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

Everyday Was Leg Day

Did more of the testing for Jarrod today – but since the whole class was doing a front squat workout – Jarrod suggested that I just work into that class.  So, today the test was 1RM front squat.  My previous PR was 165# – but in the last year – I just did 3 x 1 1/4 squats at 165#, so I was hopeful.  Back then, every day was leg day – as my shoulder issues prevented me from doing much else.  It definitely paid off because i had a 20# PR today.  I went for 195# but failed twice.  Here’s a video of me at 165, then 175, and finally 185.  165 went really quickly, as did 175 – so I was hopeful for 185.  Took a bit of grit, but I got it.  195 just wasn’t happening – but just something else for me to shoot for!

On a side note, I noticed my bra fits me weird in the back.  BLARGH.

Monday T-4 Days until Grace

I got fat pinched today.  It was gross.  I didn’t like it.  But nice to have a baseline as to where I’m at.

Before I got pinched as assessed (Jarrod was doing some OPT assessments) I did today’s workout.

Clean + Jerk – work to a heavy single (20 min cap)

Clean + Jerk / Burpee Ladder- 7min
2 Clean + Jerks @ 95
2 Burpees
4 C&J
4 Burpees
6 C&J
6 Burpees

Really trying to focus on HIP CONTACT.  I have some nice bruises to show for it (although, they are a bit too low on my legs, which means I’m pulling too soon??)  Started light-ish 3 @ 45, 3 @ 65, 2 @ 95, 115f on clean (got really in my head before I did the lift), 115, 125, 130, 140f, 135 (PR by 5#!) – clean was really messy on the 140, so I kind of deserved to fail that rep – but I wanted to see if I could at least get 135 as that was a PR (time was running out).  First attempt, I got it.  I certainly didn’t use my hips enough on the clean – but I used them more than I usually do and it’s kind of amazing how fast the bar gets up on your shoulders when you use your hips.  The jerk was like a push press – but it was relatively easy to get the bar up above my head.  I “split push pressed” it – I think.  Definitely excited to work on form a bit more and see what happens.

photo (11)

Onto the clean and jerk burpee ladder.  I was paired with Kendyl. I counted for her and she for me.  She was all “Ugh, I’m hoping to just get past 6…she crushed it with 8+12.  She’s a great motivator.  Did no push-up burpees – as push-up burpees didn’t feel great on the shoulder.  Jarrod warned us that 2, 4, 6 were going to be easy – and once we hit 8 things might start to fall apart if we didn’t pace ourselves.  My goal was to just keep moving and if I had to take a break, no too long of one.  Ended up doing 8+8.  Gave me a bit of confidence, as that’s 28 C&J with burpees in between and it was under 7 minutes.  I just want to do under the time cap for Grace on Friday.  My legs really started getting tired more than anything on this workout (and my internal engine).





Backsquat PR!

Re-tested my backsquat today.  I knew it was either going to be a shit show or I’d PR.  And, as you can tell from the subject of this blog post, I PR’d today.  I really just wanted to get over the 200# mark, so I’m happy that I got 205#.  Now, I’m not over the moon happy. I would have loved to get at least 215# – but it just wasn’t in the cards today.  Leila managed to get it on video.  Jarrod is spotting me.

It felt fairly easy to do, so after talking to Jarrod, I went for 215#.  This was a matter of me getting in my own way and failed twice.  Dropped to 210# and failed twice there too.  I felt like I almost had the second attempt at 210#, but my legs were gassed.  Considering I haven’t really worked out in over a week and am still a wee sick – I did make my goal of breaking the 200# mark and got a 10# PR, so I’ll take it 🙂  I might try in open gym on Sunday to attempt again.  I tried to lay out my rep scheme and ran in past Jarrod.  Perhaps this is why I will never ever program my own workouts.  You can see my proposal on the left and Jarrod’s suggestion on the right.  HA. Perhaps I proposed in a little more reps that I should have.

photo (8)

Craic crushes the row!

It was an epic day of rowing yesterday.  Susie Diesel crushed her #1 spot-worthy 500m row with an amazing 1:42.6 (her previous PR was 1:44).  Keep in mind, she did this with a “boot cast” on – as she injured her foot a bit and practically rowed one-legged-style.  Judy L., who is a freaking amazing athlete, knocked me down to #4 with a time of 1:44.7.  Reggie, who I mentioned yesterday, kept his spot at #5 all day!

