Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday Workout

Today we started out, after the warm up, with 15 minutes to do a 5 rep max on front squats. I maxed out at 155# on this one. I might have been able to do a bit more but as I have mentioned in the past I am not a huge fan of trying to do max weight on any exercise, especially one where you can hurt your back. Looking back at my old entries it looks like last time we did a max on front squat we did 5 sets of 5 increasing each time to a max and I did 145# on the last set. So it looks like I still improved. The rest of the workout was prescribed as 5 rounds for time of:

  • 10 front squats (135/85)
  • 20 leg lifts
  • 20 ab mat sit-ups
I finished this in 16:52. The front squats were pretty tough for me at that weight. By the last round I could only knock out 3 to start it and was only doing 1 at a time by the end. I was pretty fast to jump back in though, so a quick step back from the bar and then right back in to do another. I was the only one using the medicine ball to make sure my range of motion was correct too, not sure why people don't use it more. I have a hockey tournament all day Monday so I probably won't go back to the gym until Wednesday. My shoulders are pretty sore from the Friday workout, feels good.

My parents are staying here for the holidays right now as well and my dad wanted to do a workout yesterday and asked me for something to do. I had him do the 10 rounds for time:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 sit-ups
  • 10 air squat
This was the Christmas Eve workout. He did 5 rounds in about 16 minutes or so, not bad especially since he doesn't do much working out.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Workout

Today's workout was prescribed as follows:

  • push-ups
  • mountain climbers (single count)
  • shoulder press (45/33)
So on round 1 you do 50 reps of each, round 2 do 40 reps of each, and continue. This seemed pretty easy on paper and I was getting cocky last night saying I was going to do this in 20:00 or less and eventually thought I might be able to even do it in 15:00 or less. Well, I was way wrong. By the time I hit the shoulder presses on the first round I could not even get the bar over my head and had to shake my arms out for a few seconds before continuing. This is a killer shoulder workout. I finished in 30:36 and my shoulders are shot. I also did not get up and go in at 6:00 this morning since I am off work and would like to sleep in a bit. There was apparently no one at the 6:00 am class again today.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wednesday Workout

I set my alarm to get up at 5:30 and go to the gym for the 6:00 class as I normally do but somehow the alarm malfunctioned and never went off. I instead went in for the 9:00 class. The prescribed workout was 5 rounds for time:
  • 12 deadlifts (225/135)
  • 20 pull-ups
  • 12 clean and jerk (135/95)
  • 20 knees to elbows
Those weights are crazy heavy for me. I looked up my last deadlift numbers and my 1 rep max was 265# and there is zero chance I clean 135#. I put 205# on for the deadlift to start and 95# for the clean and jerk. I did not feel good at all doing this one and my writs started hurting part way through. I have wrist issues sometimes doing cleans and they also seem to bother me some on knees to elbows so putting the two together doesn't help. I only did 3 rounds instead of 5 and dropped the deadlift weight to 185# after the first round because my lower back was starting to round. I finished the 3 rounds in 29:05. Not sure if it was the workout or the people I was working out with (not my normal crew) but I just really was not into it today for some reason. Oh well, there is always Friday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Bonus Workout

I don't normally do a workout on Tuesday but since I ate a pile of crap this morning I thought it would be good to do something. The gym posted another do it at home WOD that was 100 burpees for time. I knocked them out in 8:40 but am thinking I should have been able to do them a good bit faster than that. I knocked out the first 25 in under 1:30 so I really slowed down as I went along. I did do them 10 at a time after that first 25 being done straight through. The last 15 I did pretty much unbroken, just a bit of a break at the top on each of the last 5 but real short. I was sweating like crazy at the end and winded as hell. I guess 1 burpee every 5.2 seconds is not too bad but I think I could do this in the 7:00 minute range maybe. I will try this one again some time, maybe when I am on the road for work.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Workout

The gym is closed today and tomorrow for the holiday but they posted a WOD that can be done at home without any equipment for today. The Christmas Eve WOD was prescribed as 10 rounds for time:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 sit-ups
  • 10 air squats
I started off strong on this and when I hit the half way point I was at just over 5 minutes so I was shooting for an under 10 minute time. Of course I was moving a bit slower than normal because I was at home doing it alone rather than with others pushing me. Actually it was a bit worse than that because the kids were doing it with me which also slows me down a bit because they always have questions of get in the way. They had fun though. I finished it in 10:24, it was pretty damn easy compared to most of the workouts we do at the gym. Still felt good to do something though.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Workout

