CrossFit – Snatches, Squats and Deadlifts!

Hi all,

Hope you are having a terrific Tuesday so far – Glasgow is looking bright and feeling warmer – signs of summer? Hopefully!

Getting to grips with my problems over moving to self hosting (well, I think I am!). I have a path now that should hopefully lead to everything being as it should – so if you can’t access my webpage at any point, do not fear, I haven’t gone away! Please try again!

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For now though, I have to wait and can go back to my happy calm place – writing and speaking to you all! We were back to my other happy place today, CrossFit, so time for a recap!

Tuesday Morning (6th)

We began with a nice block run in the sunshine to warm up – what a difference this makes! A good chat with everyone about the weekend and the run was done in no time at all!

We moved straight into warming up for the first part of the WOD and used a PVC pipe to break down and practice the moves for power snatch.

Oh snatches and cleans, why do you haunt me so!!!?? My major issue, I don’t have the strength to just lift the bar above me, so therefore I am completely dependent on technique. In the long run, great, in the short run I am getting flustered trying to get the speed and thrust needed to get the bar up. I do see progress definitely and I know one day it will just click, BUT I wish that day would hurry up and arrive. I am trying so very hard.

(A great video showing how it’s done, how to slow it down and what is involved)

Then we moved on to 5 sets of 3RM back squats – working up to a new 3RM. David and I partnered up (same height for rack) and went for it! It had been a while since I had done 3RM’s so went with what I achieved last week for a 5RM (35kg) and aimed to go higher than that. I managed to get a new 3RM of 40kg! Yay! May have even of been able to go a little higher – something to note for next time.

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Final WOD time. It didn’t look fun…

5 rounds for time

7 deadlifts

7 burpee – kettle bell goblet squats

Ok, I admit, anything that says ‘burpee’ I automatically hate! Does anyone actually LOVE them? In case you were wondering, burpee – kettle bell goblet squats are where you do a burpee, stand up, grab the kettle bell and do a goblet squat, then repeat.

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The deadlifts were to be heavy – the ability to ‘touch and go’ with all 7 but still heavy. So I went with 45kg. The first few rounds of deadlifts were ok but I knew with the last rounds, my back was definitely curving – not good. The burpee KB goblet squats were definitely a thigh burner – burpee ok but the squat down and up – holy quads!

I completed it in 8 minutes 15 seconds and was completely beat by the end of it! We all were! Great fun though!

CrossFit – Squats, Swings and BURPEES!

Hi all,

How is everyone’s day so far? Always a bit of a thought to get back to normal after a holiday weekend but hopefully the memories of fab times will keep you smiling!

David and I celebrated our Glasgowversary (our one year anniversary of living in Glasgow) in style yesterday – lunch at our favourite restaurant and then we had an amazing cocktail at a newly opened bar just around the corner from where we live. Inside is beautiful, renovated back to what it would have looked like in the 1930’s, including the original signage which they discovered during the renovation. We will definitely be back here, in fact I think we may have found ‘our bar’. Relaxing, fun and with the types of drinks we like – the Kelvingrove Cafe, you are a hidden gem!

Me below in the bar with our cocktails… my cocktail was called Kingdom Heart and it consisted of – Tapitao tequila, grapefruit solution, Cocchi Americano, yellow chatreuse – shaken, straight up with a cherry. Incredible!

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David enjoying his drink – and changing his mind on Campari!

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Anyway – on to today’s post – recap of this morning’s CrossFit!

We began with a block run and then some squat stretches. I swear the first block run of the week is always a drainer, even though we were active all weekend. Or maybe it’s because we chat the entire time while doing it which gets us more out of breath…!

From there we did an nasty little tabata which pushed our abs to the max – 16 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, planks and hollow rocks. Feel the burn!

We then paired off to do the strength WOD – 6 rounds of 6 rep back squats at 70% of our 1RM.

My 1RM is 35kg so I went with a weight of 25kg. Not too keen on back squats but was actually glad to do them today, total progress moment. I felt more in control, more confident, more in tune with my technique and the pressure. It felt good! Coach Matt (Coach TC having a well deserved morning off!) gave David and I some good advice about using our butt and hips about ¾ of the way back up to almost ‘thrust’ the bar upwards. Something we presumed we were doing but when we focussed on using that technique, soon realised we weren’t! What a difference and something I will use from now on.

Then on to the final WOD – I don’t think I need to explain to anyone the feeling I had when I read this, because I all know you will have the same feeling!

