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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Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Tuesday 8/7 WOD at PCF

Today has been such an exhausting day!!! The weather was dreary and rainy to start off with, but we went swimming in the ocean and pool anyway, just to say we did it. The clouds finally started to clear around noon, so we rented some stand-up paddle-boards and went and explored some marshes and the sound for a couple hours. It was extremely relaxing, but a great workout at the same time! It was our first times on SUP boards, and I’m going to go ahead and guess that it won’t be the last, because we loved it. I have a few really awesome pictures to post, but I will save that for another day. We came home, and headed almost straight to Crossfit Carteret for an insanely challenging WOD.

Strength:

  • Back Squat (15 Minutes to Establish a new 1 RM): 110lbs. PR. I had some kind of a mental block against 115 though. I desperately wanted to get to 120 today, but I couldn’t even get to 115 after about 5 tries. I can do two sets of 3 squats at 100lbs after lots of prior squatting, but couldn’t get 115 once today. Oh well! Next time!

Then 7 Minute EMOTM of:

  • 3 Back Squats with ~45% of new 1 RM (bar stays on your back the entire time): 50lbs. This was so evil. Todd and Rhonda, if you are reading this, you two are pure evil (the best kind!!). Holding the weighted bar for that long worked every single muscle in my back, shoulders, legs, arms, and neck. Even with easy weight, that was still just…awful. I secretly love this programming though, because it was so different and extremely mentally challenging.

WOD for Time: 8:05

21-15-9 of:

Tire flips!!!! First time! They were so much fun and easy to get super angry at. I feel like I was able to stay extremely pumped up throughout this WOD because of them, and had a great time yelling as I was flipping. I think they tie with rope climbs for my favorite movement. I wish I knew the exact weight of the tire I was flipping, but it was  enough to be pretty damn difficult. Our group went in two heats and Tyler and I were able to yell words of encouragement at each other, which was so great.

It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, so who knows what kind of fun we’ll get into next!

Friday 7/27 WOD at WSC

Death. Complete and total exhaustion. I am not a morning person by any means, but since I’m leaving to visit my grandmother in Delaware for the weekend I won’t be able to work out later on today, Saturday, or Sunday, so Tyler and I headed to the gym early. Sunday is the Paleo/Primal Potluck at the Caveman’s Man‘s Humble Cave in Winchester, VA. All are welcome, but entrance only granted if you bring something delicious to eat (kidding, but it’s appreciated!!). I am very excited for all of this! I am also very excited for two days of real rest, and not rest like last week where I ended up working out on Sunday!

HOT AIR BALLOON MUSCLE-UP. If you don’t read/watch anything else on my blog, watch this. Life goal!!

Strength:

  • Front Squats 5-5-5-5: 45-45-45-45. This was more of just a mobility and form exercise for me. I watched myself in the mirror and was able to connect the difference between keeping my elbows up and not, and also going all the way down into the squat versus only coming to parallel. It barely even felt like I worked my quads, which is crazy since yesterday getting out of a 42ld front squat for the thrusters felt practically impossible.
  • Row 1000m: 4:40.1. I set the damper on the rower to give a little more resistance (for example, I normally row on a 5, and bumped it to 8 today, with 10 being the max setting) and didn’t want to go at it too intensely because I didn’t know what the extra resistance was going to feel like. This time only ended up being about 12 seconds slower than my previous 1000m attempt, so I look forward to trying it again balls out, with the damper set on 8 and seeing what my time is.

WOD: 15:32

3 Rounds for Time of:

All Level 2!! Mayyyybe overestimated myself a little bit with this one though, not to mention being completely exhausted and attempting to work out at 6:45am. Ugh. The burpees were all unbroken, and double unders were broken into two sets each time, 12 and 8. My wrists were just super slow today. I can usually do about 23-26 unbroken, but not today. I don’t think the pull-ups would have been as much of a problem if the dang bar grips weren’t so slippery, and I kept having to come down and regrip. I also tore my hands in the last round, so that slowed me down as well. Ouch. I most likely should have done these with a little bit of assistance for a faster time, but I am so proud that I did 45 unassisted pull-ups today. I also started trying to work on my butterfly kip, but I don’t think I can quite get my chin over the bar with those yet. I am going to stick with my regular kip for the WODs and maybe I’ll get the butterfly once I get a little more strength built up.

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.

