Sunday and Monday

Today was a rest day. But here’s Sunday and Monday’s workouts.

Sunday I went to mobility and the kettle bell class.  It kicked my ass (the KB class).  I was able to do all of the movements, at lower weight for some of them.  Each movement was with two bells.

OTM 10 min: Even: 15 Deadlift (24#)  Odd: 10 Racked Squats (24#) – this one hurt my knees at first, so I put on my knee sleeves and all was well with the world 🙂
rest 2min
OTM 10 min: Even: 10 Pushup on Bells (5 ABMAT pushups) Odd: 10 Guerilla Cleans (24#)
rest 2 min
OTM 10 min: Even: 10 Seasaw Press (13# / 18#) Odd: 10 Russian Swings (24#) – I didn’t want to push too heavy on the press, but I got laughed at when I was doing 13#, so I bumped to 18#.  It was a good decision.

Monday started out crap-tastic and it continued for most of the morning.  Set the tone for my day and I wasn’t really looking forward to working out that night (I had planned to go to the 7:30PM class with Niko).  I ended up going, and it was a good thing.  Helped me clear my head and the workout just felt good.

A. 3 Hang Power Clean + 3 Push Press – work to a max of the complex in 15mins

B. 10min AMRAP
7 Deadlifts
7 Push Press
7 Box Jumps

I am still on restriction weight wise but not movement.  Another workout where I didn’t have to modify anything!  The highest weight that I was allowed to do was like 70% of what I think my max was.  I used 120# as a base and didn’t go higher than 85#.  My form felt amazing on both the hang cleans and the push press. I was really happy with it.  No pain.  Plan is to continue to work on perfecting my form before I go for the heavy maxes.

For part B, I opted to go with the BEG weight, which was 45#.  Cycling that many dead lifts and push-presses has been problematic for me and I wanted to be safe.  But the BIG news is that I actually did real box jumps and my ankle felt fine.  I jumped up and stepped down.  It was awesome and the workout was tiring, but it felt great.  Total score is 7+9.  Hip got a little tight on the deadlifts.  They are my least favorite weight lifting movement, hands down.






Jerk Boxes and Back Squats on a Sunday

This weekend, my oldest friend in the world, Seth, came to visit and stay with us on Friday and Saturday.  It was great to see him.  We try to connect every couple of years.  He’s in the USCG and lives across the country from me.  He also has an awesome wife and kids, alas, they weren’t able to make this trip.  We ended taking an impromptu trip up to Boston for the Boston vs. New York Food Truck Throwdown.  This took every ounce of self control that I had, as there was definitely a lot of No Bread Non-Friendly eats that were very tempting.  I ended up going to Mei Mei Street Kitchen.  It’s owned / run by a colleague of mine’s wife.  I ended up getting a pate “ice cream” cone (it was a teeny, tiny cone – so a teeny, tiny cheat, but seriously, nothing to write home about) that was filled with liver pate (not actual ice cream).  And The Laney – which was pork tenderloin, fois gras and fried rice.  I ate all the protein in the dish and gave the rice to Niko 🙂  Other than the teeny ice cream cone (seriously, it wasn’t any bigger than half of my thumb) I managed to maintain self-control.  It was hard, and quite honestly, as it gets warmer all I want is some real ice cream!

Mei Mei Street Kitchen - pure deliciousness

Mei Mei Street Kitchen – pure deliciousness

Friends since 1978

Friends since 1978

After that, we decided to laze about the house and I spent most of Caturday evening snuggling with the kitties and watching television.

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Then, back to today, started back up with sessions with Jarrod.  My goals in working with him are definitely strength, form, and a little body building.

