Just hanging, squatting, and cleaning

#truth #learnwords

#truth #learnwords

Wasn’t really going to work out today because it was deadlifts and burpees.  (1) I have a steadfast rule to not do deadlifts the day before I am about to go on a trip / long car ride and (2) burpees are bad news bears for me – and I didn’t feel like modifying an entire workout.  Boo. Instead, I did the first half of the workout which was essentially build to a heavy hang squat clean and then focused on mobility (ankle) and hip.

95, 115, 125, 135, 145, 150(f)

145# was a PR for me. First time for me when 135# felt effortless. I’ve not done a hang squat clean (hang power clean is 135#) but it’s a PR for any clean for me.  It felt pretty easy.  I tried once for 150 and failed.  Not sure why I failed – I think when I initially picked it up it felt heavy and then I just got into my head about how heavy it felt and it was not going to happen.  In other words, I was being an asshole to myself and sabotaged the lift.

I think I like cats (disregard the mess of bags by the table in the background).  How many cats / cat related items do you see?

I think I like cats (disregard the mess of bags by the table in the background). How many cats / cat related items do you see?

All the rage at the local Whole Foods

All the rage at the local Whole Foods


Three days in a row at the 6:30AM.  While I’m getting back into the groove of going to bed early – I still ask a ton of questions and worry a lot in class lately.  It had subsided – but after taking the last couple of months not going consistently and/or training solo – I feel a little anxious in class and a little like I forgot what I need to do.  But I know that will eventually pass.

Today’s workout

Clean Skill Work
A. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 5x 8-10 each leg
B. Front Squat – taken from the floor (5×5)

Clean skill work was great.  Jarrod wants me to slow down a bit because I am jumping too much and trying to get under the bar too quickly.  Overall they felt good.

Then onto the rear foot elevated split squats.  These suck ass with my left leg.  You’re supposed to just let your leg that sits on the bench just do that…sit on the bench.  However, my left leg is week – as is my right ankle and I found that I was using my non-load-bearing foot propel myself up.  Blech.  I started at 13# in each hand and then went 15, 20, 22.5 x 8, 22.5×6.  Need to work on these mother effers.

Then it was onto the front squat.  I was worried about my bicep hurting on the cleans, so I opted to start at a low weight (95#) and it went up and I fell into the squat clean pretty easy and without pain.  Squats were cake – too easy.  I went over the Jarrod to explain that I couldn’t possibly do the clean heavier than that and what to do.  He told me to try and if not, go off the rack.  I walked away, concerned.  Then I just did it went ahead and did it.  I haven’t cleaned anything heavier than 100# in months – but decided to go for it.  If I felt pain, I would stop.  Tried to get out of my own head.  105, 115, 120, 125.  I was a bit worried about 125, but picked it up and it was like a feather.  I was in the squat position, bar in the front rack, and my hands just let go of the bar.  Did my squats and was good to go.  Wanted to test my clean after the workout – but decided to be smart about it and not push it.

I’m not going to lie.  I am tired of getting my hopes up that I’m getting better and then get injured again.  But I think that I am being overly cautious – which is making me doubt myself in workouts and ask questions that are ultimately unnecessary.  I need to have confidence in myself and push myself a little bit further than I am.  I know the difference between pain because I’m pushing myself and getting stronger and pain as in “that doesn’t feel right and I should stop.”  I need to remember that I know this difference and have confidence as I go into workouts.  doubt

No Cleaning

reasonIn a turn of events, I can’t do cleans for a bit.  My favorite and go-to lift.  But I can do shoulder to overhead (albeit at a light weight – no more than 45 pounds)!  It’s time to let my bicep become less inflamed and the dynamic movement of cleans is a no-no and I have to rest it for at least a week.  But I can do light weight shoulder to overhead which is kind of cool.  So my restrictions flip flopped so to speak.  Workout was:

A1. 5 TnG Power Cleans
A2. 5 Push Press
Build to a max for the above complex

B. 15min AMRAP
Run 400m
10 Deadlifts – you pick the weight
10 Pushups

I subbed 10 from the rack front squats and did 5 45# push presses (instead of cleans and building to a max).  At first, I was just doing 10 45# FS, but the last two sets I went up to 65, then 75.  Push press felt good, nice to start working those movements again.

Then it was the AMRAP.  I told myself that I was only going to do 200m run because I was afraid of my ankles hurting.  But once I started running, I just thought “Just keep running the entire 400 and see how it goes.”  I kept a good pace and even though I knew I’d be the slowest one, I was just happy to be running again.  I ended up being able to do 3+run+9 and ran 400m each time.

Tomorrow night, I’m headed out to see the Acro-Cats.  It’s a cat circus.  I’m not kidding.



Busy weekend and didn’t get a workout in.  Started back up today.

