Wednesday 8/22 WOD at PCF

Strength:

  • Strict Press 3-3-3-3-3: 55-55-60(f)-57.5(f)-55-55-55. Damn you, strict press!! Couldn’t budge from 55, no matter how much I tried. But, I did manage to do my full working set of 5×3 at 55lbs, which was better than the last time I did this rep scheme 3 weeks ago. I was able to press 55lbs 3 times for 3 sets, but failed on the fourth and had to back down for the last two. So I can’t complain too much! My lifting partner, who I’ve partnered up consistently with on Wednesdays for about a month now, gave me some really important advice on my form and it clicked and definitely helped in the last two sets. So happy. She also PR’d her press, which was awesome.

WOD for Time: 8:47

3 Rounds of:

Nerdiest of gun shows. Awww yis.

Again, hanging tough with the big boys/girls! All ring dips were unbroken, which means I probably should have used a little less assistance, but my shoulders/triceps/lats/chest are so freaking sore from yesterday’s ring dips and KB swings! My air squats were all unbroken, and almost felt like active rest. The double unders made me do a happy dance at the end of the WOD. I strung together more than I ever have before in all three rounds, with one set going something along the lines of 1-33-26. So awesome. All three rounds I only broke the sets into 3, which is great. Progress!!! So awesome! I have a long way until I can do full ring dips, especially since they’re a pushing motion and I’m awful at that, but I am definitely getting so much stronger.

At the end of this month, I will be signing up for Patriot’s monthly membership again. I have high hopes that I will be able to keep this up during the semester, improving my fitness, and my wallet from not having to pay the drop-in rate every time!

Also, as an end note, I’d like to copy-and-paste some wisdom from the owner of Patriot Crossfit, Brian, who had an amazing blog post today about thinking of Crossfit/nutrition/sleep as chores versus thinking of them as fun and play time. Read on after the jump!

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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.

Tuesday 7/24 WOD at PCF

I think I am going to go ahead and blame the past few days (and probably the following few as well) on my womanhood. I’m exhausted beyond words, even though I’m still getting about 9 hours of sleep every night, have an overall blah feeling and mentality, and I gave into temptation and ate about 3/4 of a cup of steamed rice today, which I immediately and still regret. I got home from class and tried to study, ended up falling asleep face down in my notebook, and woke up just long enough to set my alarm for an hour, when I had to leave for Crossfit. Even though I feel crappy, the important thing is that I got into the box and worked my ass off.

Strength:

EMOTM for 10 Minutes of

  • 1 Hang Squat Snatch (about 60-70% of 1rep max): 32lbs. Should have gone heavier (I’m sensing a trend with these EMOTM volume trainings…note to self GO HEAVIER than you think you should go!!!!) but I haven’t worked my squat snatch in months and have no idea what my 1rep max is.
  • 1 Overhead Squat32lbs. Same as above, but replace “squat snatch” with “overhead squat.” I felt strong and steady the whole way through, but could have done more.
  • 4 Toes-to-Bar: Unbroken. Still need to work on getting these strung together with a kip and less swinging at the bottom.

I definitely could have gone heavier, but looking back, I think it would have worn me out before the metcon. 45lbs would probably have been safe, but eh, can’t change it now. The hang squat snatch and OHS look like this when put together (except we only did one OHS, whereas this guy does three).

WOD: 8:07

21-15-9

I really enjoyed this one. The metcons recently all seem to have these three movements in them somehow, which is totally awesome because I desperately want to improve on all three. My hands got sweaty from the ring dips (which are getting way better, but still far from being unassisted) and I kept worrying I was going to launch the kettlebell at the woman in front of me, so I broke up the 15 and 9 sets to re-grip halfway through. The wallballs felt like I was shooting the ball as absolutely high and hard as I could, but still barely made the 10ft target each rep. I think maybe a total of 5 were at about 9ft, but that was close enough for me today.

Honestly, I’m just glad that I even made it in there. I didn’t go heavy enough on the hang squat snatch/OHS compound, I wasn’t extremely strict on the target height for my wallballs, and I couldn’t do all of my kettlebel swings unbroken, but gawtdamit, I got into the box and I worked out and that is more than I used to be able to say when I’d PMS in the past.

