Saturday, August 27, 2011

that's what she said

A little mid-Irene blogging.

The dogs don't like severe weather. When I got back from the gym this morning you'd have thought they hadn't seen me in months.

Speaking of which. Oh, crossfit: my suck list is long.


But seriously. I mentioned when I first started at CFCC that crossfit is humbling. Very, very humbling. There are a few things I'm decent at - deadlifts, handstands, some other gymnastics stuff. And there are a bunch of things I'm solid at - squatting (at least I think so - it's been a while since I've really squatted), turkish getups, most other basic lifts.

But the list of things that I'm just NOT good at - or at least not good at yet - is so, SO long.

Burpees (they kill me and they kill me FAST). ROWING (oh my GOD i am so inefficient and uncoordinated). Ring work. Pull ups (I can rep 5 unbroken with a light + mini band...only 3 or 4 without the mini band...and if we're doing them in a metcon I still use the average band). Broad jumps - oh god, these are awful for me. We had a metcon that involved 60' broad jumps and it seriously took me like, 20 jumps to get across each time. And pushups - PUSHUPS! I did like, 4 billion pushups every week for over a year. Little did I know that I was doing them way wrong. Now I do them right and I do them on my knees. And what the hell happened to my running? (Hint: since I started crossfitting I haven't run one time unless it was in a metcon. That is likely why the short run, which was so easy the first time I did it in the onramp, now whoops my ass.)

Le sigh.

As embarassing as it is to be at the bottom of the group - I told Liz on Friday that my only goal was to not have the shortest recorded broad jump of the day, and I BARELY made it - it's nice to have so many areas to improve in. My wrist and forearm strength has increased substantially since I started, which in turn has helped my pullups, other bar work and ring work.

But still. My suck list is long.

This week's workouts (which were designed to let us taper for the Crossfit Total, which has now been pushed forward a week due to hurricane):

Monday: conventional deadlift, very light peak of 1. 115-135-155-185-185. Metcon: for time - 100 meter row, 5 strict pullups, 10 american KB swings, 5 strict pullups, 10 american KBS, 5 strict pullups, 100meter row. 5:27 (1pood/average band).

Tuesday: back squat, v. light peak of 2. 65-85-95-95-95 (WOMP WOMP WOMP. my form sucked). Metcon: 60' burpee sprint ladder, up to 8 burpees. 2:46. Stuck around for gymnastics; worked on handstand walking, and added "rope climb" to my suck list.

Thursday: general work on press, sumo deadlift high pull and front squat, in preparation for the metcon: with about 75% of your max press, 5 rounds for time of 3 strict press, 5 sumo deadlift high pulls and 7 front squats. 6:07 with 60lbs - had to push press the last two rounds. Stayed for gymnastics. worked on rolls (front and back) and ring support.

Friday: broad jump, 4 attempts. 75" (I don't want to talk about it). Metcon: tabata wallball slams for power, 14lb.

Saturday: gymnastics. Bridge ups, kickovers and freestanding handstands. 5 attempts and all I could do was a 2 second hold - but the best time of the day was 5 seconds, so yeah. My bridges are good, but my shoulders are so weak I can't press up with my feet on a box - I need a ton of assistance. Metcon was brutal but fun: 5 rounds for time of 10 handstand kickups to the wall, 10 toes to bar, 10 bridgeups and 10 rocking hollows. This felt strong, even though my toes to bar were more like knees to chest - next time i'm going to try to actually get my toes to the bar, since so far I've just assumed that I can't. 17:21. shoulders fried.

Monday, August 22, 2011

my life, via iPhone

coffee and dogs and laptop and bed...weekend mornings are the best. Sophie's getting scruffy again.

dogs do NOT appreciate being walked in the rain, but they love their sweet coats.


I also love steak. Costco's prime ribeyes beat the CRAP out of DiBruno's though, and for a couple bucks less per pound. Bah.

This is the real reason I got a nook color: I subscribe to US Weekly, but if anyone comes by I can quickly minimize it and pull up, say, something by Jeannette Winterson and be all like "yeah, I read postmodern literature while getting a pedicure. I find that it relaxes me."

Last week's workouts:

Monday: turkish getups. 2-3 each side, 12kg kettlebell; 2-3 each side, 16kg kettlebell; 15lb bar, 2 each side just to see how it felt (TWSS). Metcon: AMRAP 12 minutes, 2 TGU (one on each side), 30ft overhead walking lunges left, 30ft overhead walking lunges right. 3+2TGU; 1 pood kettlebell.