Usually I do a Saturday workout but I was out in the woods yesterday doing some deer hunting. First time ever, saw 4 deer but did not get a chance at any of them. I had a good time though. I went in today for the 9:00 am class and was more than a little dreading the workout after looking at it last night. This workout was broken into 2 parts and neither one looked like much fun. First was "Randy" which is the following for time:

  • 75 power snatches (75)
Randy Simmons was a 51 year old 27 year LAPD officer and member of their SWAT team that was killed in the line of duty. I have previously struggled with this move, for the elements of this one have a look at this video. I racked up the 75# on a 45# bar but instead of using 15# plates on each side I put 10# and 5# plates to give myself an out if needed. I do this sometimes because it makes me feel better. Coach Jay asked me about it and I told him I did not think I could get through 75 reps with that weight but I would do my best. 75# is almost half my body weight which is 155#. Even the smaller guys at my gym are typically more like 180# - 185# so this kind of weight is tougher for me than them. I decided I would concentrate on the form and see what I could do. I completed this in 8:57 which was the slowest of those at the gym today but not by much and only 2 of us were doing the prescribed weight. I did all of them with 75# and by the end I was still doing 5 at a time before stepping back from the bar for a second. Felt pretty good. However, I still had an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) to do.

The AMRAP was 15 minutes to do as many as possible of the following:

  • 10 wall ball shots (20/16)
  • 15 push-ups
  • 20 slam balls (20/10)
I HATE WALL BALL SHOTS!! That is my least favorite thing to do because I suck at them but because of that I really try to push to get as many at a time as I can. I started off doing all 10 at a time and ended doing 5 and 5. I did the weights as prescribed. I completed 4 rounds and up through 5 slam balls on the 5th round. I felt pretty much like someone kicked my ass at the end of this one. Feels good.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Workout

Today's workout was a new Hero WOD. This one has been named Victoria in honor of Victoria Soto, one of the teachers killed in the shooting in CT. If you would like to find out more information about her have a look around online but the story told by her students is that she died shielding them from the gunman giving them a chance to escape. The WOD was prescribed as 5 rounds for time:

  • 10 thrusters (95/65)
  • 12 burpees
  • 14 box jumps (24/20)
  • 12 sumo deadlift high pulls (95/65)
  • 27 kettlebell swings (53/35)
I scaled this one a bit by doing 75# for both the thrusters and the deadlift high pulls. I also used 35# on the kettlebell swings as I usually do. This was a very tough workout and I was hurting bad by the 4th round of this one but I pushed through and finished off as best as I could in 36:47. As with all of the hero WOD's when I began to feel real bad I just thought about Victoria and figured it could be worse, the WOD could be named after me and I kept moving. This is a technique I use on a regular basis even when not doing a hero WOD. There is not often a day that goes by that I do not think about some Marine I know was killed or just those I know that are still there and that can be great motivation to keep me from feeling sorry for myself in many situations. I will be missing tomorrow but will try to get in there Sunday, especially since the gym is closed Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Workout, Holy Christmas!!

You might recall we did a Chanukah workout last week on Friday. You can check out the workout and my results here. Today was the Christmas WOD and boy is it a tough one. The workout was prescribed as the following for time:
  • 1 - 200 meter run or row
  • 2 - chest to bar pull-ups
  • 3 - 30 single under jump ropes
  • 4 - slam balls (20/16)
  • 5 - box jumps (24/20)
  • 6 - 2 count weighted lunges (25/10)
  • 7 - push-ups
  • 8 - wall ball shots (20/16)
  • 9 - knees to elbows
  • 10 - burpees
  • 11 - medicine ball cleans (20/16)
  • 12 - abmat sit-ups
(Performed in the same order as the song)

That is right folks, performed in the same order as the song. What does that mean? It means you do 12 round where round 1 is a 200 meter run or row, round 2 is 2 chest to bar pull-ups followed by a 200 meter run or row, round 3 is 30  single under jump ropes followed by 2 chest to bar pull-ups followed by a 200 meter run or row, and you continue through the 12 rounds in this manner. I elected to do the 200 meter run instead of row, not sure why but that is what I did. I did all moves as prescribed in this one even the wall ball shots. I figured it was only 8 at a time and I only needed to do 5 rounds with them in it so the chances I would drop it on my face again were slim. I didn't but it was maybe a bit harder than I had thought. I completed the workout in 45:53 and man was it tough. This is an odd sort of workout where it gets to be more and more stuff every round. A lot of these kind of workout are ladders down rather than up so they seem to get easier as it goes. Also there were a couple of moves at the end that I really struggle with like wall ball shots and knees to elbows. I did all the wall ball shots unbroken except the last round which I did 2 sets of 4 and I did all but the last 2 rounds of knees to elbows unbroken where I did 5 and 4. I did notice my movement from one move to the next got pretty slow on the last 2 rounds but I mostly was moving pretty good all the way through and I am pretty happy with the result.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Workout