I am really tired.  Lots of stuff outside of Craic going on in my life and hard to focus in class today.  Class was poppin’ full of people.  Dizzle was coaching.  The workout was:

A) work to a heavy single Clean + Jerk
B) Take 80% of A and do 5×2
5 RFT – 12min cap
Run 200m
10 Power Clean + Jerk

I, obviously, didn’t do the jerk.  For part A: 95, 115, 125, 135f, 135f, 135.  I couldn’t squat clean to save my life.  I’m not sure where the mental block was with me.  There seemed to be some fear of squatting.  The 135 that I did get was a really messy power clean.  I don’t know what my problem was today.  I just couldn’t focus and get out of my own way.  Was awesome to see Callahan PR this morning with a 140# clean and jerk. I then dropped to 110# for part B.

The RX weight for the 5 RFT was 65# so I stuck with that.  Ankle is still a bit wonky so I did 10 cals on the AD.  Jarrod had initially suggested 15 cals, but after the first round, I knew I wouldn’t be able to maintain that and finish under the cap.  It was hot as hell today and I was struggling.  I managed to finish in 10:15.  Went the first 2 rounds UB for the cleans and 3rd and 4th round did it in two sets of 5.  Last round I went UB.  I was toast at the end of this workout.  Blargh.

I wish I could have squat cleaned today.  Not sure what was going on.  Ending on a positive note, here’s an amazeballs video of Kendrick Farris killing it at the 2013 World University Games.

Night Time Classes

This week, I have been going to the 7:30PM classes so I could go to a couple of classes with Niko.  It’s nice to go to classes with him and also see people that I don’t normally see.  But I miss my 6:30AM class and will go back next week. It’s nice to start the day with a workout.  Also, as we go into summer, the earlier classes are literally the “cooler” classes.

Monday was a clean workout.  20 minutes to build to the following complex: 2 deadlifts (with clean grip), 2 power cleans, 2 hang power cleans and then an AMRAP 10 of 3 power cleans and 6 burpees.  I had an MRI / MRA earlier in the day and my shoulder was a tad bit tender, so I did sit-ups instead of the burpees.  I wanted to take it easy because of the MRA in the morning (the injection wasn’t fun) I told myself I would only go to a weight that felt “right” instead of heavy.  Ended up going to 115.  Tried for 125, but after the first hang clean, it didn’t feel great – so I just dropped the weight and worked on form for the rest of the 20 minutes.  I also helped Niko learn the clean a bit as well, as he was new to the movement.  The AMRAP was relatively straight forward and I went with 95# for the workout.  The cleans were the easy part and the sit-ups sucked.  I forget how hard it is to catch your breath with sit-ups because you’re constantly collapsing your body.  Final score was 13+2.  It was awesome to workout with Niko for the first time at Craic.

We were going to go back on Tuesday together, but Niko ended up having a work emergency right before we were about to leave and couldn’t go.  It was a 20 minute EMOM.  Even minutes ring rows, odd minutes front squats.  I need to find something other than ring rows to work on  because they are getting a bit monotonous and not as challenging as I’d like them.  Watching Gienah, Katie, and Callahan do muscle-ups during the workout made me want to try to make my workout a bit more challenging.  I need to talk to Jarrod about that this weekend.  I also started with 95#, which I think was a bit too conservative.  I ended up bumping it up to 105# for the last 6 rounds of the front squats and probably could have gone heavier.  Overall, it was a good workout.  Definitely got a good sweat on (but that could be because it was close to 80 degrees yesterday).

On another note, I saw this kitty on the internet and I want it so bad.  It’s a wild cat called a sand cat and it lives in the desert.  So prosh!  It’s on the Near Threatened list, and has been since 2002.  Would be a shame if this type of kitty because extinct.



Also, I came across this AMAZING Tumblr on the internet and it kind of made my day.  I will be following it religiously.  Meow.



All cleaning and no jerks

No Bread Challenge – Day 26

I totally stress ate today.  I’ll start today’s blog like that.  Yep.  Had three sugary cookies.  All homemade, all pressed upon be by separate co-workers who’s spouses made comfort food after the layoffs yesterday.  Every one of them was delicious and I don’t regret a moment of it.  But this is an honest blog … so there you go.

Today was a clean and jerk work and then an EMOM 10 of 3 position clean and 1 jerk.  I did only cleans and did a squat clean at the end of each set.  Worked up to 105# for the technique work and then backed down to 95# for the actual workout. Overall, felt strong.  Still really need to work on letting go of the bar at the top of the clean.  On some of the cleans at the top – my shoulder was bugging.  Those minutes fly by as you get further along in the WOD.  Managed to do the whole thing at 95#, so I was generally happy.  Had a great group in the 6:30AM class too – which made the workout more enjoyable.