I also had the absolute honor of working out next to Erika, my favorite trainer in the world. Erika is about a million weeks pregnant now, and is still completely crushing WODs. Her kettlebell swings were 53lbs, unassisted ring dips, and 14lb wallballs. The woman is a complete power house, even while being pregnant. Seriously, if there was a strategically-placed tree branch or something in front of her midsection, you would NEVER be able to tell that she is a million months pregnant. It is so inspiring to watch her give it her all, and still dominate the WODs Rx’d. If I can get to the point where my performance is half as impressive as hers while she’s freaking pregnant, I will be the happiest lady in all the land. One day at a time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Wednesday 7/18 WOD at PCF

I am already so sore from this WOD! I pushed myself pretty hard, and definitely am feeling it in my legs, butt, and shoulders. So great! Tomorrow is all sprint rowing, so I’m looking forward to that as well. Looking forward to rowing?! Who am I? I used to hate it, but my form has improved so much and I’m actually pretty into it lately. I might try it on a higher resistance setting tomorrow.

Strength:

  • Strict Press 3-3-3-3-3 (about 90% of 1rep-max weight for all 5 working sets): 55(fail)-50-50-50-50-50. My press is getting better, despite the numbers not going up too much. Really wanted to have 55lbs be my working set weight, but just couldn’t make it happen. 50lbs felt great until the second to last round, and I have no idea how I got the weight over head on the last rep, but somehow I did. Then the last round was strong and steady again.

WOD: 8:40

4 Rounds for Time of:

This workout was a real bitch. I did all of the wallballs unbroken except for that one time the ball almost hit me in the face, and in the last round it slipped out of my hands at the bottom of the squat. The ring dips were all unbroken except for the last round when I felt like my shoulders were going to fall off. And I found some super power with the hang power snatch, and they felt really great. I tore my hand yesterday on the toes-to-bar, and it was KILLING ME doing them unbroken. The first two rounds were unbroken, the third was 2&3, and the last was 3&2. I didn’t want it to tear worse and my tape had slipped off, so I was probably more concerned about my hand throughout this than I should have been. I also had a clicking moment in the first round where the hang power snatches felt reallllly heavy. I decided to just jump with my hips as hard as I could, and all of a sudden it was as if I was lifting no weight! That’s one of the fundamental things to olympic lifting, jumping with your hips for power, but for some reason it really clicked when I got angry and aggressive over the weight feeling almost too heavy. It was awesome!

Tuesday 7/17 WOD at PCF, and the Importance of Sleep!

Man, it’s been a long day. I haven’t been able to get into bed before 11 since last Wednesday night and it’s really taking its toll on me. I attribute so much of my fitness success to my 8+ hours of sleep a night, so much so that I’m ashamed I haven’t written about it yet. Maybe now is a good time. I never ever EVER feel well-rested, no matter how much sleep I get. I could sleep for 14 hours, wake up, have a bite to eat, and immediately go right back to sleep. I literally cannot remember a single time where I woke up and didn’t feel tired, or a day where I didn’t think about/have to keep myself from napping. Most of this is due to my thyroid issues and Lyme Disease, both of which cause immense fatigue, exhaustion, and insomnia, all things I experience regularly. I mainly have it under control lately, and for the first time in my life am not napping 4-5 times a week, and I 100% have Tyler to thank for this…Except for the occasional Saturday, where I will wake up, have a little breakfast, migrate to the couch, and go back to sleep for 3 hours. Shhhh. Saturdays don’t count.

When we moved in together, he was waking up way earlier than I was in order to commute in to school or work, so he started trying to be in bed and almost asleep by 10pm. I didn’t want to just sit awake and alone on the couch surfing the internet, so I decided to start going to bed with him. And holy crap, all of a sudden I started being able to workout, cook meals, go on long walks, do homework, read, and more, all without wanting to go into a 24hr coma immediately. We’ve been more lax over the summer since we both wake up a little later and have less demanding schedules, so the bedtime has been unofficially pushed to 10:30-11pm. We sound like old farts, but he gets up and runs or goes to the gym in the morning before work, and I go straight to school for 4 hours and then to Crossfit or dance class. We are active people, and I would never be able to be this active if we hadn’t started going to sleep earlier. I still have to take naps here and there, but not nearly as often. I hope one day I will experience what it feels like to wake up in the morning and feel ready for the day, because even with so much sleep it still takes 3+ alarms and Tyler’s help to get me out of bed most days. Crossfit and dance definitely help. I feel so much better on the days when I get more exercise, and sleep like a rock!

