CrossFit – Open 14.3!

Hi all!

Woop woop it’s Friday! And what a fantastic Friday it has been so far…

As you all know, Friday’s mean a new CrossFit Open workout was released! Due to my Mum being with us, that meant we did CrossFit Monday, Thursday, Friday this week – and therefore normally today would be a 2 in 1 post. But I want to focus on the open post so, suffice to say, yesterdays CrossFit was awesome as always and great fun but now on to the Open 14.3!

crossfit

We arrived at the box and as it was one of our groups birthdays, we had to do birthday burpees! 35, one for each of her years! Fun as always….

Then we had to do a double block run, which I didn’t mind too much as it was good to get the heart pumping (not that it wasn’t after burpees mind you) and also to chat through 14.3 with David and to get his thoughts on it. First thought – oh great, deadlifts, we did 150 of those yesterday! Think coach must be a psychic (last week the Thursday WOD was overhead squats, and what came up on 14.2…?!).

Open WOD 14.3

bear deadlifts(source)

MEN 
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
61kg deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
84kg deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
102kg deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
125kg deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
143kg deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
166kg deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch

WOMEN 

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
43kg deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
61kg deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
70 deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
84kg deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
93kg deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
102kg deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch

 
We all worked together as a group to set up bars with each of the various weights required on them, in order to practice our lifts and abilities – i.e. how far we thought we could lift to.  I just presumed I would be practicing something else, my 1RM is 45kg! But no.

Coach asked me to go to the first bar station and lift 5 reps of 43kg. I managed it, it was tough but I did them unbroken. Then he asked me to go to 61kg – was he insane!? So I tried to lift the bar – first attempt, nope. He told me to try again, so I just kept my technique in mind and went for it. I lifted it! Fantastic, a new 1RM for me!

deadliftsBEAST MODE REQUIRED!!

(source)

We all took turns in going as far as we could and then stripped the bars. You needed to change and up the weights yourself during the WOD.

I went in the first wave. I was nervous but determined to get as far as I could. Step ups were also allowed as part of the movement standards and then it suddenly dawned on me, I was doing my first workout AS PRESCRIBED (RX)!!!!! Never done that before! That gave me a boost!

And away I went. I did the first 10 deadlifts at 43kg unbroken! Awesome! Then I did my step ups. After they were completed I upped my weights to the next level 61kg. So I knew I had done 1, and I knew I could do at least 1 more. So… I went and did 12 of them!!!!! 12!!!!

I was beaming afterwards! Before today I had a 1RM of 45kg and I had just completed 12 reps of 61kg – jeez I wonder what my 1RM would be now!? Coach thinks it might be in the eighties! Hope I get the chance to try it soon!

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So I beamed through the rest of our time at the box while judging 2 others (still loving being a judge!) and am still beaming now (although very stiff and achy, but so worth it!).

It’s the power of the open, it really does make you find the strength to do things that you only hoped that ‘one day’ you would do! #theopenmademedoit

Have a fantastic weekend everyone! And good luck to those taking on 14.3!

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.

IMG_20140207_074358

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 – On a very cold morning…!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are well and everyone is happy that it is Friday again! Woop Woop!

This Friday has come around even sooner with being away for most of the week on holiday, don’t holiday weeks just fly by so fast!

Anyway, back to Crossfit this morning for the 6.30am session, recap time!

First of all everyone at Crossfit this morning deserves a medal for actually getting out of bed and turning up – we have a major cold snap here at the moment and it was -3 degrees Celsius (26 degrees Fahrenheit)  when we got in the car, so very cold! As you can imagine we were very keen to warm up straight away, feeling like a bunch of sleepy ice poles!

The warm up was great actually, really enjoyed it. We did 5 rounds of 10 russian kettle bell swings, 10 swing to cleans and 10 air squats (without the bell). It gave a good stretch to both our legs and arms and got the blood pumping round which really was the main thing!

WOD 221113

Then we moved on to some hip mobility exercises. After a week away from Crossfit I really noticed the burn – even though I did yoga on Sunday and some foam rolling yesterday! Good to get those muscles really warmed up and stretched though, the cold air was trying to tense them up again! The more mobility I do the more I notice a difference in my performance during many aspects of Crossfit and I know David feels the same too. Really glad that our coach places such an emphasis on it, shows that he really places our bodies and their protection as a priority.

