Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Max back squats

Max back squats today: 235lbs (PR).

Goal: 265lbs.

Followed by: five rounds for time (115lbs for the guys/75lbs for the girls)
  • 5 Curtis P's
  • 10 toes to bar
  • 5 box jumps
In which we learn that George had the shit beat out of him. I felt awful, need to rest after working out in 9 of my last 10 days.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Heavy squat cleans, ring dips and squats

Today's WOD: Five rounds of:
  • 20 x Squats
  • 12 x Ring Dips
  • 8 x Squat Cleans (135 lbs)
Time: 15:25. Enjoyed this one. Well, as much as these things can be "enjoyed."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Heavy legs

Today's WOD: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 of:
  • Deadlifts (225lbs)
  • Box jumps (24")
  • Jumping lunges
Time = 11:51

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Personal records

My personal records as of December 17, 2009:
  • 1k row: 3:35
  • 2k row: 7:16.7
  • 5k row: 18:46.7
  • 5k run: 26:20
  • 10k run: 1:01:17
  • 12k run: 1:16:48
  • 14k run: 1:30:16
  • 22.1k run (half marathon): 2:09:13
  • Angie: 29:11
  • Cindy: 12 rounds
  • Crossfit Total: 680
  • Daniel: 24:08
  • Diane: 8:29 (not Rx)
  • Grace: 6:28
  • Fight Gone Bad: 250
  • Fran: 12:54
  • Helen: 12:05
  • Jackie: 8:08
  • Karen: 7:04
  • Max back squats: 230lbs
  • Max clean: 175lbs
  • Max deadlift: 345lbs
  • Max front squats: 205lbs
  • Max overhead: 155lbs
  • Max press: 105lbs
  • Max push-press: 145lbs
  • Max snatch: 110lbs
  • The Chief: 18.25


I did Grace today for only the second time fully prescribed. Last time I did it was five months ago in a time of 12:43. Given that (relatively) unimpressive time I wasn't sure what to expect.

Well, big improvement. Actually, huge improvement. Grace is:
  • 30 x clean-and-jerk (135lbs)
Time = 6:28 (PR)

Feeling very good about this -- most particularly because I am certain that I can shave off those 28 seconds next time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

7, 5, 3...hard and fast

Good WOD today: five rounds of:
  • 7 x thrusters (115lbs Rx) [I did 95lbs]
  • 5 x overhead squats
  • 3 x squat cleans
Time = 10:34

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


We did Ivan for the first time today: 20 minutes of the following movements on the minute for the minute:
  • 3 x push presses (95lbs)
  • 5 x box jumps (24")
  • 7 x kettle bell swings (24k)
Now, I've done harder WODs, but rarely have I brought more intensity and determination to a workout like I did this one. I completed every single round as prescribed. I even gashed my shin (again!) on the box jumps but kept going. Once I got to round 15 I was determined to complete it as prescribed even though every fibre of my body was telling me to stop. I basically pushed myself forward by acknowledging that I was successfully doing each movement and that I didn't need to stop. And it worked. Nothing like a workout where you make progress in both the physical and psychological realms.
Man, I was completely out of it after the WOD for about two hours.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Max cleans

We did max cleans today (we could do either power cleans or squat cleans). I maxed out at 175lbs (PR).

Followed by:
  • (15 x walking lunges, 15 x pull-ups (chest to bar), 15 x kettle bell swings) x 2
  • (10 x burpees, 10 x knees to elbows, 10 x push-ups) x 2
  • (20 x sit-ups, 20 x squats, 20 x double-unders) x 2
Time = 13:51. My double-unders are definitely improving.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Clock

As most CrossFitters know, CrossFit wouldn't be CrossFit without The Clock. It's what gives each workout the sense of urgency that it deserves, an aspect that's largely missing from other fitness regimens.

Take bodybuilding culture for example. Guys will do a set of reps, walk around for a bit, admire themselves in the mirror and then proceed to do their next set of isolation movements.

There's clearly something missing from this approach; there's not much being done to address the crucial fitness domains of stamina and cardiovascular/respiratory endurance. CrossFit, on the other hand, addresses this particular facet by having The Clock.

Harder, faster

By introducing the element of time domains, athletes are compelled to work harder and faster in order to complete the workouts as quickly as possible. Not only does this add a competitive element to each workout, it also provides a way for each individual to measure their own success and improvement over time. And just as importantly, regular efforts to reduce personal time domains helps to improve both stamina and cardiovascular endurance.

This can be somewhat of a shock to those new to CrossFit. The idea of doing sets of Olympic weightlift movements while on the clock is one of the most intimidating aspects of CrossFit -- but it's also what sets it apart from other fitness methodologies. It's one of the key reasons why it works.

Time domains

There are many ways in which The Clock can be utilized in CrossFit. Most workouts are 'for time' meaning that all the sets and rounds have to completed as quickly as possible. Another valuable time schema is the Tabata workout in which participants work as hard as they can for twenty second intervals, typically followed by ten seconds of rest. Another technique is to have athletes do as many rounds as possible within specific time domains, some as short as a minute.

This can be extremely motivating, only because failing to hit the time targets can sometimes result in a longer and more arduous workout. I did a WOD recently in which we were required to do six box jumps (24") followed by squat-clean-to-thrusters (95lbs). The WOD was finished only when 65 squat-clean-to-thrusters were completed.

What made this WOD particularly deadly was that the box jumps started on the minute every minute. Failure to get many thrusters in meant that the WOD kept dragging on and that you found yourself constantly stuck in front of your box. This was one workout in which the clock had a profound impact on the nature of the workout and the level of intensity that had to be brought to it.