After all those damn thrusters and burpees yesterday I was not looking real forward to today's workout when I saw it last night on the web site. It was prescribed as 5 rounds for time:
  • 5 deadlifts (135/95)
  • 5 hang squat cleans (135/95)
  • 5 push press (135/95)
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 15 box jumps (24/20)
First thing I noticed was the weights are way high for me on a couple of these. I only weigh 155# so doing a 135# hang squat clean or push press is a pretty damn big deal for me. I set up 3 barbells at the start of this one with 135#, 95#, and 75#. I began doing the deadlifts with 135# and completed with that. I started doing 95# on the cleans and push press but after the first round I dropped to 75# on the push press. I could feel my form breaking down on the first set on the push press and felt it better to be smart than cocky. I also slowed down on the cleans as it went on and by the last round I had to drop the bar after 3 and come back for the last 2, my forearms were screaming. By the end I was also doing jumping push-ups instead of the standard dead hang, this workout is tough on the shoulders. I completed the workout in 19:06 which I felt pretty good about. I think I could do better but not the day after that workout yesterday.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friday and Sunday

I did workout Friday but I didn't do it in the morning because I had a hockey game Thursday night at 10:30. Friday was a Chanukah WOD prescribed as 8 rounds of the following for time:

  • 8 burpees
  • 8 pull-ups
  • 8 air squats
  • 8 push-ups
  • 8 kettlebell swings (53/35)
  • 8 4 count mountain climbers
  • 8 leg lifts
  • 8 GHD back extensions
I completed the workout in 33:40 with a 35# kettlebell instead of a 53#. The worst part of this workout, which surprised me, was the mountain climbers. Those things suck and even more so right behind the kettlebell swings. That exercise reminds me of Marine Corps boot camp, it was a favorite of the DI's. We must have done a trillion of them over the 3 months of boot camp. This workout was another one that seemed easier on paper than it is. I was really dragging ass by the end of this one.

I did not go Saturday because of a cub scout event but I went today and the workout was prescribed as the following for time:

  • 70 thrusters (75/55)
  • 100 abmat sit-ups
(every minute on the minute do 5 burpees)

That is correct, do the workout but stop every minute and do 5 burpees. I did this a prescribed and initially thought it was going to be easy. I knocked out 20 thrusters the first minute but by the end of the thrusters I was doing only 4-5 at a time each minute. I completed the workout in 20:51 so I guess that means I did 100 burpees on top of the rest although it really felt more like 1000. Most people don't seem to like burpees much but I actually kind of like them and think they are maybe the perfect exercise for all around work. I would much rather do them than something like wall ball shots. I feel pretty good about that time and actually feel like I pushed real hard on this one. I am sure I will be a bit sore later today though especially since I was a bit sore from Friday even before going in for this one. My shoulders and back were a little sore and thrusters are probably not going to make that any better.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Workout, Follow Doctors Orders

More on the doctors orders thing later but first the warm up started with a 2 minute jump rope followed by 3 rounds of:
  • 10 PVC overhead squats
  • 10 GHD sit-ups
  • 10 Back extensions
The workout prescribed was in two parts today. First we did 10 minutes of strength work prescribed as 5 sets of 2 reps each deadlifts for maximum weight. My weights for each set were 135#, 225#, 235#, 245# 255#. I actually did something like 10-12 reps on the first set with the 135# weight just to get moving and warmed up. Looking back at the blog it looks like the last time I did a deadlift max I did 265# for a 1 rep max. As I have mentioned before I am not really a big fan of doing a max on anything. I don't really think it helps me a whole lot with progress but it can leave me open to injury. I might have been able to do a bit more weight on this but I am not going to push it.

The metcon was prescribed as 5 rounds for time:
  • 21 kettlebell swings (53/35)
  • 12 wall ball shots (20/16)
  • 21 push-ups
Seems easy right, not so much. I scaled the kettlebell swings as usual to use 35# instead of 53#, maybe some day I will up that be the 53 still seems to cause my form to suffer too much for my liking. If it was 10 reps I might have gone with the heavier weight but not 21. I started off with the 20# ball for the wall balls but then at the end of round 2 I dropped the ball on my face which is probably not the best thing for my stitches in my mouth and also one of the things the dentist wanted me to avoid, trauma to the area. I took a step away and kicked myself for a second then continued the rest of the workout with the 16# ball instead. I maybe should have done that from the start. It seems to be fine although I think I did git a small bit of bleeding during the workout after it happened but I will be fine. The push-ups are a no brainer but by the time round 5 rolled around I was only able to knock them out three at a time with a second or so of down time in between those sets of 3. My time was 17:16.

