Thursday 7/26 WOD at PCF and Yoga!

Strength:

  • Clean and Jerk 2-2-2-1-1-1: 80-80-80-85-85-90. YES. 90lb CLEAN AND JERK! Holy crap I will be so excited when I have another lift above 100lbs! I can’t even believe this line up, after only getting 85 up once last week and then failing! Progress is so great. I am so thrilled with my lifting performance today, and I didn’t even smash the bar on my sternum bone. My form and technique are improving, and it feels amazing. This shit works.

WOD: 11:54

3 Rounds for Time of:

  • Run 400m
  • 15 Thrusters35lbs.
  • Rest 1 Minute

WODs with programmed rest always sneak up and kick my butt. I think “oh, it won’t be too bad, I have a whole minute to rest between rounds!” Well, that minute goes by in a heartbeat, and all of a sudden it’s time to get going again, just as hard as before. I actually think I’m more beat up after workouts with programmed rest, because I push way harder right after the rest is finished, pretending that I’ve fully recovered from the previous round, when I’m really still just as exhausted. This WOD actually ended up being really disappointing for me. I was all high on my horse feeling amazing from the c&js, and then this crushed me. I sprinted the first 400m, and then couldn’t even do 5 unbroken thrusters at 42lbs, which was the Level 1 weight. My legs were complete jello. Oh, in case you aren’t in the Northern Virginia area, it was 102 degrees outside today. I have a hard time running in general, but in the heat it’s just plain sad. I had to drop down to the 35lb bar, which still absolutely destroyed me. I was one of the last few to finish, but I finished strong. This WOD sucked and definitely reminded me how much further I have to go in my fitness journey.

Finisher:

  • Yoga with Tyler!

We went and did a yoga class at Tyler’s gym directly after I got home from Crossfit. I had just enough time to jump in a freezing cold shower to rinse off and cool down, and then we were out the door. I swear, during the first 10 minutes I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it the whole time. My shoulders and quads were screaming at me, and at one point I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get out of a stretch without hurting myself. It was so so so great to get back into a yoga class though, even though I felt like crap from having just been beaten at Crossfit. I hope that once the weather gets a little cooler I can get back into doing more hot yoga again. But holy crow am I sore already from this day.

Wednesday 7/25 WOD at PCF

Today has been crazy! I went to class, came home just long enough to take my Ladydog for a walk, and literally sprinted to get my hair brightened up. Sprinted back, straight to my car at 4:15 and went right to Crossfit with my hair still semi-wet because we didn’t have time for a full blow-dry without making me late. Then, when I got there, our initial warmup was a 400m run. A 400m run usually leaves me breathing kind of heavily and my legs semi-fatigued. Needless to say, I am not a runner. For the first time ever today I ran the whole thing paying attention to proper barefoot-running technique, and wasn’t winded even in the slightest. I know that sounds silly because it’s only 400m, but it really was a super great mini-moment for me. Today was full of those.

Strength:

  • Strict Press 3-3-3-3-3 (add 2.5-5lbs from last week): 55-55-55-55(f)-52.5-52.5. I reallllly thought I’d be able to push up 5lbs from last week, with all of the shoulder work we’ve been doing. But I could only successfully get 3 rounds of 3 reps at 55. But I’m super happy I did it that much, considering last week I couldn’t even get it overhead. Progress is awesome! Mini-moment number two.

WOD: 131 reps or 7round + 5reps

3 Rounds for Reps of:

AMRAP 3 minutes:

So much sweat.

Aw yeah, all Level 2 today. So proud again! Mini-moment number 3! I’m able to do more at Level 2 as the weeks progress, fighting upwards towards that Rx line that just seems so incredibly out of reach. But I’m getting there. I’m getting more confident with my olympic lifts, and trying to go heavier in the WODs. I know I can easily do 125lb deadlifts 5+ times, so that was an easy choice; I did 25lb DB ground-to-overheads a few days ago, so I knew it was possible but would probably suck; and I like box jumps, so that was no issue. The push presses were by far the limiting factor (limfac, for future references) and slowed me down so much. Probably would have been able to do an extra round each 3 minute AMRAP if I had dropped down to 20s, but the 25lbs felt nice and difficult, and are going to leave me pleasantly sore tomorrow. Speaking of running and tomorrow, tomorrow’s WOD is running and thrusters, and I’m already mentally preparing myself for how much death that’s going to inflict on me. Woo, Crossfit.

