CrossFit – 2 in 1!

Hi all,

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you but yay it’s the weekend!

The first part of this week went so slowly but at least the second part went faster and tonight we head up north to see my parents for the weekend. Really looking forward to it as not only will I get to see Mum and Dad which is always fab, but I will also get to see my brother who I haven’t seen since September as he lives down in London. Major catch up required!

20130908 - Spittalfields with Paul-11

(Myself, my brother Paul and David, selfie on the tube in London!)

Time for a CrossFit recap – a bit different this time around as David and I have upped our sessions to three times a week! Rather than using up another one of my posts to CrossFit, I will keep with 2 posts, just one of them will be a ‘2 in 1’.

wods and all

Thursday (6th) CrossFit

We started with a block run and then some stretches with the PVC pipe.

The first part of the workout was muscle snatches, something we hadn’t done before but were very similar to push presses, just more tricky! Like the push press, you can’t squat – you pull the bar from the 3rd snatch position and then push up. Press up rather than move under the bar. Hope that makes sense!

They were tough and it really is an example of a move that requires max strength. We had to do 5 rounds of 8. I managed 3 rounds at 12.5kg but then had to go down to 10kg for the other two rounds, I was struggling and Coach never wants us to get to the point where we are hurting ourselves. I’m glad I pushed myself for the 3 rounds though – going beyond what I previously thought I could achieve.

We then moved on to 5 rounds of 8 rep pendlay rows. We did these a couple of weeks ago so it was nice to revisit and practice more. With the mobility issues I have in my shoulders and upper back, it was still difficult to get the bar to my chest but I stuck with 12.5kg and was pleased with the reps achieved.

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The WOD was another previous Open WOD and was as follows

Open WOD 11.1

10 minute AMRAP

30 double unders (tuck jumps scaled)

15 power snatches

The tuck jumps were nasty as always, such a motivator to get going with those double unders! But it does get me practicing jumping high which is key for the DU’s.  I went with 12.5kg for the power snatches, just like the WOD on the 1st of February (the Ogar WOD). Even though my arms were killing me from the muscle snatches and rows, I still powered through 2 rounds plus up to 11 snatches. I think next time I will up the weight for snatches, I feel like I understand the technique now and could probably challenge myself more.

Today’s (7th) CrossFit

Yep, we were late. Yep we had to do burpees. All 40 of them. Certainly did the trick in warming us up and after 1 legged burpees on Tuesday, it was a breeze!

burpees(source)

We then moved on to 10 minutes of rolling (mobility) with the foam rollers. Welcome to the pain cave! So tough to do and not nice but afterwards we all feel so much better and more flexible. If only there was a nicer way of doing it! We focussed on our quads, adductor and lats.

After that came some muscle up transitions, we were to do 3 rounds of 10. This is still such a difficult technique to grasp and one that requires such high arm strength. However the more of these we do the more I feel like I am getting better and honing in on my technique. I also feel that seeing the athletes at Battle of London doing them has helped me understand what it required and the different stages of movement. Sometimes trying to get your body to do what your head is telling it to do is tricky but I think I am understanding now the ‘power’ required and the momentum and I definitely improved and saw progress on these.

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Then came the main WOD

CrossFit Open WOD 12.3

18 minute AMRAP

15 box jumps (step ups scaled)

12 push press

9 toes to bar (knees to chest scaled)

Ok first and foremost I have to get the negatives out of the way. I thought I had a 15kg bar. I added 2.5kg to the bar to make it 17.5kg (my 5RM). It felt too light so I added on another 2.5kg, making it 20kg. Only afterwards did Coach inform me I had a 7.5kg bar, making my weight 12.5kg. I was gutted. I thought I had just beasted through! However, I have learned a lesson – grab your own barbell, don’t ask someone else to pass you a 15kg bar… and also, be realistic. There was no way, if I am honest, I could have push pressed 20kg for that many reps, my 1rm is 22.5kg!

So in conclusion, I probably did the right weight for me in order to be able to complete the WOD. I probably could have done 15kg and achieved less rounds but that’s something to aim for next time when I do push press in a WOD. I did complete 5 rounds plus up to 5 step ups and that is pretty darn good. I also aced the step ups at 24 inches and am getting higher with my knees on the knees to chest.

Keep my chin up, keep smiling and as Coach said, I sure won’t make that mistake again (happens to us all)!

Have a good weekend everybody!

Crossfit – You can’t PB every time…!

Hi all,

Hope you are having a good Tuesday!