In other news, I went to go see Dr. Rockett today and the news was not as I had hoped.  After some x-rays and various troubleshooting with my arm, he thinks that I might have a slap tear.  Tear.  Not the word that I really wanted to hear.  Tear usually = surgery.  Surgery = 6-8 months of recovery.  I guess, deep down, I knew something was seriously wrong with my shoulder – I mean, everyone who’s known me for the last 10 years can tel you that something is wrong with it.  I’m getting an MRI in the next week or so to confirm and then we’ll develop a plan together on how and what I need to do to get better.  You can read a little more about what a slap tear is here.  Dr. Rockett has a blog that you can follow as well.  It’s nice to go to a doctor that’s a Crossfitter because you can just say “When I was going above my head with my snatch…” You don’t really have to go into too much more detail or worry about him thinking that you’re talking about a sex position or something…  I think I’m still in a bit of denial about the whole thing.  I’m also not looking forward to the MRI because last time I got one, I was in very close quarters and kind of panicked. I will say that I’m a tiny bit relieved to finally get closer to figuring out what this shoulder issue is.  After a decade, it’s about time.

For now, no shoulder to overhead movements for me.  Modify, modify, modify.  Jerks, snatches, shoulder presses, kipping anything, blah blah blah.  

Food Yesterday:

  • bacon, eggs
  • b.good westside burger, sweet potato fries
  • arugula / parmasean cheese / goat cheese salad, sweet potato fries
  • other stuff i can’t remember

Everyone’s working on their snatch. I’m cleaning.

No Bread Challenge – Day 24

Everyone was working on their snatch today (after all, it’s Snatch Wednesday!) I knew I wasn’t going to do any overhead movements, so I did cleans instead (per John McEvoy’s suggestion).  We did some skill work – the class did snatch to overhead squats and I did hang squat cleans.

The work out was a EMOM 12 of three hang snatches (I did cleans).  Glen was coaching today and gave me some good things to think about because I was still jumping back slightly.  I’m doing better about staying on my heels and using my hamstrings more.  Glen put a bunch of 2.5# and 5# plates in the middle of the room and told us to add / subtract as we felt like it during the workout.  I did the following for the 12 rounds:

  • 2 rounds @ 75#
  • 2 rounds @ 80#
  • 3 rounds @ 85#
  • 5 rounds @ 90#

Overall felt good.  Shoulder bugged me a tiny bit, but I was careful not to go too heavy for the hang cleans.

Food Yesterday:

  • bacon, eggs
  • chicken salad, veggies
  • kaeli-o-cookie
  • tortilla chips, buffalo chicken dip
  • coconut bar

Open Gym

No Bread Challenge – Day 14

Today was open gym and Jarrod was away so I made up a workout on my own.  

My left shoulder is still bothering me, but I wanted to work on my snatch skills none the less.  I ended up doing the following:

  • 45# 3×5 snatch balance
  • 45# 3×5 snatch drop
  • 55# 2×5 snatch balance
  • 55# 2×5 snatch drop
  • 65# 5 snatch balance
  • 65# 5 snatch drops (which didn’t happen – my shoulder kind of wouldn’t work)
I’m getting more comfortable at doing the drops and balances up to 55#.  Once I get higher than that, not so much.  Today was a combination of being uncomfortable with 65# and my shoulder was not feeling stable or healthy. If we do overhead squats tomorrow, I might forgo them and do something else.

I ended the workout doing some clean drills, working on driving my elbows forward and loosening my death grip at the top of the clean:

  • 75# 2×5 power cleans
  • 75# 2×5 squat cleans

Overall, everything felt pretty good.  I’m also working on staying on my heels for as long as possible, not bending my arms pre-maturely and staying as close to the body as possible.  75# is heavy enough for me to not pull up too much, but also correct as I’m doing the movement.

Food yesterday (not a perfect day):

  • Leftover scramble
  • Egg salad (with carrots and cilantro) stuffed in bell peppers
  • Handful of veggie chips
  • Some dark chocolate almonds
  • Mexican food – beef, bacon, veggies
  • Mexican black beans
  • Mexican red rice (just about 1/2 cup)
  • Handful tortilla chips

Squat Cleans and a Goat WoD

I didn’t have a chance to post yesterday, so I’ll be covering two days worth of WoDs.

Wednesday’s workout was a strength WoD.  It was work your way up to a heavy rep of a squat clean. I was really excited about this WoD because I love working on my cleans.  I haven’t mastered them yet, so any chance to work on them is one that I welcome.  I felt that I learned a lot about form through osmosis of watching people at the Firebreather Festival.  Jarrod stressed to the group that we should take the first ten minutes of so using less than half of our 1RM weight to work on getting your form down correctly.  When I’m thinking too much about it during the rep, I am still locking my hook grip, even as I am bringing my elbows underneath.  I need to learn to let go as I’m dropping my elbows consistently.  I had some really good reps where I’m definitely seeing improvement. The first rep I did was with 55#.  I totally pulled too hard and almost fell backwards.  Jarrod had to remind me that I wasn’t pulling a heavy weight and the focus of the low weight reps was that I could manipulate my form and make micro-adjustments so it would just come naturally.  