However, one of the most impressive shows is our very own Jarrod Dizzle Davis who did the row, thinking that there was no way he was going to PR.  He sat #1 at 1:22.7 and didn’t think that there was any way he was going to be able to even match it.  Well, like me during my 500m row…he surprised himself.  Check out his 1:21.3 PR time yesterday.  Glen coaching him the entire way!

I was supposed to do Friday’s test today, but last night my knee really started bothering me and I didn’t want to poke at it with a workout of thrusters, burpees, and running right before I am about to leave on a business trip.  The last thing I needed was to make it worse!  Tomorrow I’m headed to Las Vegas and then Seattle for a business trip.  Hope to get visits in at Crossfit Las Vegas and Foundation Crossfit.

Testing, Day 2 – 500m Row

I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened this morning.  I’ve been working on rowing a lot, we even bought a rower!  Jarrod has been coaching the shit out of rowing classes and I’ve been trying really hard to get my form more efficient.  The last time I tested with Jarrod, my time was 1:58.  I did a semi-speed row a couple of weeks ago as a warm-up at got 1:56.  Today, for the testing day – I wanted to get sub 1:55 – that’s been my goal for quite some time now.

Jarrod, again, gave some really good pointers and a great talk before we did the trial.  He said that he hoped that at least one of the following three things happen to us as we finish the 500m trial – it would be a mark of some hard work:

  1. Our face goes numb.  We can’t feel our mouth, nose, or cheeks.
  2. Our quads and legs are screaming – like our hamstrings are trying to remove themselves from your ass.
  3. T-Rex arms from all the effort (likely caused from in-efficient form, but will prove max effort!)

Jarrod coaching, looking fashionable with his cap

I knew it was less than 2:00 minutes of my life…Kendyl (with whom I was sharing a rower) went in the first round.  Everyone finished and they looked completely wasted.  COMPLETELY.  I think they took Jarrod’s criteria to heart.  I looked at my friend Leila and said we both said to each other with our eyes “Holy shit, this is gonna suck.  Look at the round 1 group.”

Now it was my turn.  I decided that I wasn’t going to look at the time, but instead I knew that I could finish the 500m in less than 60 strokes, so I just counted down strokes.  For some reason, I found this easier to do – and sometimes looking at the clock slows me down.  I occasionally glanced at the pace part of the clock to make sure I was maintaining a quick pace.  The last 100m were brutal.  I just wanted the meters tick down, counted down my strokes and gave it all I had.  I knew that I had definitely broken 1:55, but had no idea how I’d done.  I didn’t look at my time immediately, and that was only after Jarrod said “I’d say that time just put you at #3 on the board…” Wait, what?  I looked at my time:

That’s right!  1:46.6!  Holy shit.  Like I said in the beginning of the post, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.  It put me on the board for the 500m row at #3. I know that this is bragging, but I pretty much killed my goal and the time trial on the rower. I’m not sure if that will stay as the day progresses, but I’ll take it for the morning.  My friend, Reggie, also made the men’s board today with a time of 1:25.  He’s an animal.  I love him!  I not only surprised myself, but I think I surprised Jarrod too with my time.  He called me a ninja, and was quick to clarify that it’s not because I’m Asian…so I think it’s because I ninja’d my way onto the board? 🙂

Here we are feeling pretty good about our times today and showing the rower who the boss is:

It took me FOREVER to recover.  My face felt numb, my quads were on fire so much that it was hard even walking around without feeling all wobbly.  The second part of the workout was supposed to be four rounds at 80% effort of your row trial.  I think I did about 60% of my row effort for the four rounds, but it was the best way to recover from that all out effort.

Overall a great way to kick off the day.  Couldn’t have done it without my pals cheering me on and the excellent rowing coaching of Jarrod Dizzle Davis.  Love me some Craic.