We started out on the low jerk boxes doing hang cleans.  Working on explosive hip movement, footwork, and getting under the bar. I’m definitely working really hard on doing my mental set-up before I start at the bar and just going to the bar and doing my lift.  Not over thinking the lift when I’m at the bar is definitely helping.  After a warm up and some skill work, we did a bunch of hang cleans from the box 3 good reps each.  Ended up doing 5 sets of three 55, 75, 95, 115, 135.  135 is a big number for me, as it’s my 1RM for both squat cleans and power cleans.  I didn’t think I could do it and failed the first rep.  After reminding me that I needed to have more explosive hip movements, I actually ended up busting out three of them and my third one felt amazing.  My footwork was definitely a lot better as well.  During the workout, as we do, we were making conversation and Jarrod was all “Oh, have you ever done 20 back squats before?  It’s a good benchmark.  When I did mine, I felt awful when it was done.”  To which I replied, “That sounds like a terrible workout.”  Then he asked how the KB swings went earlier in the week, to which I replied “I had some troubles keeping my form correct after the deads.  Definitely was feeling it in the lower back towards the end of the workout.”

So then we start taking the weights off the bar and Jarrod starts setting up the racks.  Okay, we’re going to work on back squats.  At least it’s not 20 reps. I start warming up with the bar, doing 5 back squats.  He puts on 105.  “So, you’re going to do 20 of these.”  Shit.  105 was relatively easy, except the last 5 which I had to push on.  I was definitely light headed when we were done.  Then we discuss the next weight and we decide that I’m going to try for 135.  20 reps in a row of 135.  1-5 went really smoothly and 5-10 got a bit harder.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to 20.  By the time I got t0 reps 14-16 I thought I was going to be toast.  But I got through those three reps and told myself that I only had three reps to go.  The last three were really hard, but I knew I could do it.  After I finished, I racked the weight and walked over to the wall and had it hold me up for a few minutes.  That shit was tough and I know my quads are going to be screaming at me tomorrow and Tuesday.  I thought we were done and going to work on mobility, but from the conversation I mentioned above, I’m sure you can guess what we did next.

Jarrod pulls out the 70# kettlebell and walks over to me.  As a side note, I’ve not done more than 44# before with the kettlebell.  So I tell him this and we do some skill work with the 53#.  I really have to learn how to just let the KB drop and not actually control the descent.  Rough.  As I’m working on the skill work, Jarrod walks over the pulls out the airdyne.  I’m not done for the day until I do 3 RFT with two minutes rest in between of 10 KB swings (Russian) and 10 calories on the AD.  Oh, and the workout was done with the 70# KB.  Yikes! Times ended up being 1:06, 1:01, :56. Happy that I knocked time off for each round and I got through it with the 70# KB!

Overall, great morning workout.  Couldn’t have asked for more.  I was really happy with the hang clean off the jerk boxes at 135#.  Gives me hope for the future.  When I got home, I rewarded myself with a delicious breakfast of a bacon / veggie scramble, bacon, and avocado.  Yummy in my belly!

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Getting at it

Greetings from Germany.  I’m about to head out to visit Crossfit Cologne and do a WoD with them.  My body has no idea what time it is and I’m still a little out of it, so I’m just going to go light with the weight and be careful.  I also have to think about what the conversion of kilos to pounds will be for me 🙂

Before I left, I went to the Sunday morning class at Craic.  The WoD was a 10 minute AMRAP – 5 kettlebell cleans (left and right), 7 kettle bell goblet squats, and 20 double unders.  I went light-ish at 26# and scaled to 10 DU.  I am a little bit tired from combatting a cold and didn’t want to over do it before I was about to hop on a flight across the Atlantic. My hands were really slippery because of the sweat which made the KB hard to handle.  I struggled through this mentally and physically.  Total score: 6.

Okay, off to get at it in German style.  Wish me luck.