After the practice at 55#, I went up to 75# and did a couple of reps, 95#, 105#, 115#, and then wanted to go for my current 1RM – which is 120#.  I failed at the first attempt.  Then Jarrod gave me another pointer – which was to gaze straight ahead versus stare down at the bar.   It helps you not have the stripper butt when you come up. He also reminded me to go slow until I get up above my knees with the bar.  This is a common issue that I need to get better at.  Patience is key 🙂 So I gazed out the window in front of me and drew up the weight slowly and poof, it was in the rack position and I was squatting.  Now I just had to stand up!  I settled into the squat and drove my feet into the ground and stood up.  It was relatively painless and I thought I’d have another 5# in the tank.  Why not try for a PR?  I did the same thing as I did for 120# and gazed out the window, took the initial lift slow and again – same thing, all of a sudden I was in the rack position, squatting.  I just had to stand up and the PR was mine.  It took some extra push, but I ended up doing it!  I wanted to go for 130#, but we were out of time.  Another time.  Final Score: 125# – PR by 5#

Notice my awesome PR outfit that I wore.  Cats make everything magic.

Fast forward to today’s WoD.  I looked at it last night and thought to myself “This looks terrible.”  It was, for time, five rounds:

  • 30 double unders
  • 20 push ups
  • 10 pull-ups

I warmed up doing some double unders and my ankle still is not cooperating.  It’s impact stuff and feels like it’s about to snap or something when I hit the ground.  It’s not painful, but very disconcerting.  I asked Jarrod if it was okay if I had to sub 15 sit-ups with the DUs in case it felt wonky during the workout. Before the WoD started, we did a 10 minute EMoM for our goats (the stuff that plagues us the most).  I decided to do handstand pushups and just hold a handstand for 10 seconds doing negatives.  Jarrod told me to go all the way down on my third negative.  It wasn’t happening and frustrating. But goats usually are, right?  Onto the WoD.  I did the first round with double-unders, but my ankle wasn’t having any of it.  I did chest to ab-mat push-ups and they were wildly inconsistent.  Some parts I could bang out 7-10.  Then I could only put together 2-3 if I was lucky.  Then I went to the pull-ups and did these kipping jumping pull-ups.  It’s where you stand on a box, kip forward, do a kipping pull-up and so forth.  It was exhausting.  This whole WoD was.  In the second round, I forgot to do my pushups, so I did them after I did my pull-ups and then did my sit-ups and then did the pushups again.  It was a freaking wreck and I’m done.  Final time: 15:27

My first REAL Rx Workout

Today was a killer of a workout.  I think Jarrod’s goal was to not let people rest on Labor Day.  He had to work on Labor Day, so we had to WORK OUT.  The warm up itself was a full workout in itself.  We had to partner up with a 25# plate and run a mile or if we were getting lapped, turnaround (obviously, there were faster runners, so we got to turn around and ran a total of about .75 miles).  If the plate switched partners, you had to do 5 burpees (or, in my case, 5 air squats because burpees aren’t so great on my lower back).  We ended up switching at the turnaround and also art the courthouse.  Bryan was a great partner, but I was toast when we got back.  Also, wearing the crossfit sneakers wreaked havoc on my calves. And that was just the beginning.  Ugh.

The WoD was:

10min AMRAP
2 Power Cleans
2 Fronts Squats
2 Shoulder to Overhead

I was really tempted to do the Rx weight (95#) but the voice in my head was telling me not do.  Luckily, I had Jarrod to that that voice to shut the eff up and he encouraged me to do 95#.  I thought that I was going to puke beforehand, I was so nervous.  This was my first workout doing the Rx weight.  I just hoped that I would get through 5 rounds.  It was really tough.  The cleans felt good, my form just keeps getting better and better. The front squats were hard to get through especially as I finished up my 2nd front squat and transitioned to the jerks part.  I had been working with Jarrod on split jerks, so that’s the form that I decided to go with.  I tried to do all the movements unbroken, because if I didn’t, that means you would have to clean all over again to do the 2nd two of the triplet.  I took about a 30-45 second break in between each triplet and tried to just do proper form and pace myself since I was going so heavy.  I also have to remember when I’m doing jerks to push my head through as I’m going to overhead. It definitely enables you to really finish out the movement and stay strong. On the last round, just as time was running out, I ended up dropping the bar because my grip was all messed up as I tried to jerk it up.   That meant I had to clean it all over again and then bang those jerks out before time ran out.  I did it!  My final score was 9 rounds even.  I was super happy and super exhausted.