For time

10 – 15 – 20 – 25 – 30

Kettle Bell Swings

Burpees

Damn you burpees! Yep, 100 KB swings, 100 burpees in total. There was nothing to do but to go for it and kick burpees butt!

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I went for a 10kg kettle bell and was pleased I picked this weight. I was going to go for an 8kg bell but decided to stick with the higher weight, keeping that all important intensity high. I finished in 14 minutes, 17 seconds and was pleased with my time, I don’t think I could have gone any faster!

Here is the zombie crew afterwards, shattered but we all killed it to the max and felt super pumped!

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CrossFit – You gotta be a little weird!

Hi all!

Hope you are well and your Tuesday is set up to be super fun!

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I am back blogging in my favourite local Starbucks with the sun shining outside. I think it was all that coffee talk yesterday that has made me crave a fresh brew! But not just any coffee, oh no, I am having my Americano iced today! Little bit of sunshine = desire for iced drinks!

But now on to my 2 day recap of CrossFit!

Monday Morning (14th)

So this morning I was still nursing my cold and was still pretty sore from my crash on Thursday! (See here for info if you missed it). I decided to still attend CrossFit, but like Friday, proceed with caution!

We began with a block run and then some additional warm up exercises to get us prepared for the WOD.

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The strength WOD was 8 rounds of 4 rep back squats at 80% of our 1RM. My 1RM was 35kg so I decided to round down rather than up and go for a weight of 25kg. Each round was then to be superset with a form of pull up, dependant on your level. I tried a few different pull up options but ended up going with 15 jumping pull ups in between each set of back squats.

The back squats were fine, the 4th rep of each set being quite tricky but hey that’s what it is meant to be! The jumping pull ups were done on top of a 16 inch step which made them more tricky than normal. (In case you are thinking ‘woah 16 inches is still so far from the bar!’ I should probably add that I am 6 foot 1 so not as low as it would be for a ‘normal’ person!). Out of everything at CrossFit, I feel my weakest at the gymnastic work but I am getting there. It may be slow progress but still progress nonetheless.

The second WOD was

4 rounds of

2 minute AMRAP

16 kettle bell swings

12 goblet squats

8 hand to hand snatches

Rest for 1 minute in between each round

I went for an 8kg kettle bell. I could have done 10kg for everything bar the hand to hand snatches, they were difficult to master and new for a few of us so wise to go lighter and to a higher intensity.  My results were as follows

Round 1 – Up to 5 snatches

Round 2 – Up to 6 snatches

Round 3 – Up to 7 snatches

Round 4 – 1 complete round

Yay, increased by 1 rep every time – get in!

Tuesday Morning (15th)

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We began with a block run and some killer mobility work. Much needed work on my tough area – the scapula.

The strength WOD for today was strict press and I was pleased as I love to press. I think I may be a rarity in that but I guess I just feel more in control of the bar pressing that squatting.

Every 90 seconds for 12 minutes – 4 strict press at 80% 1RM

I do think I could have gone slightly heavier with this. My 1RM (gained quite a while ago now) was 20kg so I went with 15kg for the WOD. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t tough either so I hope 1RM’s come up soon so I can have a more accurate weight to work from.

The second WOD today was tough, very tough! Anyone still feeling the pain from 14.5, look away now!

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4 rounds of

3 minute AMRAP

12 thrusters

12 toes to bar/ knee to chest

1 minute rest in between each round

Results

Round 1 – 1 round plus 4 thrusters

Round 2 – 1 round

Round 3 – 1 round plus 3 thrusters

Round 4 – 1 round plus 5 thrusters

Holy guacamole! Killer WOD but actually really good fun! One of my favourite WOD’s we have done recently!

I went with a 15kg bar for the thrusters and did knees to chest. I am very chuffed as when I did 14.5 I went for 10kg so a 5kg increase on a thruster heavy WOD – big smiles from Jen!

I also managed to get better as the WOD went on, just like yesterday – but I am odd like that, I always tend to improve as I go on with WODs, instead of the regular more understandable result of getting slower as you get more tired! But hey, you got to be a little weird to be a CrossFitter, its part of the criteria!

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Crossfit – And the weights go up!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope your Tuesday is going well. I am currently watching as deep dark clouds surround the centre of Glasgow – think we are in for a rain storm! Had one last night, it was crazy rain!

Here is my recap from Crossfit last night. Time for me to join the big boys and girls…

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We began with an extended tabata warm up which I think we were all grateful for – it was cold wet and miserable outside!