Time to recap yesterdays Crossfit session …

wods and all

I don’t know what is going on at the moment, but since the New Year our Crossfit WOD’s have been insane! They are always tough and challenging, but I think they have stepped up a notch recently into the insane bracket!

We began with a warm up that absolutely floored us all!

Sound easy…?

3 rounds of…

20 air squats

30 mountain climbers (on each leg so 60 in total)

40 jumping jacks

Squats and jumping jacks, no problem, tiring but no problem. 180 mountain climbers…hello!

Then we went on to hollow rocks and supermans. 15 seconds of each for 10 rounds.

Oh boy, our abs were killing us! By round 5 we were all done in and wanted to quit! But we didn’t and used every ounce of strength to keep going. That and a lot of ‘encouragement’ (aka shouting) from coach!

I swear what we just did felt exactly like a killer WOD. The thought that there was more to come was incomprehensible!

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So we went on to trying to achieve a new PB in our 1 RM push press. Dependant on complete upper arm strength, I still find this so hard. My PB was 22.5kg and I managed to meet it but couldn’t exceed. I tried 25kg, no go. I tried 23.5kg and could lift it slightly but nowhere near the top. Coach could see I was tired, I could feel I was tired. I gave it my all to try and beat my PB but just couldn’t. I guess that weight really is my PB at the moment. It’s tough because you always want to get better, stronger, lift heavier but sometimes you can’t PB them all. (This conclusion is after a lot of reflection and positive talk from David. I was pretty bummed out at the time – but can now see his point!).

And then there was the finish…

In 5 minutes

1 block run

Then max effort double unders

So I did the block run as fast as I could, still getting used to it! And then came in for the double unders. After being slow in the run and not achieving a new PB on the push press I was determined to get my first double under. Alas it was not to be. But I gave it my all though, the double unders, the run, the push press, the killer ‘warm up’ and that’s the main thing – I was there and went hard.

Crossfit – Does anyone enjoy a thruster?!

wods and all

Hi all,

Time for a recap of yesterday morning’s Crossfit! Not as cold as last week, thank goodness, but instead masses of fog on the way – very eerie to see the city in darkness, covered in this blanket with just the street lights to guide you. Eerie but kind of cool too!

Anyway we arrived and went straight into our warm up – 5 rounds of 10 ab mat sit ups followed by 20 Russian kettle bells swings. Good fun and great to get the heart pumping – I love those KB swings!

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Then the treat of the day (not!), some shoulder mobility. Both David and I struggle with our shoulders and have massive amounts of knots in them that we are trying to release. This means pain! Coach had some new exercises for us (and has emailed us some more, thanks coach!) to try and work on these specific areas. This, along with my lower back, needs some work, but the more I do it, the better Crossfitter I will be.

We then moved on to working on our push presses, with a formation of 5-5-5-3-3-3-3-1-1-1-1-1, working up to our max weight. Previously I had done 17.5kg for my 5 RM but had yet to work on a 1RM. Push presses are tough! I struggle to find that ‘drive’ in my hips needed to thrust the bar up and to use the power in my hips rather than arms. Right now my ‘drive’ gets me about half way and my arms have to do the rest of the work, not great. More mobility exercises should be the key though and just watching others and there technique too. It’s amazing how much you can learn from watching others at Crossfit. I managed to work up to 22kg as my 1RM and I was very pleased with that.

The main WOD for the day consisted of

7 rounds for time (time cap of 15 minutes)

10 hand release push ups

15 air squats

10 thrusters

Oh the evil thrusters! Everyone was dreading them! I still need a low weight on them so I went with the 7.5kg bar and training wheels. I only just finished at a time of 14 minutes, 23 seconds and I was the only one in the session to finish. Yes my bar was heavily scaled down and therefore the thrusters were more achievable but I was still very pleased and chuffed to finish within the time cap. Previously even just the ‘arm dependant’ combo of push ups and thrusters would have been very difficult for me to get through.

Have made a note to try 10kg next time on the thruster bar though, hopefully it won’t come around too soon…!

Oh and please see below a picture of David during the WOD doing his thrusters. 25kg – GO DAVID!

david WOD

Thanks to coach for the picture! 🙂

http://www.omnipotentcrossfit.com/2013/11/25/wod-261113/

Crossfit – And my arms are still sore…!

wods and all

Hi all,

Happy (and thank goodness it’s…) Friday!

Just a wee post to recap Wednesdays Crossfit  and put it this way, I am writing 2 days after said event and I am still sore!

So we arrived and did our usual warm up – a block run for the group and a 440m row for me. Loving the rows actually and with only doing a short distance, I can really go for it and get my heart rate pumping! Compared to when I am at the gym and am doing longer stints on the rower and have to steadily pace myself over a set period of time. Both different but fun!