Miss Fortune, Deadlifts and SMH

I had a dentist appointment this morning at 8AM, so last night I knew that I had to go to bed early so that I could get up at 5AM to get to Craic for the Craic O’Dawn class at 5:30am.  After going on a fun dinner date with Niko, I got home and thought I’d get a quick League of Legends game in with some friends before I went to bed.  We started one game and were getting our asses handed to us, so we surrendered and started a new game.  It was a GREAT game that lasted almost an hour – really evenly matched.  I got some good practice in playing Miss Fortune, now it’s time to get some Nidalee time in (especially because she turns into a cat!)

Miss Fortune


Anyway, after all was said and done, the clock was 10:45PM.  Ugh.  I was hoping to get at least a solid 6 hours sleep, as I wanted to be somewhat rested before I tried for a PR was for deadlift 1RM – this is something I haven’t tested since my 2nd week at Craic.  Oh well, had to go in and see what I could do.

My PR from April was 205#. I’ve talked on the blog before about how my deadlift needs some work (okay, a lot of work), as my form tends to fall apart when I do multiple reps.  Jarrod game some great pointers this morning about form – your spine needs to be straight, where your gaze needs to be, feet are flat in front of you, dig your big toe into the ground.  He had us work out in groups and I did my deadlift bro-session with Shannan.  Shannan was going to be lifting A LOT heavier than I was, but we built up our rep scheme together until about 175#.  After that, he jumped up weight at a more rapid pace than I did.  I worked using the following rep scheme:

  • 95#
  • 115#
  • 135# (wheels, baby!)
  • 175#
  • 205# (old PR)

When I got to 205# and addressed the bar, for some reason, I lost all confidence in myself.  I tried to pick up the bar and it wouldn’t move.  Then I switched to mixed grip and voila!  Picked it up with minimal problems.  Then it was time for me to try getting a PR.  After conferring with Jarrod, I went for 215#.  It actually went up no problem.  Here’s video of 215# below:

After 215#, I wanted to go for two “wheels” on each side – which was a milestone for me.  That would be 225#.  Did it!  Was a bit more sloppy at the top than 215#.  Caught some video of that as well.

After the cameras were off, I wanted to try to do a “little more” weight and opted to put 20 more pounds on for a total of 245#.  It came off the ground no problem, but as soon as I got the bar close to my knees, my form completely fell apart.  But I powered through it and told myself that there was no way I was going to put down the bar.  It was super fucking ugly, but I did it. So excited!   A 40# PR at 245#!  After I PR’d I looked at Jarrod and he was just shaking his head.  I got worried that I actually didn’t get the rep, but he assured me I did … just pointed out what I already knew – it was really terrible form.  In the words of Mel “Ockerbeast” Ockerby before we were set to judge in the Firebreather Festival “We’re there to make sure that they do things at the standards that they are given, no whether or not they have shitty form doing so.”  Which is basically what happened to me.  He wasn’t going to no-rep me on the deadlift, but my form was definitely shitty.  Definitely something to work on moving forward and next time I do a 245# deadlift, I’m not going to lift it if my form is falling apart.  Lucky that I didn’t get that one on video!  On a different note, my bro session guy Shannan got a PR and broke the 300# mark and got 305#.  Huge accomplishment for him!   All the ladies were matching this morning, so we took a pic and Shannan was surrounded by some hot Craic ladies.

After the get to a 1RM deadlift, we were supposed to do an AMRAP of 80% of our 1RM deadlift.  For me, that was 208#.  Jarrod told us that we were supposed to do anywhere around 15-20 reps.  I went into that portion in a bad head space, knowing that my form was crappy for 245# and then thinking it was going to be crappy for 208#.  I thought that…and surprise…it was.  I ended up only being able to do 4 reps unbroken.  Jarrod just looked at me and did this:

After that, I went to the dentist and proud to report I am cavity free!  It’s been a good 12 hours, to say the least.

Jarrod Dizzle Davis PR @255#

My bro  coach, Jarrod Davis, had a 10# PR for his clean and jerk at 255#.

I always blog about Jarrod as my coach, but here’s a post about Jarrod as an athlete.  He PR’d “easing back into lifting” after an injury.  You can read more about his PR here. Totally radical, bro.