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.

Sunday 7/22 WOD at WSC

I know I said that this weekend was going to be for rest…but I couldn’t stay away! Patriot posted a really great WOD, and I had wanted to work on squats, so I decided to do their squat circuit from last week that I miss on Mondays while I’m at dance, and today’s WOD.

Strength:

  • Row 250m. I really wanted to break my 1:00.8 time from last week, and I knew I was capable of it. Today, I did!!! 00:57.5 seconds!
  • Squat 3-3-3-3-3 (90% of 5RM. Do not go higher even if this feels light): 75-75-75-80-85. It’s been over a month since I did back squats last, so I had no idea what to expect. 75 was easy, and 80 and 85 were both still pretty easy. I knew I was going to be doing a bunch of goblet squats and ground to overheads though, so I didn’t want to completely destroy my quads too early.

WOD: 17:46

4 Rounds for Time of:

  • 10 Dumbbell Ground-to-Overhead: 2 x 25lbs DBs. This means getting the dumbbells from the ground to overhead by whatever means you wish, but they must make contact with the floor at the bottom and have arms locked out at the top. I did a DB clean and jerk.
  • 20 Dumbbell Goblet Squats: 1 x 25lb DB
  • 5 Pull-ups: Unassisted, strong as eff.
  • 10 Push-ups: Knees, but chest-to-deck still.

Today, I effing GOT the pull-ups. I’ve done them unassisted before, but for some reason today, my kip was spot on and my grip was good even though I was SO SWEATY and everything was just in line for them. I could NOT do full push-ups for the life of me though. I didn’t sleep well last night since we were camping, and my chest was tight from sleeping on my side on the ground with only a thin sleeping pad. By the beginning of the second round my legs were already shaking when I started on the goblet squats! It was a good full-body workout covering legs, back, shoulders, chest, and arms. It sucked being so tired, but I wanted to try this workout so badly and I’m glad I got into the gym to do it.

And my yummy post-workout dinner! Epic Protein Powder […that’s the real name!], sweet potato and green beans, smothered in grass fed unsalted goat’s butter and sea salt. Mmmm.

 

Thursday 7/19 WOD at PCF

Strength:

  • Clean and Jerk 3-2-2-1-1-1-1: 70-75-75-80-85-85(f)-80-80. Got 85 up!! PR(personal record)!!! It sure was ugly, and I couldn’t get it up again, but I did it. Then I struggled hard with the last two singles at 80. My elbows are really sore from the ring dips and wallballs yesterday. Apparently when your triceps get tight, it puts some strain on the elbow joint. Who knew?! I’ll be spending the rest of the night rolling out my triceps with a lacrosse ball. Ouch. I think c&j has become my favorite lift. I feel so powerful, comfortable, and oddly fearless. It’s one of the few lifts where I’m only 5-10lbs below some of the women power houses at my box. I need to work on my squat clean more, since I feel like I could jerk more than I can power clean. Holy innuendos!

WOD:

5 Rounds for Time of:

  • Row 250m. Rest as needed between rounds. 1:01.5–1:01.1–1:00.8–1:01.3–1:01.8.

The rows were way more challenging than I anticipated. The first two were pretty easy, and after that I kept having to tell myself “okay just three more times…okay two more..one more time, you’ve got this.” I’m used to 500m and 1000m rows, not sprinting, and springing takes so much more out me, especially back to back! The 1:00.8 is a PR also! After my first row, I asked the trainer Erika to watch my second row and critique me, because I still feel like I could get more out of every stroke. She watched the whole minute, and then corrected two things: don’t slide my butt all the way up to my heels (which I can do because I’m too flexible, and it causes little cuts on my ankles), and to lean forward more at the bottom. This was a lot to think about and be conscious of while trying to sprint, but I ended up besting my times on the next row. It felt awesome. The last two were eh, but I’m still so glad I stayed right around 1:01 the entire time.

This weekend is going to feel gooooooddddd. I’m excited to get some real rest. Thinking about just doing some lifting at the gym this weekend, focusing on squats, kettlebell swings, and rowing. I want a 250m row under 1:00 and a 500m under 2:00! Both are within my reach!!

Pole dancing competition tomorrow night in Falls Church, Virginia! I won’t be competing, but the ladies who will be are absolutely amazing, and if you’re in the area you should definitely consider checking it out!!

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!