The cool down was a 500 meter row and a bunch of stretching. I took the row slow after my face mushing just to be safe.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Workout, Ignoring Doctors Orders (Sort Of)

As I mentioned Friday I had a dental surgery and was going to ask the dentist about when I could workout and play hockey again but I wasn't sure I would believe her suggestion. Well she proved to me that they have no idea what they are talking about. When I first sat down with her pre-surgery and asked her point blank about the gym and hockey she said you can go back to all your normal activity on Monday. Then, once the surgery was over she busts out the standard post surgical care sheet to read to me and have me sign. This sheet says I am to do no strenuous activity for a week. She reads this and realizes she had already told me something else and tries to backtrack saying something like well I know what I told you before but we like to keep your heart rate down for a week, blah blah blah blah... By this time I am tuning her out completely and decided I will just do what feels right based on how I am feeling. I was feeling good about going to the gym today and so I went, although I did skip hockey last night.

The warm up today started with a 400 meter run followed by 3 rounds of:
  • 10 air squats
  • 10 GHD sit-ups
  • 10 push-ups
The workout was prescribed as seven rounds for time of:
  • 7 handstand push-ups
  • 7 thrusters (95/63)
  • 7 knees to elbows
  • 7 deadlifts (95/63)
  • 7 burpees
  • 7 kettlebell swings (53/35)
  • 7 pull-ups
Seems real easy on paper but man was this one a bitch as it went along. I modified a couple of things here in this one. First off I did pike push-ups with a 24" box instead of handstand push-ups. I considered trying them but after the last time when I hurt my back I figured I will wait a bit before trying to get into that position again especially considering I have a mouth full of stitches. I also lowered the weight on the thrusters. I did the first 2 rounds with 95# then dropped to 75# and it is probably a good thing because I was only doing 2 at a time by the last round. I still did the deadlifts with 95# but I dropped to 35# on the kettlebell swings as I normally do. I also was doing jumping pull-ups by the end with a slow negative. As I mentioned before no more kipping for me for a while. I completed the workout in 31:51.

Cool down was a 500 meter row followed by a bunch of stretching. No problems with the mouth bleeding or anything so I think I made the right call on this one.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Interesting Article

I read an interesting article in the NY Times which you can find here. The article is titled "Updating the Message to Get Americans Moving." The basic idea behind the story is that people know that they need to exercise to be healthy, the message is getting out there, they just are not doing it. It talks a bit about people doing the least they think they need to do such as a walking class for college students. It also references some studies that used accelerometers rather than self reporting to measure peoples activity and states the results indicate things are way worse than was thought. People don't exercise nearly as much as they like to tell people. This should not be a surprise to anyone. The conclusion the author comes to is that the message needs to change.
Simply giving people an exercise prescription, like walking for 20 minutes a day, five days a week, is clearly not working. Nor are programs that claim very intense, very short bouts of exercise are all that is needed.
To encourage exercise, perhaps people should be told to find an exercise, and an intensity level, that makes them feel good, Dr. Ekkekakis said.
This is a great idea. I have said this many times on this blog if you go have a look. I say you need to do whatever works for you and keeps you interested because an exercise program you hate will never work. I also agree with the idea that exercise needs to be scaled for the individual and their is no shame in not being able to do everything the person next to you in the gym can. This is one of the basic premises of crossfit and one of the reasons I like it. Another basic premise of crossfit, however, is high intensity and most people in this country are unwilling to do that. Most people claim fatigue long before their body has come anywhere near reaching its limits. They feel a bit of discomfort and they quit. I learned a long time ago that the human body is capable of way more than people believe it is. In most cases the mind is the limiting factor not the body. The only way you will get the results from the exercise is to push your body beyond its current limits. You do this and it adapts over time to be able to handle the increased load or activity. If you don't push it to that point the adaptations just don't take place and the benefit is not what it could or should be. Maybe everyone should have to go through Marine Corps boot camp because that will absolutely teach the lessons needed to recognize that there is a difference between discomfort/pain and you limit.

The bottom line is that although I agree with much in the article it is unlikely that changing the message will change most peoples behavior simply because it is easier to park your fat ass on the sofa and eat Doritos than it is to go to the gym. even if you think you want to improve it is easier to take a bit of a walk than to run even though you will absolutely induce more positive change in your body from the running. I could go in but you get the point. The thing you need to do with your exercise is to be constantly increasing load and intensity to make sure your body is adapting, it is an amazing machine. It is fine if you can only walk today but your effort should be focused on walking faster and working to more intensity. Once you can walk faster try working toward jogging. It does not need to be walking and running do anything you enjoy but always work to increase the intensity your body needs it. You should be uncomfortable when working out or you are doing it wrong and most people are unwilling to do that because it is hard.

