Easing back in

Posted in kettle bells, knees-to-elbows, snatches on October 21, 2014 by coughingsparks

I think I may have uncovered the secret to not having shoulder pain while returning the bar behind the back of the neck. Today’s complex was, for load:

-Snatch push press
-Snatch balance

I got 95×3, and the trick was to do a narrow grip for the push press, let the bar back, widen the grip, and then do the snatch balance and the overhead squat, and then dump the bar forward. This is the only way to save my shoulders and with a narrower grip, the return becomes less tweaky, not completely tweak-free, but better.

The WoD was 10-minute AMRAP:

-10 KB snatch left (24kg/16kg)
-10 wall ball sit-ups (20#/14#)
-10 KB snatch right
-10 TTB

I got 4 rounds, 2, which is pretty much par for the course. The snatch got difficult because there were just so very many of them, even though I’m not bad at them. I definitely did not get into a great rhythm. The TTB went about how one might expect. I wasn’t able to string any today, but I did do the first set without coming off the bar, so that’s something.

And when she was good…

Posted in back squats, burpees, competition, dead lifts, knees-to-elbows, rowing on October 19, 2014 by coughingsparks

…she was very, very good; and when she was bad, she was horrid.

Yesterday was the Festivus Games. I won 2/3rds of it, but actually 7th overall, which is a bit of a bummer because I was edged out of the final WoD by one place. For the first WoD, the 2K Row, I PR’d and won by 21 seconds at 7:26. I did between 1:50 and 1:55 for the first 1500 and then just put the hammer down for the last 500m, red-lining it all the way to the finish. It was a good strategy, but difficult in the beginning to reign it in and actually force myself to slow down. But I’ve done it before, and I know it works and yesterday was no different.

But I sold my soul to the Devil to get a sub-7:30 2K. When I was done, I could barely climb off the rower. I was staggering, literally. Before WoD 2, I did a few air squats and thought, uh-oh. WoD 2 was never going to be my WoD (10-minute AMRAP of 50 OTB burpees, 30 back squats 95#/65# and 10 TTB), as there were absolutely no movements in it that 1.) I’m good at or 2.) I like. But even then, the row caught up quickly and by the second set of burpees I knew I was pretty well fucked. I took 22nd place at 125, which was the death knell to making it into the final, no matter what I did on the third.

The third WoD, the 5RM DL, I PR’d again, by 10#, getting 245# and winning that event as well. Not making it to the mystery WoD was a bit ambivalent for me. On one hand, I really, really didn’t want to do a fourth WoD. On the other hand, my heart sank when I saw them carrying out the kettlebells and barbells. It ended up being 21-15-9 thrusters (95#/65#) and Russian KB swings. I would have done well at that, even tired.

In the end, I did what I set out to do: to win WoDs 1 and 3. Podium would have been nice but I really can’t be too upset about winning 2/3rd of it.

That’s how it starts

Posted in cleans, gwod, knees-to-elbows, pull-ups, rowing on October 16, 2014 by coughingsparks

Yesterday seems like a long time ago. Let’s see. We started with 8-8-7-6-5 CTB strict push-ups using green band. Finished with AMRAP 13 minutes:

-3 squat cleans at 75%
-12 TTB
-400m run (500m row)

I got 3 rounds exactly, using 110#. I had another one of those magical days where I was able to string 3 and 2 TTB. It is a LOT slower than the usual one, swing, two, swing, swing, three. Believe it or not. It was like when I changed how I was doing burpees correctly and those started slower also. I’m not sure what the crap I’m going to do on Saturday, when I have to do them in competition. I’m not looking forward to WoD 2, and I will need some sort of TTB strategy. But there was a day, not long ago, when I simply couldn’t string them at all.

I feel like I need some sort of gymnastics focus. I had a dream the other night that Crossfit had an Open that was had a focus on gymnastics only and I took 11th place worldwide. And Coach didn’t congratulate me, just said I wasn’t allowed to complain at being bad at gymnastics any more. We do a fair amount of gymnastics at CFP and that’s all well and good, but one can hardly specialize in that one thing as a gym, or in any one thing if one is going to call themselves “Crossfit.”

Also, Carl Paoli is a genius. I typed “gymnast” at first, which is also true, but really, he’s a genius. His $295 one-day seminar is worth every penny. However, GWOD is really, really advanced and there’s not a baby version of it, despite his comprehensive library of progressions. There is not a practical, here’s-what-you-go-every-day or every week to get to that point. The push-up/pull-up progression has value in terms of strength (which is 90% of the problem in my case). They are good reference material, but that’s about it.