Moral of the story is get more sleep so you can get more exercise. Get more exercise so you will get more sleep. It’s a cycle, so break into it and make it happen!!

Strength: EMOTM (Every Minute On The Minute) for 15 mins of:

Super interested in this volume&strength training! I like EMOTMs because they allow for a little bit of rest with explosive periods of work. I probably could have gone heavier on the Power Cleans, and it seems like just about everyone at the box overestimated and went a little lighter than they could have. But I was also trying to keep in mind the beast of a WOD coming after this, where I was going to take on 60 Toes-to-Bar. Speaking of:

WOD: 14:23

4 Rounds For Time:

  • 15 Toes-to-BarDid. Every. One. Rx.
  • 15 Back-Rack LungesLevel 1 weight of 32lbs, bleh (barbell lunges in video).
  • Run 200m: Rx. Ha.

Eff me. The TTB were hard. The lunges were hard. The runs were hard. Everything. It was a good workout, but I can tell I’m going to be hurting tomorrow. I probably could have gone for 45ish pounds on the lunges, but it would have added a lot to my time. I had enough of a struggle with the TTB and the running in 102degrees, so I’m not too worried about it. I was one of the last 5 or so to finish, and there were lots of people cheering me on. It was awesome and I did the last set of lunges with only one quick break to adjust the bar on my back. That was a fun workout, and I hope that in the future I’ll be able to revisit it and compare times.

Oh, I took video at dance class last night and pulled some stills in case I’m too busy to edit together a video. I’ll be writing a proper entry about why I think every single female should try pole dancing at some point in her lives later on in the week if I have time!!!

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!

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.

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Rest Week and Friday 7/6 WOD at PCF

I decided to take some time off to let my calves/possible shin splints cool off a little bit. It seems like every WOD I did while at the beach included either double unders or running, so they have been feeling extra-strained. That, coupled with the holiday yesterday and wanting to spend all of my free time with my man after being away for so long, made for the perfect rest period that flew by. I’m aware of the slight soreness in my left inner calf after doing things as simple as climbing stairs or walking for longer than 5 minutes at a time, so I have a feeling that side is going to be a problem.

I went into Patriot Crossfit in Arlington today, and got a chance to talk to my favorite trainer, Erika, about my shins. She said that the location I’m having issues with is due to double unders, and to just be smart about it and we can work around them in the upcoming week or so. Also, she said to be careful with the lunges in today’s WOD, and to consider doing them at bodyweight instead of with a 35lb kettlebell, as prescribed. This was a hard decision, because I knew that I am capable of doing them with the KB, but in the warmup we did lunges with a 35lb bar racked on our back and that felt slightly nasty on my calves once I started to get a little tired.

Strength:

Work up to one heavy set of 5 deadlifts, adding 5-10lbs from last week: 135lbs. I could not get 140 off the ground, let alone my normal 5rep max of 145, to save my life. Disappointing, but after a week of rest and almost 2 weeks from doing any deadlifts at all, I guess it’s not too surprising. Hoping by next week I’ll be back to 145, and by the following I’ll be able to push up to 150.

WOD for Time: 10:48

  • 1000m Row
  • 50 35lb KB Lunges
  • 50 35lb KB Swings

That was my first time rowing 1000m! I kept a very steady pace and was extremely pleased with how good I felt once I hit 750m, and powered through the last 250m with no problem. My rowing form has improved exponentially and I don’t hate it anymore! Yay! I finished the row in 4:28, which is really awesome and I’m super proud of that. I started the lunges with the kettlebell and after the first 5 my left leg started aching. I briefly considered dropping down to a 20lb dumbell, but decided that I should listen to Erika and just go body weight. They were still rough and my legs feel completely toasted, but I’m still a little bitter I didn’t go for it. Then, I moved onto my first time doing full American KB swings at 35lbs since hurting my back. I did the first 25 in that style, then dropped down to Russians for the last 25, really focusing on speed bringing the kettlebell back down. I figured that it would be better to not go balls out and try to do 50 unbroken American KB swings my first time back at them, for fear of injury again, but I’m very pleased that I was able to knock out both sets of 25 unbroken. This workout was up and down, but I had a lot of small victories so I can’t let the small disappointments bring me down!!