Front Squats Supported

No Bread Challenge -Day 29

Since I heard the diagnosis of a potentially slap tear, I’ve been mentally listing off all the things I CAN’T do now that I have the shoulder injury.  I can’t do snatches.  I can’t do jerks.  I can’t do kipping anything. I can’t do … anything.  That’s what I was really saying.  This week is especially hard because it’s testing week.  All that hard work over the last six weeks to get us doing better at specific things.  I was so excited to re-test my snatch and clean and jerk.  Now I can’t.  I also can’t do Fran at the end of the No Bread Challenge.  I haven’t even gotten the MRI yet, and the diagnosis seems bleak and not motivating.  I was making such great progress with my lifts and sidelined.  I can keep telling myself all sorts of inspirational shit, but truth is…this fucking sucks.  I wallowed most of this weekend thinking about it.

Hurricane Sandy is about to barrel through so work advised us to stay home today.  I had some trouble falling asleep last night, and when my alarm went off at 6:00AM, I wasn’t very motivated to get out of bed.  So I set it for 7:00AM and still not motivated.  I wallowed some more and finally got up around 8:00AM.  I didn’t really want to go to Craic, it’s just too depressing to think about all that I couldn’t do.  I mean, what the hell am I going to do on Wednesday for Snatch 1RM test and Friday for Clean and Jerk 1RM test?  Why do I give a shit about front squats (today’s test was 1RM)?  I’ve been stuck at 145# for 6 months.  But for some reason I motivated to go to the 9:00AM class.  I had minimal expectations going into it for my front squat.

Jarrod was coaching today and we did some mobility and then went straight into building up for the front squat.  I worked with Sara and Carleen (it is Carleen’s birthday today!) and they were super motivating. Today reminded me about why I love Crossfit and why I shouldn’t continue to wallow and focus on the stuff I can’t do.  Jarrod gave some great coaching pointers and everyone was encouraging everyone else.  Both Sara and Carleen PR’d today!  Woot!  Woot!  I worked my way up to the dreaded 145# and it felt really easy.  I was hopeful going into 150#.  And as it turns out, I CAN do something.  I CAN still get better, even if other aspects of my Crossfit life are on hold. I ended today’s test with a final score of 165#.  That’s a 20# PR, yo.  Our rep schemes below:

I know as this shoulder issue progresses, I’m going to have bad days, but this is one of the good days that reminds me not to give up, not to feel sorry for myself, and focus on what I can do.  I can modify any workout, I can focus on mobility, I can focus on making my body as strong as possible in the chance that I have to have surgery, I can eat clean. I can always rely on my coaches, my fellow Craic heads, my family, my friends, my cats (sorry, had to) to get me through this. I can…I can…I can…

And on that note, just for fun – he’s a video of me failing at 170#.  This was my second attempt and wasn’t happening.  I’m okay with this.  I’ll take a 20# PR any day!

In other news, Jarrod got a very special brand of mobility today that I got to play witness to.  

I don’t remember everything I ate yesterday.  I definitely had some slow cooked curry chicken, mashed sweet potatoes with pancetta, egg salad with bell pepper and some homemade almond butter cups.

Testing, Day 5 – Clean and Jerks

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I went in to today’s testing day with a clear head. No temper tantrums for me today.  I had just PR’d my clean early this week so I didn’t have many expectations for Friday and was going to be happy just making it to 120# for my clean and jerk. (Which is my current personal best).  Today’s focus was really form.

I made the playlist for the workout today because our resident music playlist guy couldn’t make it today.  The group decided on boy bands…since the workout was clean and jerks!

I built up to work on my form, did a rep scheme similar to Monday’s rep scheme:

  • 75# x 5
  • 95# x 5
  • 105# x 3

And then I started going in increments of weight doing one rep.

  • 110#
  • 115#
  • 120#
  • 125#
  • 130#

If you’re following closely, I PR’d at 125# and then at 130#!  I was so happy about it because I wasn’t expecting it.  I just wanted to work on my form today and just went for it.  I did two attempts at 135#, but failed on the clean.  I ALMOST had the first attempt at the clean, but I was leaning way too far forward and dropped the weight.  

But I’ll take it.  I’m happy!  Here is some video proof!

Here’s the first PR at 125#

Here’s my PR at 130#!

Here’s me failing at 135#. See how far forward I am at the squat?