We then worked on some stretches/ massages with the foam roller and the hard ball. Oh boy do we have some knots in our shoulders and back! It was a real killer doing this but I know these knots and pains shouldn’t be there and hopefully more work on this will ease them out. Not going to be a nice process but one that will benefit our bodies both in general and with our Crossfit technique.

wod 7

Moving on to something more energetic however, the first part of the WOD. It wasn’t too bad, 25 double unders (or 50 skips scaled), 5 burpees (urgh!) – 4 rounds for time.

So I sailed through the skips, I do love skipping and can do it well – just not double unders! But will get there eventually with that! And then the burpees slowed me down, still getting used to them, still hate them and weak arms means it’s trickier to pull yourself back up again quickly! I managed it in 4 minutes 15 seconds, not bad and the burpees will get faster as my arms and shoulders get stronger.

And then we had part two of the WOD. It looked alright on the board, I wasn’t dreading it too much, but the combination of a few different factors made it the toughest workout yet.

The push presses and back squats were fine. We were able to use our ‘dip drive’ force on the push presses so that always helps. And I really do feel like I have gotten the hang of a back squat. The power snatches however were brand new to me and getting to terms with the technique was proving difficult.

I like to break my technique down into sections so that I know I am doing all the key moves and correctly. That’s the only problem with the power snatch, it has to be done quite rapidly and with breaking it down and doing it slowly, I was never doing it properly. I also was having a problem with my arms, I know I had to keep them straight but somehow they were always bending at the elbow. Actually I think my biggest fault was that I was simply looking too much into the specifics rather than just ‘doing’. The perfectionist in me!

It was a long 15 minutes. Even though I can do the push press and back squat, that amount of reps meant I really couldn’t handle any weight on the bar and had to stick with the weight of the bar bell (7.5kg) and training wheels on the end. That in turn however affected my technique as having a bit more weight on the bar keeps my chest down when lifting, especially in the push press. Very frustrating.  The power snatches did improve over time though, the more I did them, the more I seemed to get nearer to the ideal. And my arms were bending less – great!

By the end I was shattered. When your arms are your weakest part, doing an ‘arm’ based workout is a killer and at times can bring me down a bit, especially when I am trying so hard but can’t seem to grasp a technique. I will however look on the positive side and focus on the fact I am still making progress. I am such a beginner to this Crossfit journey with so much to learn but I will persevere in order to give my body the strength it deserves!

Crossfit – And my first injury!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are all well and having a good ‘hump day’ – not a phrase we tend to use here in the UK but I love it! So will therefore start spreading it around…!

Gosh it seems like such a long time since I have written a Crossfit post. I had my week in London and then last week I was unwell with the flu, so avoided Crossfit – that would not be a good combination!

But feeling a lot better this week – tested myself out with a few home workouts first, then a gentle gym session and then my usual gym session. Once I could do that I knew I was ok to go back to Crossfit. (I must admit here I have been terrible in the past for going back to training before I was ready after an illness, but through educating myself more I have realised that your body can only cope with so much stress. Exercise is a stress on the body and so is illness, it can only deal with one at a time.)

I was a bit nervous, ok, a lot nervous about going back to Crossfit after a 2 week absence. My strength is getting there but I know it is going to take a lot of time and I was worried that through having this break, plus being ill, it was going to put me back.

It was difficult to push through the nerves but I did it, I knew I had to go back and face the music! So David and I fuelled up and headed to our box.

WOD2

We did our usual warm up, David and the others ran and I spent some time on the skipping rope. I just tried to get my heart rate going, rather than practicing double unders, as I knew I just needed to warm up. We then went inside and did some stretches, they were beasts but I knew they were working on areas that needed some movement – focussing on our hips which will help us with our squats. I certainly noticed a difference after doing them; hope we do some more of those in later sessions.

I then paired up with David to do the following –

8 rounds of 4

–          Back squats 80% of your max one rep weight

–          Followed by 6 box jumps after each set.

As both David and I don’t have a max one rep weight yet we had a few rounds of trialling out some weights. Our coach was keen to see us push ourselves a bit harder, not to the max but just to encourage us to be a bit braver! It was good to have a few rounds of trialling and by the end I was very pleased to see how far I had come. I was able to back squat 20kg for 4 reps! Progress!

The main WOD then followed

20 minute AMRAP

5 push presses

10 hand raise push ups

15 pull ups

To begin with I went for a weight of 12.5kg but only managed half the WOD with this weight, and took it down to 7.5kg. A bit disappointed with this but it was for the best, I was struggling with the weight and it was my coach’s advice to drop the weight down, so I obviously wasn’t lifting properly either.