For benchmark week, we did Helen.  One thing that you probably know about me if you’re reading this (1) I don’t love distance runs (or WoDs that contain them) and (2) Pull-Ups are my biggest goat.  I want to do one so badly, but understand it takes time.  Without further adieu, I will not introduce you to Helen:

3 rounds for time
Run 400m
21 Kettlebell Swings
12 Pullups

I modified the pull-ups and did what I thought were 6  jumping pull-ups.  I stood on a 45# weight plate, jumped up and pulled my chin to the bar. Jumping pull-ups always seem to take me forever compared to other people.  And today was no exception.  My friend Brendan was also doing jumping pull-ups and flew threw them.  I didn’t know why…until after the WoD and Jarrod pulled me aside and informed me that I was doing some weird jump up, pull up, negative pull up hybrid.  Jumping pull-ups are exactly what they sound like.  You jump and pull yourself over the bar and drop immediately.  Very eye opening.  Now I know why the scaled “BEG” version was jumping pull-ups and not band assisted (which were intermediate).  Blech.

The run, albeit slow, felt really good.  I am definitely feeling stronger and more endurance when I run.  When I first started Crossfit, the runs were brutal.  Half the time, I wanted to walk.  I was sooooo slow.  It’s getting better, which I’m really happy to say!

When we were figuring out our KB weights, I was feeling wimpy and went with 26#.  But I knew that was the easy path.  Instead, I went with the Rx 35# KB for the WoD and did all three KB sets unbroken!

Not sure how much I really liked Helen.  I definitely know where I can improve in my next meeting with her.  My final time was 13:03. Going into it, I knew my goal was to finish sub 15, so I was happy with the time.  Next time, sub-12 and band-assisted pull-ups!

Double Sunday! Kettlebells and Jarrod

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I elected to do a double session yesterday.  Rita, who was recently certified as a CF Level 1 coach, is also a kettlebell trainer as well.  She is starting a kettlebell class at Craic.  I’ve always been interested in kettlebell training, so I decided to go.  Conveniently, it was at 10:00AM and ended just as my private session with Jarrod began.  Also, I want arms and a back like Rita’s.

The KB session taught me that I am NOT coordinated.  It was run like a typical CF workout.  We started with mobility and stretching, worked on skills, and then went through a WoD.  


Turkish Get Up

Russian Swing

I STRUGGLED with the Turkish Get Up.   Especially on my left side.  I had to use a pretty low weight, but was glad to so I could work on technique.  The Russian Swing was very similar to what we do in CF classes, so that was easy enough.  I use the word “easy” in comparison to the Turkish Get Up.

Then we did the WoD which was:

Four rounds (not for time, work on technique)

  • 2 half get ups (one on each side)
  • 4 full get ups (two on each side)
  • 6 push-ups on the kettlebell (I used my knees and could barely go down)
  • 8 hike, swing, hike, park 
  • 10 Russian swings

I did not finish four rounds.  I was exhausted and trying to get the skill right.  Time ran out so we could do some ab-tastic work. This was probably the toughest part for me.  I really have to work on my core.  While I needed it, I hated every moment of it.  We did 20, 15, 10, 5 KB crunches.  Before each set, we did 1 min of planking.  I made it through the first plank minute, but after that it was pretty much a defeat for the planks after that.

Here’s a pic of the crew that braved the KB workout (taken by Craic owner / coach John McEvoy).  As you can see we’re all a bit sweaty!

So after this, it was time for my private session with Jarrod.  I immediately went up to him and said “We’re working on mobility and skill today.”  I couldn’t fathom another full workout.  And that’s what we did.  We did some shoulder mobility and hamstring / low back mobility.  All to eventually help me with better form.  The shoulder mobility totally helped me with my rack position.  After that, we worked on squat cleans.  These sessions are totally helping, and if I wasn’t so tired from the KB session, I’m pretty sure that I might have been able to PR my power clean. All in all, I ended up hang cleaning about 95#, which is 10# lower than my PR (and technically, you can put up more weight doing a power clean vs. a hang clean).

I also cheated a bit yesterday food-wise.  Had some goodies from Clear Flour Bread…but back on track today.

Today (Monday) is a rest day.  Phew!