a 200 meter run and some stretching as usual. I am feeling pretty good although I can tell I was off for a week. I am glad to have done some workouts recently that I had done in the past though since that is really the only way I can know for sure that I am getting in better shape. Wed was a good indication as I felt way better on that one than I did when I had done it not that long ago and my time was way better for such a short time. The gym is adjusting the workouts a bit too as I mentioned and I think I like the new program.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Workout

Back at the gym today, surprised they recognized me. We started off with a warm up of a 500 meter row followed by three rounds of:

  • 10 PVC arm circles
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 2-count flutter kicks
The workout the consisted of a strength training portion that was 10 minutes to do a max 1 rep back squat. I screwed up big time on this one and only did 135#. I started off with just the bar and did maybe 10 to get the form down with the wall ball down for depth. I then upped it to 135# and did a couple. At that point there was another guy that needed to join in since there was one to few racks. He did the 135# and then wanted to up to 225#. I, like a dumb ass tried to follow him instead of doing my own increasing weight. I ended up dropping the 225# weight and going down the rest of the way instead of up and I never completed another rep. Stupid. Oh well, lesson learned.

Next was a conditioning workout that was a 10 down to 1 ladder of the following 3 exercises:

  • burpees
  • air squats
  • push press (95/65)
The idea is do this in 10 rounds performing 10 reps of each the first round, 9 reps of each the second, 8 reps the third and so on. I started off with 95# on the bar but dropped down to 85# during the first round and left it there the whole time. That move cost me a bit of time but it really was not too bad since it happened during the first round. I completed the workout in 13:05. After that we had some core work consisting of the following:

  • 2 minute plank hold
  • 50 abmat sit-ups
I completed the plank in 2 1 minute blocks split up by maybe a 25 second rest. I did the sit-ups in sets starting at 15 reps but finished with 5 rep sets with just a second or 2 break. My abs were screaming by the end of that one. It was good to be back at the gym.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday Workout

I was out of town for that hockey tournament all weekend and was planning to go back to the gym Wed but I ended up going out of town for work as soon as I got back from Vegas. I did a workout Wed morning that I had done previously while on the road.

  • 1 mile run
  • 50 burpees
  • 1 mile run
When I was finished mapmyrun reported 2.05 miles and 19:50 for the time. This is almost a full 3:00 improvement over the last time I did this workout on travel a month and a half ago (September 27). You can have a look at that entry here. I am pretty happy with that improvement although I think I could improve more. I did the first 15 burpees unbroken and then did shorter sets but not consistent numbers. I only stopped for a second or two in between though. I did the last 10 straight as well. I also ran all 2 miles unlike last time and I know I did the first mile in under 8:00 and the last mile in right about 8:00.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Workout

still a bit sore this morning from the filthy fifty yesterday but went in for the 6:00 am this morning anyway. for the warm up we did a 500 meter row followed by 2 rounds of:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 GHD sit-ups
  • 10 back extensitions
We then went on to do a bit of skill work. This is something new for my gym but it sounds like they are going to start doing this regularly. The idea is the same as in any sport, you don't improve your performance in a game that is done in practice. In crossfit the metabolic conditioning (metcon) WOD's are the game but you need practice too. To get some of this a lot of crossfit gyms break up their 1 hour classes into multiple parts. Start with a warm up, move on to some sort of skill work, do the workorkout (strength or metcon), then do a cool down. Some gyms do warm up, strength work, metcon, and cooldown and leave the skill work to you on your own time. The skill work is designed to help you improve your form on a particular move or class of moves and is usually done with little or no weight with a coach watching and correcting. The idea is if you do the move correctly with little or no weight over and over again you will do it correctly when you have weight on the bar. I like this idea a lot and am glad to see my gym going in this direction. I think I mentioned before that I am more interested in good form than kicking ass on the times. We worked on cleans today for skills. We did some med ball cleans and empty bar cleans. The coach broke the moves into their individual components and had us perform each on its own and then put them together. I think this addition will be helpful and am looking forward to more, although it did take a long time to get through the workout today.