I promise one of these weeks I’ll get around to getting some new full-body pictures up. I feel like my body composition has drastically changed over the last month, let alone the past 6 months. Tough Mudder is only 6 weeks out, and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m actually prepared to make that obstacle course my bitch.

Typical Crossfit Questions

I talk about Crossfit a lot. Whenever it comes up in conversation with someone who has never tried it, I can almost guarantee that a certain slew of questions will come rapid-fire, and I’ve done my best to prepare educated responses, in order to quickly and efficiently get the message across of what Crossfit is all about, before the person loses interest or just flat-out decides that I’m full of beans. These are the questions, with my explanation that I try to give. I hope this will help at least someone feel more comfortable about taking the step to give Crossfit a try!

  1. Isn’t Crossfit hard? Yes! Crossfit is hard! Do you know what else is hard? Remembering to drink enough water every day. Having to work and having a job. Remembering to do your laundry before you run out of underwear. Putting yourself into new social situations to meet people. We do these things because they will advance us to a position more favorable in our own eyes. Be the motivation hydration, money, clean undies, a boyfriend/girlfriend or other, there is a drive that makes us follow through with everything in our lives. For me, the drive is there for working out. I feel better, sleep better, eat better, look better, study better, take care of myself better, and move better when I’m going to Crossfit regularly. Why would I not want to do it?! Because it’s hard? Hard is relative. And let’s be serious, it is one hour of intense working out, that’s it, and all of a sudden I feel like a goddess.
  2. Can I do the workouts at home/my gym/without going to Crossfit? Eeeehhhhh. It’s not as easy as a black and white answer. You cando them on your own, but that doesn’t mean that you should. There are lots of reasons for this: A. You don’t have someone monitoring your form and making sure that you’re not on the road to injuring yourself. B. You might miss the point of the workout without getting the proper instruction (ie. go fast and light, slow and heavy, some mix of the two, etc.). C. You push yourself WAY harder when you are in the group workout. You may think that you can push yourself hard enough, but I swear to you, you have way more in you than you think. It’s amazing. D. Access to proper CF equipment/space is not always available at all gyms. E. Crossfit is really about community. You miss that entire aspect if you’re doing it at home. You meet people on the same journey as you and they hold you accountable for your workouts, and you start to feel guilty if you skip out on one because it’s “too hard,” and they will probably give you shit about it (nicely, of course!). F. See number 5 where I talk about how amazing the coaches are. I could go on and on and ON about why it’s better to train at a box. But those are my main reasons.
  3. Do I have to join a Crossfit box with a membership? No, but most Crossfit programs say that in order to really get the benefits you should be attending no less than 3 times a week. Almost all boxes will let you drop-in (provided you have completed a foundations class…and some extra cash), and offer different monthly packages depending on how many times your schedule will allow you to attend, and those are always cheaper than paying for 3 drop-ins a week for 4 weeks.
  4. Don’t you feel weird working out around so many people who could be watching you? At first it was very intimidating. And then I realized that everyone is so focused on their own workouts that no one pays attention to anyone else, except maybe to chat with their friends. I don’t feel like a piece of meat when I walk into a box (which is 120% how I feel going into normal gyms, especially when working on olympic lifts), I feel like a female about to rock the shit out of whatever WOD is programmed for the day.
  5. Isn’t it expensive? Personal training is expensive, right? That’s essentially what you’re getting at Crossfit. The trainers/coaches get to know you, everyone introduces themselves if they don’t recognize you, they remember your past injuries, work around current soreness/tightness/issues, and are a bottomless information source. They see when you’re struggling and come and coach you through when you need it. They’re the most attentive trainers on Earth. I’ve worked individually with trainers who I would classify as extremely inattentive, especially compared to those I’ve had at every Crossfit location I’ve been to. You truly get what you pay for.
  6. More-so a comment than a question: I could never do that!/I’m not strong enough for that! Really?! Because I think that is a big load of excusescrap! I couldn’t do a push-up, a pull-up, or run half a mile without walking when I started. Most people are in the same boat. Everyone can do it. It’s scaleable. That’s how they are able to have a Masters category at the Crossfit Games for people 60+ years old! You start slow, you start light, you start where you’re comfortable. Fitness isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon, and so is Crossfit, and that’s what is so wonderful about it.
  7. How do I sign up!?! Go to CrossfitHQ’s website and search for affiliates in your area. Contact them and see what their options for newcomers are. Most of them will offer a free class or allow you to drop into a WOD, and they will coach you along and give you all the necessary information for completing it within your fitness level. Check out a few, if there is more than one option in your area. Then, sign up for their foundations or beginners course, start going, and show up to some WODs! Now get off your butt and take the first step!!!