There are only three big movements in Crossfit that I can’t do AT ALL, and they are all gymnastics-based: the pistol, the muscle up, the handstand push-up. I mean, I’m not even close. And I never will be unless I start working towards that. This is motivated by 1.) the fact that I have improved dramatically with good coaching/applying myself on the kipping pull-up and 2.) TTB and 3.) the dream stuck with me. Complaining about the body God gave me as it applies to gymnastics is counter-productive. Also, I have advantages that a lot of tall people don’t have: I AM comfortable going upside down. I can do a one-arm handstand. I can do 6 strict pull-ups. I can do 2 strict CTB pull-ups. I can do a skin the cat on the rings. I can do a jumping bar muscle-up.

So more. More, more, more.

Now give me my damned rower.

Don’t bend that way

Posted in burpees, double unders, push press, snatches on October 14, 2014 by coughingsparks

So, I can’t return behind the neck in a snatch grip. No matter what I do, no matter how far behind or how far forward I am. It cannot happen without really horrible feelings in my shoulders. Today was no different. We had 10 minutes of 3×5 snatch grip behind-the-neck push press followed by 10 minutes of power snatch balance. For the first I got:

-85×5 (bear complexing every m-fing rep)
-95×5 (again with the bear complex each time, exhausting)

For the snatch balance I got:

-65×3 (by now I had shoulder pain and a splitting headache)
-75×1 (and then four more OHS because I didn’t want to completely waste my time)
-85×1 (+4)
-95×1 (+4)

I still have a headache after ibuprofen and food and water and hours of rest. Finished with a sorta OK WoD, 4 RFT:

-10 push press (115#/85#)
-10 OTB burpees (again? WHY??)
-30 DU

15 minute time cap

It was a mixed bag. I got the push press unbroken, which was awesome. The OTB burpees were death, like always. I had an OK time with DU, with runs of up to 20. But my last round was broken up into, like, 10, unfortunately. In any case, I got 11:48.


In other news, I’ve registered for the Festivus Games next weeked. I wasn’t going to but, BUT. The first WoD is a 2K row. How am I supposed to say no to that. The second WoD is AMRAP 10 minutes 30 OTB burpees, 30 back squat (95#/65#…weird), 10 TTB. That will probably not be great, but, BUT. The third WoD is 5RM DL. So, I gotta try…

Back squat PR…wha???

Posted in back squats, pull-ups, running, wall ball on October 13, 2014 by coughingsparks

Today started with a 5RM back squat, which was:


That last one was a 10# PR for sure, which is strange as I almost never PR in any sort of squat. I was later asked if it was strength or technique. I don’t know. But I’ll take it.

Finished with AMRAP 7 minutes:

-7 CTB pull-ups
-14 wall balls (20#/14#)
-200′ driveway sprint

I did regular pull-ups and got 4 rounds, 1 and even though I didn’t do CTB, I had some really good runs of, like, 5 pull-ups, which is really good for me, so it ended up being a decent WoD, in the end.

A long row

Posted in rowing, snatches on October 13, 2014 by coughingsparks

Saturday resulted in a miscommunication between all the CFP coaches and no one showing up for about 27 minutes. We warmed ourselves up in the parking lot and were about to do a made-up WoD using running and the outdoor rig, but then Coach Matt showed up (thank you!) and opened the door. Which only left us time for the WoD, but no skill work (1RM snatch balance with good technique). The WoD was 3RFT:

-20 snatch (95#/65#)
-600m row (800m row)

This was the first time they prescribed the row and I knew I would be the last one done because there are days I can barely tie with an even-Steven row, much less 125%, and this was even more. I was right, coming in at 18:54. I was having an off day too though, breaking up the snatch way too much and rowing a slow pace on the 2nd round, so who knows?

The Quiet Game

Posted in burpees, dead lifts on October 10, 2014 by coughingsparks

Today was a maintenance dead lift, EOMOM 10 minutes:

-2 DL at 80%

I did it at 220#, and also did the negatives with control, as requested by coaching staff. The way to do it is to pretend you’re going to pull a third rep, and then don’t, or as I like to call it, the Quiet Game, see how quietly you can set the barbell down.

The WoD was 8-minute AMRAP:

-20 DL (185#/125#)
-10 OTB burpees
-20 air squats
-10 OTB burpees

OTB burpees feel like an insult somehow, like I already did a burpee, why must I now jump OVER the bar. In any case, it didn’t go particularly well, not even 2 rounds: 1 round 56.


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