The push ups were push ups, never much fun and it didn’t help that for the first 2 rounds I did 20 rather than 10 of them! Felt so stupid when I realised what I had done!

The pull ups, for me, were gym ring rows, from an elevated position. I did want to do them from the ground but my arms were just not giving me the strength I needed to do it. It was however, during one of my rows, that I received my first Crossfit injury! I leant back to start my row, at the same time another Crossfitter was lowering her bar from the push press and –thump- hut me straight on the head! It was sore, yes but I felt ok to continue. No one was to blame; we were both just in our WOD mental zones. A lesson learnt though; take a look around you before you move on to your next piece of equipment!

So apart from a bump to the head and having to lower my weight on the bar, I was quite pleased with my performance. I managed 7 rounds, plus 1 push up and it was a tough WOD. I was also just so pleased to have put in a good performance with this being my first WOD after being ill.

I also lost that nervous feeling, thank goodness! The good vibes at the box really does put you at ease. Back to the box on Thursday!

 

 

Crossfit – And here come the tyre flips!

wods and all

Hi all,

Happy Friday! I am super excited today as tomorrow David and I are heading off on holiday! The first one we have had all year! Our destination… LONDON BABY!

I am going to try and keep you all updated while I am away, maybe just little snap shots etc but hopefully you will enjoy seeing what I get up to in the big capital city.

Back to the post and a recap of last night’s Crossfit session. Oh boy was it a tough one, but a good one at that.

We began with our usual warm up, a 400m block run for the others and a 400m row for myself. We then went into some stretches and holding squat positions, mixed with burpees and push ups. I didn’t mind the squats and can keep down in this position quite easily – I think it’s because sometimes I generally just sit like that on the floor, strange I know! Others found it quite tough though, that burn in your thighs that no one likes to feel!

After this we moved on to some weights. 5 rounds of 5 rep push presses. We used the racks to load and lift the weights. As I am quite weak at the moment when it comes to what I can lift, I worked on my own with the coach – the aim being to work up to our maximum weight.  My rounds went as follows – 10kg – 12.5kg – 15kg – 17.5kg – 20kg (failed).

I was really quite pleased with the weights lifted. There was no way I would have thought I could have done 5 reps of 17.5kg. Yes I did fail the 20kg, but there was only one way to find out what my max weight was and that was to keep on going until I couldn’t lift any heavier. So now I have my max weight now for push presses and can take it from there in the future. Tough but one pleased Jen with the outcome!

We then went outside to practice for the main WOD. I knew the day would come when the absolutely massive tyres would come out to be used in a WOD and today was the day! I was going to be using a 40kg tyre, heavier than anything I have ever lifted before so I was nervous. Getting the technique on how to flip it though was quite straightforward, using the principal Crossfit moves we had been taught at on-ramp. Once coach was happy that we all could lift them properly, we moved on to the actual WOD.

15 minute AMRAP

5 tyre flips

15 in and out jumps (jumping in and out of the tyre – jump in then out equals one jump)

30 walking plate lunges.

It was a beast! The tyre flips were ok, I think I have got the technique right for that but it was by no means easy. The in and out jumps I found very difficult. The others were all used to box jumps which I don’t do because of my knee and therefore are used to thrusting themselves up to get in and out. I really struggled, especially with keeping my two feet together during the jumps. Big tip – use your arms to help you thrust! And then there was the walking plate lunges. Urgh! I have done these in previous WOD’s but never with a plate before. This time I was holding a 5kg plate and the burn in my arms and legs was intense. I kept going though and managed with the plate the whole time. Progress!

Overall, in the 15 minutes I managed 2 rounds plus up to 23 lunges. So pleased with that result and once again it just showed me how much stronger I am getting.

I have to end though with a quote that one of my fellow crossfitters said to me last night – ‘these moves are a killer…but they are great fun though!’ – Sums up Crossfit to a tee, insane, but so much fun!

Crossfit – In with the big boys and girls now!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are all having a good start to the week.

Well last night was David and I’s first session at Crossfit, joining the big boys and girls! I was nervous; I am not going to lie. I think it was just the uncertainty – what will everyone else be like? Will they be frustrated at having newbies in the class? Will I remember everything and be able to keep up? And, most prominently, what will the WOD be!? David was just excited and keen so it might of just been me being me and looking into things too much. I may be like that before every session, especially with regards to the WOD but I’m sure it will pass in time. Did I used to get nervous when I first started going to the gym? you know what, I think I did and now I love it. Will try and keep that in mind.

