Funny but accurate article on how we can avoid being fit and jerky. Don’t be a CrossFit A$#hole 6 Tips to Be a Good CrossFitter
I spent last week in Las Vegas and dropped in on Crossfit Max Effort. Very tough WODs were just what I needed during a week of over-indulgence. Lindsay and Zach have a great place and the combination of regulars and several visitors each day made for a fun environment. Thanks all!
Went to Crossfit 2A this morning to watch the First Responders Challenge. The photo below is not from Human Centipede, but rather a bit of torture called Fireman's Push Up. The idea is to interlock four athletes then have them all do 5 good push ups at the same time. The whole WOD was a 20 minute AMRAP of 5 squat snatches for one athlete, then 5 of these pushups (the 5 squat snatches for the next athlete) . Silly and brutal at the same time.
Every now and then, I can crank out a respectable number of double unders. Usually, this happens when I am rested - a bit of leg or arm fatigue results in quick failure. Today I focused on trying to get DUs throughout a WOD that included burpees and box jumps. As the photo shows, I started off with a good number then struggled. The last round was a bit better as I sorted out relaxing and working at the same time. This is not Earth-shattering progress, but I recognize this as a step forward.
These are a few a photos of John McEvoy at the Competitor's Competition. When I saw these, I could instantly see the huge difference between his form and mine. More practice for me!
This past Saturday was the Competitor's Competition at Crossfit New England. I went to cheer for/with friends. It was a great time watching elite athletes put through ridiculous challenges lie 30 muscle ups, unsupported handstand pushups, and weighted rope climbs.
It was scary, impressive, and inspiring all at the same time. I felt pretty anemic by the time I left, but it's good to have goals.
Speaking of goals, here's one. I was blown away by Jordan's bod - I doubt that I will ever reach this ideal, but he definitely has the body image I am working toward. Wow!
Yesterday after class, dead lift 225#.
The Crossfit 2A Throwdown was held on Sunday, January 6th. I competed in the men's scaled group and finished 11th out of 14. I got a PR in the clean @ 160# and finished the 200 remix in just under 10 minutes. In general, I was very pleased with how I did in my first competition. I am already looking forward to the next one in April.
The Crossfit 2A Throwdown is a week from Sunday. During the past week, I have worked on double unders, snatches, kipping pullups, wall climbs, rope climbs, bar muscle ups, cleans and dead lifts. I actually feel pretty well prepared, but the WODs get posted tomorrow, so I may have a whole new freak-out then.
My plan of attack for the competition is simple, keep moving for the duration of each WOD. I am not the fastest, and I am definitely not the strongest, but my conditioning is steadily improving, so I hope to score in the middle by just not quitting. We'll see how that strategy works out on game day.
I need to thank Crossfit Mount Laurel in New Jersey for accommodating us during Christmas week. We dropped in for a WOD on Saturday, then Open Gym on Sunday and Monday. For the first open gym, Katie and I worked on wall climbs, dead lifts, and Katie started on bar muscle ups. The second open gym we warmed up with wall climbs, then did Angie (because that's what 2A was up to for Monday). It was great to keep moving those days. Thanks to Tommy and Dana!
Great workout today at CrossFit 2A. We started with front squats and battle ropes (instant sweat factory), then an 18 minute AMRAP of 5 push presses, 8 pull ups, and 20 double unders. More sweat, then hit the recovery position at the end.
After a short cool down, I did a bit of work on the bar and got my second bar muscle up. All good!
I have kept on the Paleo Diet since the challenge started back in September. At that time, I weighed in at 219. This morning I officially hit my target weight - 185 lbs. Laurie was sleeping in the other room while I was doing the happy dance all around the bathroom. It was a great feeling, but would have been humiliating if anyone saw my gyrations :-)
My next goal was to climb the rope and return to Earth without injury. I have made two successful ascents in the past, but both ended with pretty ugly wounds. The first involved sliding down the rope at Crossfit One with the rope running diagonally across the fron of my left leg. By the time I hit the floor, I had a pretty serious burn that has left a large eye-shaped scar.
My second descent was at Crossfit 2A and was a fast slide - I lost my grip at the top and thought I was going to plummet to the ground. Instead, I held on to control my fall, but ripped the tips off a couple fingers.
I watched a bunch of videos on rope climbing form yesterday and hit the rope today with a plan. I did a couple practice runs; only going up a few feet to get my technique. Then I hiked up my socks and went for it. It was not effortless, but I made it all the way up, tapped the rafter, and came down hand-over-hand without any wounds. Another goal achieved.
What's next? I need to focus on improving my dead lifts. At 46, I have to watch what I do to my back, and bad form is a killer.