So we had 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, times 5 for each station. The stations were wall balls, kettle bell swings and box jumps (step ups for me). It wasn’t too bad, the step ups and kettle bells swings were fun and even the wall balls were ok. I think because it wasn’t about doing a ‘certain amount of reps’ I was able to focus a bit more on technique and take things slowly. Good practice. We were all certainly warmed up after that!

After doing some stretches on the floor (sore but felt so good!), we moved on to toe to bar swing tekkers. After doing the toe to bar swings during a WOD last week it was good to revisit them again and try some more. As I mentioned last week, I understand the technique behind it and what I have to do, just need more strength to do it. I was able to swing a lot more and get my legs up further which I was pleased about.

David and I then paired up for 8 rounds of 4 rep back squats at 80% of your 1 RM. My last 5 RM was 25kg but that was really tough. I managed 25kg in the end – I could have gone higher but we ran out of time. I also wanted to make sure I was doing it correctly at 25kg as last night my chest was coming forward ever so slightly when I bent down to squat. No good! By the end however, I think I had rectified it.

We then moved on to the main WOD of the day and coach was keen for us to focus on upping our weights – rather than focusing on reps.  A 12 minute AMRAP barbell complex consisting of – deadlift, power clean, front squat then split jerk (separate but one move leading on to the other).

Oh boy was this tough. I began with a 7.5kg bar and 17.5kg of weight on it = 25kg. This was far too much. I could deadlift but that was it. So I dropped it down to the bar plus 10kg = 17.5kg. This was still really heavy. The deadlifts were no problem but to go from that to a power clean was so incredibly difficult – I had to use everything; I mean everything in my body to get the bar up there. The front squats and split jerk were also difficult but compared to the power clean I was glad of the change. Those 12 minutes were the most difficult and testing minutes I have ever had at Crossfit. It required 110% of everything I am to do it. I was however, determined to do it. I know my techniques now, I know how to do the moves properly so the next step is adding the weight. Previously I would have dropped the weight down further but I knew in order to succeed I needed to really push and do this. (I must add that I never would go as far as to hurt myself, I wouldn’t do it and coach would never let me do anything that would damage my body – just wanted to make that clear!).

It was tough, so very very tough. I was so drained afterwards, even to the point of emotional (not like me!) but it showed me what I can do. My hardwork is paying off, my practice is paying off, I never could have dreamed of lifting those weights for a power clean to front squat to split jerk, even if you had asked me last week!

Keep focused, keep strong and keep going!

Crossfit – Making me smile again!

wods and all

Hi all,

Happy Friday! Can’t believe that’s another week come and gone but if it means it’s the weekend then bring it on!

Time to recap last night’s Crossfit…

Unfortunately, David and I arrived late. It must have only been by 2 minutes maximum and traffic was a killer but rules are rules and if you are late then your warm up consists of 20 burpees. Urgh…

We also warmed up with some swings on the kettle bells, this was definitely more fun!

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From there we moved on to practicing some techniques – kipping pull up progressors. We started with taps and then moved on to swinging further out in order to get the momentum to eventually kip. My taps are coming along, although to get the momentum, I have to use a band (as do many). With having the band there I feel like you have to learn how to tap all over again, you are supposed to ‘push through’ the band but mine won’t budge! Also I am struggling with the concept of pushing myself further up without bending my arms- they just naturally want to bend – I’m sure it will come with time though. As will my pull ups in general, even with the band my arms still struggle. In time… in time.

We then grabbed a bar bell to work on push jerks and split jerks – something which I haven’t revisited since on- ramp. I was pleased that I remembered my technique and we spent the time (5 rounds of 2 sets), working on this technique. It wasn’t to be about the weight for this one, coach just wanted to make sure we were getting our stance and movements spot on. It was good fun being able to practice this more – and even better to know I was getting it right!

After this we moved on to overhead squats. I have done back squats before but not overhead ones which are quite a bit more tricky – or that was my impression anyway. I started using just a plain 7.5kg bar but my body wasn’t letting me hold this weight up while squatting down. So in order to get the technique right, I used one of the training PVC pipes. After I got the technique, we slid on very light 1.25 kg and then 2.5 kg weights on to the middle of the bar (minding my head when I squatted obviously), so that I could get used to the weight. This worked a treat and by my last set, I was able to go back, get the bar bell and do the squats with that – yay! It just shows that sometimes getting your body used to the weight and position first means that later you may be able to lift a weight you couldn’t do earlier on – all about getting those muscles warmed up.