Anyway… enough of my random thoughts and back to the session itself. We began by using the weight rack to try out 5 rounds of 3 reps of back squats. The more senior members of the group did 85% of their 1 rep maximum weight and they partnered up together. Wow, they looked incredible and seeing them lift those weights really did spur me on, not to lift the same amount, don’t worry (!) but it inspired me to show what can be achieved eventually through time. They were newbies once too. David and I partnered up and, as we don’t know our max weights yet, we started from a low weight, increasing dependant on how we felt during the lift. We both got up to 22.5kg, not bad for the first session and we have a starting point now for when we do it again.

We then did the same principals but with deadlifts. Both of us got up to 35kg with this one. I think David was comfortable with that weight and may have gone higher had we done more reps but I definitely struggled at the 35kg mark and I think my technique was beginning to suffer, which I do not want to happen.

After this came the WOD.

15 minute AMRAP

7 push presses

7 box jumps (or step ups in my case)

7 pull ups (or gym rows for David and I).

I went for a 7.5kg weight on the push presses and to be fair, for next time, I will go slightly heavier on the weight, probably 10kg, and see how I go with that. The step ups were fine, but as usual after doing them, my knee was a little sore today at the gym. The gym rows were tricky and I had to do mine elevated. I think after all those reps on the weights before the WOD, my muscles in my arms were very tired and they just didn’t want to pull me up.

So some good, some not so good but a lot of information to take away and apply to next time round. I managed 9 rounds within the 15 minutes, plus up to 5 step ups in the 10th. Quite pleased with that actually. I did enjoy myself and felt like I had definitely had a good work out. Everyone was really friendly within the ‘big boys and girls’ group which will make heading to Crossfit on Thursday evening a slightly less daunting process. Although saying that, what the WOD will be is already on my mind, eek!

Crossfit – On-Ramp – Session Two

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Hi all,

Well that’s my second On-Ramp Crossfit session completed! And I must admit I did enjoy it slightly better than the first one.

The session on Thursday dealt with the basics of pressing – we worked with the plastic tubes first and then made our way up to the weighted metal bars.

The first move we learnt was the shoulder press – basically (and I am going to keep it basic because I don’t know the correct terminology yet!) from the bar sitting on the shoulders in front of you to it being vertically above you, locking your elbows at the top.

The second move was the push press. You begin the same way as the shoulder press then instead use a ‘dip’ with the bar and then drive the bar above you using a quarter squat and using your core to help you drive the bar up.

The third move was the push jerk. Same as the push press but you jump into a squat and lock you arms then once locked you stand – using your legs and hips to help you drive up.

(I am sorry for any uber crossfitters who have read this and have noticed that what I have written isn’t entirely accurate, I am still learning!)

After learning the basics of all these 3 moves it was time to put some of it into practice with the WOD. Everything was buzzing around my head at the time – had I perfected the move yet? Did I trust myself with this bar!? But the main way to learn is to put it into practice I guess!

WOD

21- 15- 9

Push Press 37.5/ 25

Walking Plate Lunges

With a 200m run before each set

Now as I mentioned in my last post, because of my bummer knee I can’t run, so I had the utter joy (please note the sarcasm in my tone of writing!) of doing 10 burpees before each set instead. Urgh, I hate burpees… but once again, with more practice, maybe I will learn to love them… or not!

My first round of burpees, not a problem. I went into the first set of push presses feeling confident, my weight was only 7.5 kg – bit of a weakling when it comes to upper strength but I am totally working hard to beef those bad boys up with muscle! And I think I did ok with the presses, surprising myself with my technique and only a few times having problems with fully extending my arms, rookie issue. The walking lunges again were ok. I didn’t use a plate to try to avoid the pressure on my knee but I did keep my arms fully extended, as if I was holding a plate above my head. Still a killer, especially after push presses!

And the second round went pretty much as the first, not too bad, just a few more rests in between presses.

Round 3 however, was a bit more tricky! Because at this point, from the presses, my arms were like jelly, the burpees did not go well. My arms didn’t want to push me back up so I had to find other ways of getting up, like rolling on my hips – I must of looked like such an idiot but I was determined! The presses were tough too, I was having trouble fully extending those arms but with a few more breaks I did it. And boy was I glad to see those lunges. Tough to do but definitely my friend after burpees!

I finished in a time of 11.20 which I was quite pleased with.  Very sore today in my upper arms and shoulders but I know it will pass – it just shows me which muscles I’m not using in the gym!

Monday session here I come! Eeek!

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