You Guessed It, Friday the 13th WOD at WSC

This morning I checked Patriot Crossfit’s WOD, and it was one I REALLY wanted to do. The whole day I was thinking about it, and on the way home I decided that I would haul ass to Patriot to do it at 7:30. When I got home (at 7pm), changed, and went to sign up online, I realized that Patriot’s 7:30pm WODs are only Monday-Thursday!! Tyler was planning on heading to his gym tonight anyway, so I signed up for a trial at his gym just so I could do this WOD. That’s dedication!!

Strength:

  • Row 500m for time: 2:05. Used this as a warm-up, kept getting distracted. I’m hoping to get down to an even 2 minutes at some point.
  • Clean and Jerk 2-2-1-1-1-1: I misread this on the website and thought it was 3-2-1-1-1. Oops! 55-65-70-75-80, which is a whole 20lbs heavier that I c&j’d while in North Carolina. Felt strong and steady the entire time, and felt like I could have done another single at 85lbs if I had been at a proper box and able to drop the weight from the top.

WOD:

12-Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible): 10+10 (10rounds+10reps, so 10 full rounds+5 deadlifts+5push-ups

This was between Level I and Level II. It felt freaking GREAT to be able to do the Toes-to-Bar! And almost every round they were unbroken. I still need to get my kipping down better for them, but I did them still!!! Usually I do a variation of knees-to-elbows or knees-to-armpits (which are exactly how they sound in relation to the TTB movement), but since Level II was just taking down the volume of reps, I decided to try it, since I knew I could do a few in a row. The deadlifts were cake (probably should have gone 15-20lbs heavier), the push-ups got old REALLY fast, and the TTBs were invigorating. I also did a “Finisher” (a workout after a workout)
Okay guys, now I’m actually going to take two whole rest days to study, go up to Baltimore, and catch up on streaming the Crossfit Games. But I can say that something woke up inside of me this week. I’ve been committed to my health and fitness for a really long time now, but for some reason this week something just clicked. I am strong enough to do Crossfit freaking FOUR days in a row. I can push myself beyond my previous limits to find new ones. I do have the discipline to work out five days in a row, Mon-Fri. I feel like I kind of always knew I was capable of this, but it just took actually sucking it up and doing it in order to truly convince myself that it is possible to be as active and dedicated as I have always wished I could be. Can I get a hell yes? Hell. Yes.

Thursday 7/12 WOD at PCF

Today was SO AWESOME. This is my third day in a row of Crossfit, and fourth day in a row of exercise with dance class on Monday. I feel AMAZING! Let me preface this WOD post with some background info. The Crossfit box in Arlington that I normally go to, Patriot Crossfit, presents their WODs in a unique way. They have the Rx version, which are the weights/reps that the elite-elite use; presumably the very experienced CFer, who shows up 5 days a week at least, and are complete beasts. Then there are two scaled levels, Level II and Level I. Level II is for those who can’t quite do the Rx weights or reps, but who are making their way up the fitness ladder; I’d say probably after 6-10 months of showing up at least 3 times a week consistently you’d be able to do the Level IIs, depending on the starting level. And then there’s Level I, for the newer CFers or those who aren’t quite as strong. If you click on the link above you can check out what I mean.

I’ve found myself doing Level I more often than not…until this week!!!! On Tuesday I did a pretty even mishmash of Level I/II; Wednesday, I only used the Level I weight for the push presses, Level II reps, Level II weight/KB swing height (35lbs and American swing); lo and behold, today I did my first workout COMPLETELY in Level II, even with this being my 3rd day in a row and being pretty sore/worn out!!! I am so damn proud of this accomplishment. I’m sure next week there will be something that crushes me back down into the land of Level I, but I am so happy that I was able to round out this week with such an accomplishment. And guess what? On top of all of that, I did unassisted pull-ups in the WOD. UNASSISTED. PULL-UPS. Bold, italicized, and yelling. Happiest in the world.

Strength:

  • Snatch 3-2-1-1-1: 35-37-42-47-47. Ughghgh the snatch. I started with squat snatches and quickly moved to power snatches. I’m not confident enough dropping low under the bar and catching it overhead yet. I picked up some good tips from a new friend, and we watched each other and pointed out form issues. It really helped, and gave me the proper time to recover between lift attempts. I started with the 35lb bar but backed down in order to get some more work on form, and then went up from there, thus the weird numbers. I did 10lbs more on my hang power snatch about a month ago, but I’m not sure which you’re supposed to be able to do more weight with. I have a hard time when the pull is from the ground. I really need to work on that, and also stop thinking so much while trying to lift!