Then came the main WOD – a 7 minute AMRAP of 5 deadlifts and 10 box jumps.

These are the kind of WOD’s I enjoy!

I went with a weight of 27.5 kg for my deadlifts and due to my knee did step ups rather than the jumps. I completed 7 rounds plus 5 deadlifts in the time and I was really pleased with that.

Overall, looking back on the WOD, I could have lifted heavier for my deadlifts. Think I might go up to 32.5 kg next time – not a big jump but I don’t want to go too far. I can feel myself getting stronger though and WOD’s like this prove it to me. I was a bit bummed out after the last two Crossfit sessions and this is exactly what I needed in order to prove to myself why I was doing this in the first place – enjoyment! It was good to leave the box smiling again.

Have a good weekend everybody!

Crossfit, WOD’s and Squats… Oh My!

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Hi all,

Well David and I finally did it, and began Crossfit on Monday evening!

I must admit we were a bit nervous, well I was, I think David was just super excited! We had done a taster session before and did enjoy it but this was our first ‘proper’ training – the On-Ramp course, where they go through all the basic Crossfit moves, how to perform them accurately and each session (8 in total) ending with a WOD (workout of the day).

There were 8 of us in total and all eager to learn. We began with learning the correct squat position, something which is key in Crossfit as so many actions incorporate the squat and release position. And most importantly, if this is done wrong it can lead to injury and we don’t want that! I think I managed to perfect the position, or will do with more practice. We were trying it so many times the quad burn kind of took over but the burn in a good way – fellow work-out-a-holics will understand what I mean by that – if you feel the burn it just means it’s working! (A big difference to feeling pain that means you must stop!).

From squats, we learned to hold the bar while in that position. Getting the balance was tricky. We went over the back squat and the overhead squat. I know I will become more familiar with these as the time goes on. I really want to make sure I perfect the key moves.

Then we moved on to the WOD – and oh my goodness. In my trainer session I quite liked our WOD but this one was a lot tougher. Here is the WOD

3 rounds for time

  • 10 wall balls 9/7
  • 10 kettle bell swings 16/12
  • 10 box jumps 24/20

The numbers after the task relate to the weight, the first for men, second for women. With regards to the wall balls, I used a 5kg ball, I couldn’t throw the 7kg higher than my head, never mind to a 9 ft target on the wall! I did struggle quite a lot with these. I know I am a fit person, but in terms of strength I am quite weak, especially in my arms (hence my desire to focus on strength and weights at the gym and now trying Crossfit to build up muscle). I was afraid they were going to break if I caught the ball and throwing it was super difficult.

Then on to the kettle bell swings. I couldn’t do a full swing with a 10kg so I went down to a 8kg which was perfect. To be honest, most of the men were using a 12 max.  I really enjoyed this part of the WOD, it’s tough but fun!

Finally the box jumps. Due to a lack of muscle tissue on my left knee (a problem that I have had since I was a child), I can’t do anything which puts a lot of pressure or impact on that knee (including running which super bums me out) so jumping up on to a box that high is a no go. I am however able to do step ups, allowing me to step up on to the box, alternating each leg to pull myself up. I don’t mind these either, but boy can they make you feel very tired!

And then it was over! My time was 7 minutes, 58 seconds, which yes could have been better but I am just proud to have completed it. The wall balls really slowed me down and I also have to account for one point where I had to stop and check if David was ok, one of the wall balls landed right in his face! It gave him a bit of a scare, his glasses got a bit of a bashing and he has a bit of a nasty bruise on his nose but apart from that he is ok! And he managed to complete the WOD too, which after that, I was so proud of him. I don’t think I could have continued!

I definitely enjoyed my first session. It is a tough way to workout and requires a commitment to learn and a desire to be strong. Luckily, David and I have both of those and are looking forward to this new project for our bodies! I also know that the more we learn and perfect these techniques, the more enjoyable it will become. Back tonight!

As our coach said – “we don’t use machines, we build machines”.  Bring it on!

J x

Ps – Sorry for lack of photos, we did take some but we were shaking after the WOD and they were so blurry!

(If you need more information on what Crossfit actually is, simply Google the term and you will find lots of interesting information explaining it. I know my American friends may be quite familiar with the term and form of exercise however it is not very common in the UK so you may want more little tit bits of knowledge!)