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.

Some New Craic – Testing Day 1

Took a rest day yesterday.  After the tabata and then sitting in a car for 7+ hours…my body was a mess.  Mostly lounged around the house after going to breakfast and catching a screening of Lincoln in the early afternoon.  I also knew that I’d be working out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week because it’s another testing week at Craic and I needed to get my tests / workouts in before I left for a business trip to Las Vegas.  So why more tests?  Craic is changing the way that they approach training.  This came after a trip John and Glen took to AZ for OPT Training.  Here’s Glen’s recent post on the new philosophy of training.  We’re going to spend three days testing this week and for each movement, it will put us into a group of which we will stay in while we train.  For some of the movements, we might be in BEG, for others, INT and for some Rx and that will be our swim lane (per movement) for the next two months.

I worked out with Kendyl and Lauren today.  Lauren and I were joking that if we morphed into one person, we would be the ultimate Crossfitter 🙂  She’s amazing at gymnastics and running and I’m pretty decent at strength and rowing.  Ha!  Today’s test was 1RM backsquat and max pull-ups (or scaled version).  The thresholds for what group you’re in were as follows:


RX= 1.5x Bodyweight or more
INT= 1-1.5x Bodyweight
BEG= Bodyweight or less


Men / Women 
RX=  7+
INT= 3-6
BEG = 0-2

Going in, I knew I’m be at BEG for the pull-ups, but surprisingly, until today, I’ve never tested my backsquat 1RM.  For the pull-ups we had the option of doing 3-second negatives or ring pulls.  Pull-ups make me nervous with my shoulder issue, so I talked to Jarrod about doing ring-pulls correctly.  I’ve been doing them a lot lately, but I knew I wasn’t doing them correctly, as they weren’t as challenging as I knew that they could be.  This time, Jarrod had me stand with my feet directly beneath the rings and it was definitely more challenging.  I squeaked out 11 ring pulls.  Officially in the BEG group.  By the way, Lauren got 11 strict pull-ups!

Working with Lauren and Kendyl was great on the backsquat.  Kendyl totally underestimated her own strength and was like “I think I’ll try for 105 today.”  She and Lauren both ended up getting 130#!  I checked what I did historically and did a 5×5 at 125# in September and prior to that, 5×3 at 145# in August.  Other than that, I never tested it.  I knew that likely I could do 165#, as that’s my front squat.  I did the following rep scheme: 75# x 2, 95# x 3 (warm up) and then 125#, 145#, 165#, 175#, 185#, and then I decided to try for 195#.  I rebounded off the bottom no problem, but when I got the middle of the lift my body just stopped.  It (as Jarrod also pointed out) was a very weird place for me to pause in the middle of my lift.  He thought I was going to fail, but somehow after the pause, I stood right up!  I’m really happy with 195#.  It put me in the INT group for that movement.  Can’t wait to get 200# at the end of this training regime!

Today also marked my half-year point of check-ins at Craic.  I’m still the mayor 🙂 I’ve been going to Craic for 8 months, but didn’t start doing the Foursquare thing until today.

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?

Testing, Day 2 – Diane

Fact of the day: Did you know that Diana Ross was originally Diane Ross, but she felt that “Diana” sounded more glamorous?

So, today’s test was Diane.  21-15-9 Deadlifts and HSPU.  We did this WoD on July 7th.

I wanted to do 135#, as this is what I did in that last workout.  Last time it took me 5:19.  I did the bench HSPU last time with a 12-9-6 rep scheme.

I tried a couple of reps at 135# and my form was off.  I HATED dropping weight, but was working out with Cat and she suggested that I drop weight.  I think that I annoyed Jarrod by asking him if I should go heavy (at 135#) vs. drop weight and work on form.  The answer is, always work on form.  I just wasn’t too happy about it.  I decided that because I was dropping weight to 125#, then I would do 21-15-9 of the bench HSPU.  I used two mats under my head.

I did the first set unbroken, but it was tough.  When I got to 15, I did 10 and then 5.  And did the last 9 unbroken.  Jarrod and Cat were both coaching me to drop my butt at the bottom and I just couldn’t get my head around doing it consistently.  Add that to the list of things to work on.  Glad that I dropped the weight. Would have been terrible to bork my back again because I was too proud to drop the weight and instead do bad form.

Final Time: 4:01