WOD:

7-Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible): 5+0 (meaning I completed exactly 5 rounds. Had I done 5 rounds and 2 wall balls of the 6th round, it would be 5+2)

  • 7 10ft WallBalls8lb ball
  • 4 Pull-ups: Unassisted!!! Emphasizing again haha.
  • 7 Burpees: notice, chest makes contact with floor every rep.

Rx was a 14lb ball to 10ft, and 7 reps for pull-ups instead of 4. So happy with my performance. I completley forgot to switch my grip up as I got tired, so I need to try to remember that to save time next time there’s pull-ups! Some of my wallballs barely made the 10ft mark, and a few pull-ups my chin just barely made it to bar level, but damnit, I still did it and was honest in my reps and repeated those that needed it!

And the Games Begin!

I absolutely meant to write about this in my Crossfit post yesterday, but forgot somewhere in the thick of things. I spent the evening listening to the radio broadcast of the first section of the Crossfit Games, phoned in live from Camp Pendleton. In the beginning of the Games last year, they announced that the first workout would include swimming in the Pacific Ocean, something that had never been done before in Crossfit Games history, and isn’t something usually practiced in Crossfit itself. Everyone (and by everyone I really just mean me) was all aflutter about what the secret game-changer for the opening of the Games this year would be. All of the competitors gathered in Los Angeles, CA on Monday to start registration and get ready for the games to start on the 13th…or so they thought.

The folks at Crossfit love curveballs. It’s all about pushing your own limits, and the bar for the title of “the fittest man/woman in the world” is raised higher and higher each year. Well, on Monday night during the welcome dinner, Dave Castro, the Director of Training at Crossfit HQ, dropped THIS BOMB. Yes, it deserves internet yelling. It’s really long and I know most people won’t want to read it, so here’s the breakdown:

  1. Just kidding guys! We’re starting the games this Wednesday! Yes, the day after tomorrow! Get pumped!
  2. You all get a super sweet single speed mountain bike! Buttttt you’re going to ride it over 8 kilometers of undulating terrain and super loose soft sand.
  3. But before all of that, you are going to swim in the ocean for 700 meters.
  4. And then you’re going to run 11.3 kilometers with a 427-meter overall elevation gain.
  5. Oh yeah, and all of this is on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, so you know it’s going to kick you in your derriere.

So obviously, everyone flipped their shit. But wait! There’s more!

  • After only about an hour of rest from that first world of hurt, you’re going to compete in the Camp Pendleton School of Infantry Obstacle Course, in an elimination-style, head-to-head bracket race tournament. You better win your bracket or else your score will be effed up, y’all. Remember, this is a Marine Base Obstacle Course, none of that playground horseshit.
  • Don’t worry though, we scheduled a day of rest today for you guys, for the first time ever in Crossfit Games history. And then, as you know, the Games are back in business tomorrow, Friday the 13th, and will continue until Sunday evening.
Yes, there’s more! Read on to see where and how you can watch/listen to the Games, and how all of this relates to another reason why I absolutely freaking love Crossfit.

Wednesday 7/11 WOD at PCF

By the way, definitely had 7.11oz of free slurpee today in honor of 7/11. It was an awesome cheat and I have no regrets. I’ve eaten very well for the day/week and went to Crossfit today, so I’m not worried about it at all, and am actually happy I indulged. Take that, world! As long as it doesn’t become a habit, I am all about wisely-programmed cheattreats and rewards. In the wise words of Christmas Abbott: “I have to have my reward.  If I eat well all week, I get my cupcake on Friday.  That is how I operate.” Love it!

Strength:

  • Strict Press 5-5-5-5: 35-45-50(4)-50(3)-45. Lucky me, two days in a row of strength movements I strongly dislike! I could not get up to 5 reps at 50lbs. My shoulders are so gassed from yesterday’s push presses and single arm snatches, so I’m hoping next week to get 50 up and maybe even 55. Ambitious, but definitely possible!