I have been practicing bar muscle ups for about 6 weeks. I spent a lot of time "kipping" up to the bar (read "flailing around in the air like a fish") without muscling at all. I also used hours of internet time looking at various YouTube videos on how to do this right (for the record, sitting at my computer watching YouTube did nothing to improve my form nor my strength). Practice, encouragement, coaching, dieting, and strengthening seemed to help immeasurably.
One thing that did seem to make a big difference for me (and it was a tip from YouTube) was to spend some time with the lat pull-down machine doing lots of reps with a fairly light load. I did that a few times over the last couple weeks to get my "muscle" part of the muscle up stronger. My routine for this was to do 4 x 25 of really light, then 2 x 25 of a bit heavier, then 4 rounds (a bit heavier still) of 10 pull-downs, 10 push-ups, and 10 sit-ups. The idea was to work the main muscle groups that I needed for muscle ups.
The biggest factor, in my opinion, was coaching and encouragement. Nicole at Crossfit 2A has worked with me on this each day for a few minutes. She pointed out the many improvements that my form needed. Additionally, the encouragement from the lunchtime group was great motivation, especially over the last few days as it became clear that I would eventually get up there. Thanks, everybody.
Now, my attention turns to that damn rope!
Laurie has been asking me to get checked since I started the Paleo Diet months ago. The issue is simple, my family has a history of high cholesterol and my own has been as high as 265 in the past.
At my last physical (April of 2011) my cholesterol as at 177, but I was eating very little fat and tons of carbs. No red meat and no dairy, cheese, or eggs.
On Paleo, I stopped the carbs and added red meat and eggs (sometimes at the same time). Laurie wanted me to get checked before I committed to continuing on Paleo - especially with another Paleo Challenge coming up soon.
I got checked. Results were incredible... total cholesterol was 162 - the lowest number I have ever had.
Today I improved my 1RM power clean by 10 pounds to 145#. In fact, it was a 3RM, but I failed to get a 1RM at 155#, so I am counting this one.
This is round 4 of 5 doing 3 snatch and squats.
This past Friday I went to "Friday Night Fran" at Crossfit Craic. I signed up early in the week, so I knew I would be doing this. Thursday night was tough - I could not sleep for having weird dreams about struggling with the weight or the pull-ups or falling or running out of time, etc.
Luckily, this workout was awesome. The whole night was a combination of a one event Garage Games and a party with good friends.
The workout was broken into 10-minute heats. I was in the third heat and, as planned, had 75# on the bar. Katie was my judge and counter (worrisome only because I had no-repped her a couple times during her workout). I got through the first 21 thrusters according to my plan (7-7-7) and slowed down on pull ups. 15 more thrusters were tough, and the pull ups even harder. Coach Pete came over and got in my ear to keep me moving. As I started the nines, I knew I must be one of the last competitors left and was running out of time. Pete and Katie kept on me to get through the 9 thrusters (3-2-1-3) and 9 pullups (2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1). I looked up at the clock. 9:48. Awesome!
I will take this opportunity to thank Nicole at Crossfit 2A, too. Thanks to her, I got plenty of practice with thrusters, squats, and presses - mostly with 85+ on the bar. Definitely made 75# thrusters tolerable.
The new plan is to start practicing at 115# to get to RX @ 95#.
Last week I got a dead lift PR of 200#. Quite happy with that. More lifts this week.
This week was focused on a lot of heavy lifting and getting ready for Friday Night Fran at Crossfit Craic.
Monday was Veteran's Day so we did the "Nutts" Hero WOD. This was a challenging workout. I felt good with the first half (including 25 30" box jumps), but the 100 wall balls sapped all energy. I finished last (not uncommon), but I finished. That beast took me 29 minutes to finish. Without a doubt this was the toughest workout I have done.
Tuesday was 5x5 power cleans and a WOD of push presses and burpees. Not a treat, but not as hard as Nutts. After all that, I did a few minutes of 75# thrusters to get ready for Fran.
Wednesday was my first evening workout at Crossfit 2A (excluding the Halloween party craziness). This one was 3x5 back squats at 225# then KB swings and jump rope. This was the first time I had Greg as the coach. I have to admit I liked his coaching style a lot; he was very confident and spent time with each of us with intent focus and helpful advice to tweak form or to get a bit more effort. I have always said - usually about soccer - that the more coaches you can get exposed to the better. Seems to hold true here as well. Good stuff. But Nicole is still #1 :-)
Of course, after a night of back squats and Tuesday's cleans and thrusters, my new OLYs arrived at home. I gave them a quick cook to get them fitted. Looks like they will be broken in Friday Night!