Indeed, most CrossFitters have a love/hate relationship with The Clock. There are times, say for a twenty minute workout, when you've been working your ass off for what you think is a decent span of time, you look at the clock and realize only five minutes have transpired. It's easy to get demoralized at times like that, but hey, that's CrossFit; time to get your inner game in order and push yourself through.

Track your progress

Another consequence of The Clock is that it's often hard to avoid comparing yourself to others -- and this isn't always a bad thing -- it can certainly help in placing your own performance and level of fitness in context.

But one thing I've learned is that, while it's important to look at other people's time in relation to your own, it's more important that you compare yourself to yourself. Otherwise, you have no sense of progress. Rather than obsess over your time in relation to others, it's a better idea to focus on competing against your previous efforts.

So, all ready to set a new PR?


Saturday, December 12, 2009

If it has the word "Turkish" before it, it can't be good

I could feel Turkish Get-Ups in my bones this morning, and sure enough it was in today's WOD: four rounds of:
  • 10 x Turkish Get-Ups (35lbs) [I did 25lbs]
  • 20 x squats with dumbbell on one shoulder
  • 10 x strict pull-ups
  • 20 x one-handed kettlebell swings (16kg)
Time = 22:15.

As always the TGUs are tough, tough, tough. Compared to that the rest of the WOD was a breeze.

For those not familiar with the TGU, check out the video:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Maximum overhead + Leg Blasters

We did maximum overheads today; this can be done with a Push Press, Push Jerk or Split Jerk (I chose the latter). I maxed out at 155lbs (PR) -- which surprised me. I thought I could do more. I think this is one area where I stand to make some definite improvement.

After that we did four rounds of the Leg Blaster + 20 uneven box push-ups after each round. The Leg Blaster is:
  • 20 Squats
  • 20 Lunges
  • 20 Jumping Lunges
  • 20 Jumping Squats
My time: 18:08. Surprisingly tough! This is one WOD where I know I can do better.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Hopper deck Thursday yielded a benchmark: Angie:
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 100 push-ups
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 100 squats
Time = 29:11 (PR) - though not fully prescribed.

I rocked through the first 50 pull-ups, but then stalled dramatically after that. I resorted to a combination regular + jumping pull-ups. Same deal with the push-ups; the first 50 went fairly well, but I really trailed off in the back half and did a number of them from my knees. The sit-ups and squats were no problem.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Uneven week at CrossFit Connection

We've got a theme goin' on at CrossFit Connection this week: everything's uneven. Today's WOD:
  • Thrusters
  • Sumo Deadlift Highpulls
  • Floor Wipers
Done like this:
  • The bar is loaded to 105 lbs/ 70 lbs unevenly
  • Reps of 21-15-9
  • With 5 (one foot box jumps) between each station
Time = 24:30.

This was really hard for me. I don't know if it was psychological or physical, but the imbalanced bars really messed me up. The thrusters felt heavier than usual -- not sure what was going on there. And the floor wipers are always hard for me as bench pressing 105lbs is about the most I can lift. Felt a bit nauseous after this one.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Chief

Did "The Chief" today for the second time. My previous was 3x5=15, so today I was hoping for at least 20, but had to settle for 18.25 (PR). The WOD: AMRAP in three minutes with one minute breaks for five rounds:
  • 3 x power cleans (135 lbs)
  • 6 push-ups
  • 9 squats
My rounds went like this:
  1. 4.25
  2. 3.75
  3. 3.25
  4. 3.25
  5. 3.75
For a total of 18.25.

I was discouraged by the degree to which my push-ups slowed me down, but then I thought of a couple things. First, that's a lot of push-ups -- 96 to be exact. Second, it wasn't too long ago that getting to 10 push-ups was a massive achievement for me.

During my first few weeks of working out in July-August of 2008, I can remember struggling and struggling to get each push-up in and working towards the lofty goal of 10 push-ups. Today, they're still not very easy for me, but the fact that I can now struggle to get in 100 during a workout is clearly an achievement. And it can only get better from here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Push presses and pull-ups on the minute

Today's WOD: Every minute on the minute for 20 minutes:
  • 5 x push presses (115lbs)
  • 5 x pull-ups
Workouts like this are completely messed but valuable. I find that I work significantly harder when the WOD is regimented like this. I'm quite sure that if this WOD was simply for time that I'd never do it sub 20.

Some notes: The first 10 minutes were no problem, the final 10 minutes were hell on earth. After a dozen rounds I couldn't push press to full extension so I dumbed it down to 105lbs -- still pretty heavy. And psychologically this was a very demanding WOD. This one is what CrossFit is all about.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I did Daniel today for the second time since joining CrossFit Connection, and it wasn't any less difficult. A very challenging WOD:
  • 50 pull-ups
  • 400m run
  • 21 thrusters (95lbs)
  • 800m run
  • 21 thrusters
  • 400m run
  • 50 pull-ups
Time = 24:08 (PR).

I don't know what the time was for my first attempt, but I think it was close to 30 minutes, so this is definitely a PR. Note: I did jumping pull-ups as opposed to last time; still working on the supinated grip.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CrossFit Total: One WOD, Four PRs

Today I did the CrossFit Total benchmark for the first time. My results:
  • Max Deadlift: 345 lbs (PR) [old PR was 325 lbs]
  • Max Press: 105 lbs (PR) [first official recorded lift]
  • Max Back squat: 230 lbs (PR) [old PR was 215 lbs)
  • CrossFit Total = 680 (PR)