Thursday: Gymnastics. Front lever and strict handstand pushups. WOW, these are hard. I did a bunch with the assistance of the "average" band and it whooped me. Metcon was like...four thousand handstand pushups and four thousand strict toes-to-bar, which for me are strict hanging leg extensions.

Saturday: more gymnastics. Brutal ring work, various pieces of a muscle-up - working on false grip, ring support, ring dips and the transition. Metcon was 20 rounds of 5 seconds ring support, ring dip, 5 seconds false grip hang. I had a crapload of trouble falling into a false grip to hang - every single time I thought I was going to get it right and every.single.time I looked up to see my hands gripping the rings normally. I used a mini band for assistance and my left thigh is covered in nasty black bruises from where it kept snapping up and hitting least 17 out of 20 rounds.

I had big plans to do hot yoga on Sunday morning, but I was BEAT.UP from the ring work and ended up taking an extra rest day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Somebody's Getting Stronger

Forget what I said about gymnastics. Deadlifts are my favorite.

Miracle number one: I managed to find knee high socks that fit over my gargantuan calves.

(No, seriously. My calves are a good 16.5" around. Tall boots - much like front squats - are my nemesis, and I was concerned I would need to find plus size knee socks.)

I learned quickly to wear something that covers my legs when I do deadlifts, because otherwise you end up with banged up shins. Hence, the three-for-$20ish deal for colorful tube socks at American Apparel.

Miracle number two:

Oh, what's that? Oh, nothing. JUST A NUMBER IN THE 200'S NEXT TO MY NAME.

For the last handful of weeks, I end up running out of time before I get anywhere near my max, so I hadn't been sure exactly what I was capable of with deadlifts. I know they're my strongest lift, and I know my grip starts to get shaky around 160lbs, but that's it. Tonight, I lucked out. I started higher - 95lbs - and made bigger jumps, so I got up to 215 before I had to stop.

95, 125, 155, 195, 215. YES. 215lbs. I'm stupid excited about this.

(Check out Fran and Josh. Now THAT is some deadlifting.)

(Oh, and that 14? It's because I fell out of the same handstand TWICE in 20 seconds. Fail fail fail.)

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I think I'm addicted to Crossfit gymnastics.

See, I was a cheerleader from middle school through high school. I wanted to keep cheering in college, but I also wanted to have a job (I KNOW RIGHT? WHAT THE FUCK), soooo that was out. (seriously...COME ON. I was so stupid. To anyone debating a similar decision: you have, quite literally, the ENTIRE REST OF YOUR LIFE to work. You do NOT have the entire rest of your life to participate in organized sports/athletics and worry about getting to practice instead of getting to the restaurant for the night shift.)

Senior year of high school:

Anyway. My squad was OK - not great, but we had a lot of fun and we did some decent stuff. Stunting was, hands down, my favorite - I had a pretty strong stunt group. Second to that was jumps and tumbling. Junior and senior year, it was mandatory for us to take tumbling classes. I never really got my back handspring - probably because my abs were less-than-stellar - but I came pretty damn close, and I loved the shit out of roundoffs and handstands and front handsprings and all kinds of stuff like that. I mean, jumping around on a springfloor? Amazing.

So, once you quit cheerleading and DEFINITELY once you get out of college, your opportunities to do things like handstands and roundoffs are infrequent, at best. In fact, if I just ran out in the backyard at my dad's house and started doing what little tumbling I was able to master, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be invited back, and my family would be making fun of me for years.

But then you do something like join crossfit, and you realize that they have gymnastics-focused classes. Some of them are scary and things I am NOT good at (like rope climbs, muscle-ups and other ring work), but some of them are more tumbling-focused.

And for once, I was among the best in the class. Thursday, when we did roundoffs, Sammy asked if I had been a gymnast. HA. No, not so much - but WOW. It was easily the first time in ten years I'd done that kind of thing. And I forgot just how much fun it is to do goofy things like that.

(and also how it uses muscles in ways that you don't typically use them. I was feelin' it in my back and abs yesterday.)

This week's recaps:

Monday: turkish getups. 12kgx2-3; 16kg...2-3 fails and one success on the right; 2-3 fails on the left. was able to complete a TGU on the left, but my arm kept collapsing before i could get back down. metcon: "Hobbit Hole." AMRAP in 10 minutes of 1 TGU (both sides), 5 strict chest-t0-bar pullups. I used the 12kg KB and "average" band; completed 4 rounds + 2TGU. THIS WAS SO FUCKING HARD.