Friday Workout

Warm up today was 100 jumping jacks followed by 3 rounds of the following:
  • 10 PVC arm circles
  • 10 flutter kicks (2 count)
  • 10 pull-ups
I did the pull-ups as dead hangs again and no back issues. I am pretty convinced that the kipping got me last time around. I will be doing all dead hang from now on. Of course that means when we have to do a bunch I will be starting the jumping pull-ups earlier but so what. The workout was prescribed as 4 rounds of the following for rep count:
  • 1 minute front squats (75/55)
  • 1 minute push press (75/55)
  • 1 minute sumo deadlift high pull (75/55)
  • 1 minute hand release push-ups
  • 1 minute rest
So this works out to a total of 20 minutes. I did all the work as prescribed and completed a total of 218 reps over the workout. I did not keep track of my rep counts for each exercise just each round and they broke down as 69, 47, 50 52. I started off real strong and knocked out over 20 of the squats on the first round and only got to 15 on the rest. The weight feels heavy as hell on the push press after you have been holding it up in the rack position for the front squats for a minute. You don't think about squats hitting your shoulders but do front squats for a minute and your shoulders will be screaming. Still no back issues at all so that is promising.

The cooldown was a 500 meter row and a bunch of stretching as usual. I have a dental surgery today so will not be going to the gym tomorrow. I need to talk to the doctor today and find out when I am good to go back but I am planning on Monday. I might go on Monday no matter what she says, what the hell do doctors know anyway. The more conflicting studies I read on exercise a diet the more I think they have no clue what they are talking about.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Workout, Back At It

I went back to the gym this morning. My back has been feeling better. I was expecting some post game problems after the hockey game on Monday but nothing happened. I was a bit nervous going in this morning though especially after I looked at the workout last night. I just figured I will do what I can and not push too hard. I am going to stay away from kipping pull-ups too, just do dead hangs.

The warm up started with a 400 meter row followed by three rounds of:
  • 10 PVC arm circles
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 back extensions
I did the pull-ups dead hang to avoid any back problems with the kip. The back extension on the downward move of the kip seemed to be where my problems started last week so I figure it is just easiest to avoid that. The workout was prescribed as the following for time:
  • 20 thrusters (95/65)
  • 50 double unders
  • 16 thrusters
  • 40 double unders
  • 12 thrusters 
  • 30 double unders
  • 8 thrusters
  • 20 double unders
  • 4 thrusters 
  • 10 double unders
They are now doing a new thing at the gym where they are being very strict on what is and is not an Rx workout. The following was posted on their site and coach Brent brought this up today as well. "In an effort to ensure consistency in scoring we will focus on range of Motion in determining whether or not our athletes achieve Rx indication on their score. Therefore, if you receive a 'scaled' score and an indication of R.O.M., then your range of motion was not adequate. We will make every effort to let our athletes know how their Range of Motion is during the WOD so they can achieve full range of Motion." Coach brent told us to make sure we had a medicine ball down and that we touch it on the squat portion of the thruster if we want to get the full R.O.M. score. I am not really one to give a crap what they put on their web site but some people seem to really care that they get this Rx score instead of a scaled score. I have seen people argue a bit about what they did being acceptable. I think that is all a bit silly and I am just there to get a good workout and get in shape, call it whatever the hell you want. For example, any workout with double unders I do scaled.

For this workout today I did single unders at 3X what was prescribed for double unders so in round one I did 150 single and round two I did 120 single but this gets marked as scaled since I did not not do the doubles. I can't do the doubles so this one is a no brainer. I also scaled the weight today and did this with 75# instead of 95#. I originally put 95# on the bar and tried one or two during warm ups but it was clearly too heavy especially since I have had recent back pain. I completed this workout in 13:02. By the end I was doing the thrusters like 3 or 4 at a time. I am getting much better at jumping rope though and I no longer look like a complete idiot tripping over myself. Maybe one of these days I will actually be able to get a couple double done.

The cool down was a 500 meter row followed by a bunch of stretching. I had also done some additional pre-workout back stretching beyond what the others did just to make sure I did not aggravate  things again.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Another Update

My damn back is tight again this morning. Not sure what the hell is up. There is one particular muscle running from my lower back down to my butt and upper leg that seems to be the issue. Gonna do some stretching over the next couple days and see what happens. It is odd because it was fine last night, no pain at all.