WOD: 11:17

21-18-15-12-9 for time of:

Have I explained that kind of WOD yet? It’s usually “21-15-9” but someone accidentally-on-purpose added an extra 18+12 reps in there. You start with the first movement, KB swings in this case, and do 21 reps. Then move to the second, air squats, and do 21 reps. Finish with 21 reps of the push press. Then, you move back to the KB swings and do 18 reps, 18 air squats, 18 push presses, and keep going until you’ve done the last set of 9 reps of each.
Or, if you’re awesome like me and totally can’t keep track of your shit during a workout, you end up doing the 12 round twice. Yes, I did that. I didn’t realize it until the very end of the push presses when I realized “hey, last round I did two sets of 6 also..and 12 KBs..and 12 air squats..SHIT.” But I really wanted to finish out by doing the 9 round, so I just went for it and decided that the extra round wouldn’t kill me. And it didn’t, yay!
The KB swings were awesome and I did every set unbroken, all to full extension. The air squats were air squats and I really focused on not letting my knees buckle in towards the center when I got tired, which is a really bad habit I have that gave me knee pain last time I did them (none from today, yay again!). The push presses felt really easy throughout the workout, mainly because I was really driving the weight up super hard every time, but now my traps and shoulders are smokedddd. I think I could have added another 5lbs, but right as I had that thought the clock started. Great workout and hoping I won’t be too sore to go tomorrow as well. 
Bonus! Post-WOD sweatyface!

Tuesday 7/10 WOD at PCF

Do you guys all love my lack of writing?! Of course, when I first launched this on Friday, I wasn’t expecting to spend most of Saturday-Monday in a complete meltdown from school-induced stress. But I’m back and stronger than ever! It takes more than one class to bring me down!!…I think/hope.

Anyway, to recap over the past two days fitness-wise, I had dance class yesterday and Crossfit today. I took pictures at dance last night, so expect to see some pictures either tonight or tomorrow evening, depending on how my studying schedule pans out. My hands have been stickier than normal, which is awesome, but my body has been less-so, so I’ve been having a really hard time with any moves that require body stick; unfortunately that includes pretty much anything that I want to be working on. I was planning on going for a run with Tyler this morning, but my back felt wonky after dance and I woke up with it slightly sore, so knowing I was heading to Crossfit later I decided to pass. Crossfit today was awesomely awful. Are you ready for this?

Strength:

  • Snatch High Pull 3-3-3-3: 70-75-75-75. These are awful. I feel like my form is so bad that it keeps me from being able to do more weight. I hate the basic snatch lift and any form of it, so I tend to avoid it when I’m working on my own lifting. I need to stop that, because I’m really awful and haven’t progressed with this lift as much as I should. When you hate something, you do less of it on your own time. Usually you hate it because you’re bad at it. Therefore, you never get good at it, and hate it more. I need to break this cycle!!

WOD for Time: 14:44

I’m putting the explanation for it behind a break because the write-out of it is long and awful, even though it wasn’t the most grueling workout.

Continue reading

Self-WOD, Beach Style.

I am currently vacationing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina for 10 days. Thankfully, the last time I was down here I decided on a whim to search for a crossfit gym in this area, and came up with Crossfit Carteret in Beaufort, NC. I am planning on writing up a detailed review of their gym after this trip, but every experience I have had with them since has been amazing.

They are closed on Sundays and I couldn’t make it in yesterday morning, so I decided to create a little somethin’-somethin’ using bodyweight exercises that I could do in the driveway area of where I’m staying. Here is what I came up with:

5 Rounds for Time of:

  • 30 Double Unders (exactly like jumping rope as a child, except the rope goes around twice for every one jump)
  • 20 Air Squats (hips must go below the crease of the knees; no assistance from arms to stand up)
  • 10 Jumping Lunges (5 on each leg, technically)
  • 5 Strict Push-Ups (chest must make full contact with the ground before pushing back up)
  • 1 150m Sprint (I use RunningMap to plan out the distances for all of my runs)

I didn’t think this would be all that bad. It was. The jumprope went rogue on the third round and I ended up whipping myself across the eye and cheekbone (didn’t even know that was possible), it was 89 degrees with no breeze and humid as all hell from the storm that passed through last night, and I was working out alone. These three factors all definitely impacted my results, but I finished in 19:50, and did all 25 of the push-ups in standard plank form instead of from my knees, which was actually my first time doing that in a WOD. I’m a pull-er, not a push-er, gimme a break. I am looking forward to trying this again in a month or so and seeing the difference!

Anyway, this was a pretty awesome workout. It just goes to show that even armed with nothing other than your cellphone and a jump rope you can still get a great workout in. Give it a go, try to beat my time, and let me know how you do!