Tuesday: sumo deadlift, sets of 3. 75, 105, 135, 165, 175. metcon: 5 rounds for time, 10 american KB swings/10 pushups. I used the 1 pood (16kg) KB but I think I could have gone RX'ed at 1.5pood (24kg). Time was just under (or just over?) 5 minutes.

Thursday: gymnastics! bridge-ups, cartwheels, roundoffs. metcon: 5 rounds of short run (about .2 miles)/5 roundoff tuck jumps. Roundoff tuck jumps were beautiful. Run was UUUUUUGLY. Dead last in the metcon by a good 2 minutes.

Friday: front squat. My nemesis. Sets of three. warmup w/bar (45x5); 65, 85, 85, 95, 105, 115 (x2, failed on third rep). Blah. Metcon: 3 rounds of short run, for time, with 1:00 rest between. I really thought I'd kill this metcon, since it's what I like - short fast intervals with recovery - but HOLY SHIT it was hard. time (including 2:00 total rest) was 5:09.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


This week's training was a nice balance of "shit I'm good at" and "shit I'm not that good at."

Monday: turkish getup (12kg kettlebell; meh), 50 burpees for time (4:05 - meh)
Tuesday: conventional deadlift, set of three (95, 115, 125, 145, 165, 165 - getting heavier!); tabata box jumps (20# box, not that many jumps - I think 58)
Wednesday: broad jump (77.5" - not so hot); AMRAP in 10 minutes of 60' broad jump, 30 second handstand hold (7 rounds exactly)
Friday: front squat, set of three (75, 95, 105, 115 (failed on third), 85, 85); tabata squats (139)

Things I am decent at: deadlifts, tabata squats, handstand holds. Things I am not great at: broad jump, doing lots of burpees without resting in between, front squat. I suspect I'll be OK at turkish getups next time. But holy shit - between the (really ugly) box jumps and the (less ugly but it takes a million of them to get me 60') broad jumps and the (much better but still brutal) tabata squats, my quads are raging this week.

I'm hitting up my first gymnastics class today. We're scheduled to work on "rolls" (forward? backward? who knows - either way I'm going to have to work my ass off to stand up at the end instead of getting stuck) and freestanding handstands. Which I think I'll be okay at. I'm looking forward to starting to work on handstand pushups, because that seems like a pretty sweet party trick.

Yesterday, PhillyGuy and I trashed our old, sorry-looking shag rug and replaced it with this gorgeous silk oriental-style rug my mom gave us. That involved a lot of rearranging of furniture, and a lot of vacuuming.

The dogs don't really like when we move furniture around, and they REALLY don't trust the vacuum.

But they do like the rug.

It's a great surface for wrestling.

And taking a break.

I know it may be lame, but I love my little dogs.

Monday, August 1, 2011

F Burpees

I got to spend some quality time with my little girl this afternoon, since Sophie was due for her annual vet visit. We were both impressed with the summertime window display at the vet's office.

Which is nice, because today at CFCC was not pretty.

Skillwork: Turkish getups. 15 minutes to get to a peak of one.

This is a new move for me, so I focused mainly on form and didn't push the weight too much. I started with a shoe (ok, we ALL did), followed by a 10lb dumbbell, 20lb dumbbell and then a 12kg kettlebell (about 26.5 pounds). By the time I hit 12kg, my (weaker) left side started getting a little ugly, so I stayed there and did maybe 3 or 4 on each side. By the last set, I wasn't looking as bad. The surprisingly difficult part is keeping my arm straight and the bell overhead.

And then it was time for the metcon. 50 burpees for time. That sucked and I performed kind of lousy. I started out thinking I'd do 5 sets of 10. I did my first 12 in 33 seconds. I was at 20 within a minute. And then I started to really suffer, and I strung together five at a time...and rested WAY too long between sets. Total time was 4:05. Blah.

My quads were seizing up in the car (thank goodness PhillyGuy came to pick me up) and I felt like I was going to vomit. As soon as we got home I chugged a coconut water...and then chugged another. After about half an hour, I started to feel better.

All that from FOUR MINUTES of effort. And it wasn't even a particularly good effort, compared to the rest of the class - as you can see, only two people finished after me. Sometimes crossfit sucks. And sometimes I suck at crossfit. But it's going to feel damn good to get better.