We then moved on to the workout which was strength based.

3,3,2,2,1 for weight (complete all sets of each exercise before moving on)

  • shoulder press
  • push press
  • push jerk
My results were

  • shoulder press - 85#/95#/105#/110# Failed after 1/115#
  • push press - 105#/115#/125#/130# Failed after 1/130#
  • push jerk - 105#/125#/130#/135# Failed after 1/135#
I am relatively happy with these numbers. I think last time I did a shoulder press max I also did 115# and I don't think I have done a max on the others before. I feel like I must have got the numbers pretty close given the fact that I failed on my second rep on the 4th set for every exercise. when I say I failed I mean I dropped the bar on the second attempt each time not just that I could not get it. I also am happy with the fact that I then came back and put that weight or higher up for the final rep.

This is my last trip to the gym for a while since I will be out of town for a hockey tournament in Las Vegas. If you want to follow our progress you can go here and sign up for notifications. I am playing on the Frederick Force in the Red Flag division. we have 2 games a day for most of the weekend assuming we keep winning so I think the missed gym days will be fine. I might do something at some point anyway though.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Workout

I did not go to the gym yesterday because I worked out late on Friday and I had a couple of cub scouts events Saturday as well including a hike. I went in this morning to the 9:00 am class and guess what we get to do, the "filthy fifty." If you recall I did this workout back in August just a couple days into my free trial at this gym, if not you can read about it here. This workout is specified as the following for time:

  • 50 box jumps
  • 50 jumping pull-ups
  • 50 kettlebell swings (35/26)
  • 50 walking lunges
  • 50 knees to elbows
  • 50 push press (45/33)
  • 50 back extensions
  • 50 wall balls (20/16)
  • 50 burpees
  • 50 double unders
Last time I didn't make it through the workout. I got through 40 burpees and was done and it took me 40:54. Today I completed the workout with a couple modifications. I did the second half of the wall balls with a 16# ball because the 20# just got to be too much. I also did 150 single unders instead of 50 doubles as prescribed. I completed the workout today in 34:37 so that is a better than 6:00 improvement on the workout and I actually finished it all as well. This is the first real measure I have seen of my progress since I started at this gym. That seems to be a good improvement in just about a 2.5 month period if you ask me.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Friday Workout

I had an early meeting at work on Friday so I could not go to the gym in the morning. I actually ended up being there late too and almost didn't make it in before they closed. I ended up at the 7:30 pm open gym rather than a class and it was just me and one other dude there both doing the WOD. The warm up was 25 jumping jacks followed by 3 rounds:
  • 10 wall ball shots (16/12)
  • 10 abmat it-ups
  • 10 PVC arm circles
My shoulder was still a bit tight so I did a bit of extra stretching too. The workout was "Daniel" named for Army Sgt 1st Class Daniel Crabtree who was killed in Iraq on 24 June 2006. The workout is the following for time:
  • 50 pull-ups
  • 400 meter run
  • 21 thrusters (95/65)
  • 800 meter run
  • 21 thrusters (95/65)
  • 400 meter run
  • 50 pull-ups
I completer the workout in 25:45 with a bit of modification. I knocked out maybe 30-35 of the pull-ups at the start before having to switch to jumping pull-ups with a slow negative. I also had to do the same on the pull-ups at the end but earlier, after the first 5. By the end I was doing 2 pull-ups at a time and then a second or so of rest. I also had to split the thrusters some but did do the prescribed weight. The first 21 I started with 7 then 6 and then dropped a bit until the last set I only did 3. On the second 21 thrusters I split them into sets of 3 with a short break between. I was shot by the end and felt a bit light headed. I dropped the bar rather than putting on the rack as I had been doing before. The workout felt pretty good and was fun.