After that came 10 rounds of 5 hang squat snatches. We didn’t do them EMOM as on the board but instead did them in pairs. I am still getting to grips with this technique, I’m glad coach says it’s one of the hardest ones to grasp! I ended up doing a power snatch and then going down into an overhead squat from that, simply to break down the move a bit and try to hone on my technique. The last time I did overhead squats I had to do it with a PVC pipe and slide very light weights on to it, I couldn’t get the technique right with a barbell due to the weight. This time, 7.5kg barbell all the way! My technique still needs work but I am getting there which is the main thing. Progress!

Even more impressive was the fact that I managed to use the barbell following through into the WOD.

15-12-9

Overhead squats

Box Jumps (step ups for me)

It was tough and I felt the weight completely in the squats. Making sure I kept my weight in my heels though really helped and took me through each round. I only had to rest a couple of times during the 15 and 12 set of overhead squats when my arms just needed a break. The step ups were very welcome though, my arms enjoyed their minimal use during it!

I finished in a time of 6 minutes and 43 seconds. Very pleased with that. Also gave me a chance to watch David complete his box jumps, gosh he is getting good at those – jumping the full 30 inches! I just don’t know how he does it, but I love watching him do it!

Happy weekend everyone!

Crossfit – The Zombie Crew!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are well. I’m having one of those Tuesdays when I feel like it is later in the week than it actually is! Never a good start!

My Crossfit session yesterday was slightly different than normal. As David and I were unable to book into the evening session (fully booked) we had to rethink our plans, and decided to try the morning session instead. Nicknamed the ‘Zombie Crew’ the session starts at 6.30am! That meant getting up at 5.45am, when it was still pitch black outside! Gotta love Crossfit to do this!

It wasn’t as difficult as expected. We had an early night on Sunday and as David and I are both morning people, getting up really wasn’t an issue. We also decided that due to the fact that we both do morning workouts/ runs without fuelling beforehand, a cup of hot honey and lemon and a shot of beet juice was all that was needed – meaning we didn’t need to factor in breakfast or a snack. This worked a treat by the way – our bodies were simply ready for breakfast (and a large cup of coffee) by the time we got home at 7.45am!

But on to the session itself! It was great as we were able to meet some new Crossfit folk who we normally wouldn’t meet as they tend to stick to morning sessions – no zombies here, just bright, friendly faces!

We began with a warm up of alternating skipping/ double unders for one minute intervals. Still no luck on the unders but I feel like I am almost there – more practice! Then we moved on to some stretches with the pvc pipes – especially good to get those arm muscles pumping for what was coming ahead.

CameraZOOM-20131028074101316 (1)

The first segment focussed on power cleans; to hang squat cleans to a clean. I was a bit nervous about returning to cleans after that crazy WOD the week before that took it out of me, but it really was the best thing to revisit it again and focus on getting it right. We were supposed to do 3 sets of 3 straight, then 3 rounds that we could break up, building on the weight. I wanted to really get some focus on my technique and moving from one move to the other so I stuck with a weight I was happy with but still heavy for me (12.5kg) and did just that. I do feel better and happier on cleans now, not there just yet on the confidence front but getting there and coach is doing a great job of honing my technique and showing me where I am going wrong and how to improve.

We then moved on to back squats – 6 rounds of 2 reps at 80% RM. My previous 1RM was 25kg but it was also my 5RM so I decided to start with 25kg and work from there. I needed to do a few rounds of 25kg to really get into it, my arms were sore from the cleans. By the end I was at 27.5kg, would have liked to have tried 30kg but ran out of time, next time though!

The main WOD was an 11 minute AMRAP, consisting of – 30 ab mat sit ups, 20 box jumps and 30 kettle bell swings (step ups for me and a kettle bell of 8kg). It was a tiring WOD but really good fun too! The ab mat sit ups were fine – feeling it in my abs soooo much today though! The step ups were good too but the kettle bell swings really were my favourite! I love the thrust and movement, strange I know but I always dig a workout that involves them – 30 in one go though was tough! I managed 2 rounds plus 20 step ups in the 11 minutes.

We then finished with some stretching and general chat which was great.

Overall David and I really loved the morning session! We arrived back home in plenty of time for David to get ready for work and get his breakfast, he actually left slightly earlier than normal! We both felt really pumped the rest of the day too – it didn’t tire us out any more than a general day does. I think the only thing we both noticed was that we were slightly more peckish throughout the day but that makes sense considering what our bodies had done in the morning plus with being up a lot earlier in general. And it was fab when David came home in the evening and we were able to just chill out – it definitely was less of a rush in the morning than in the evening. And hardly any traffic on the roads – score!

Will definitely be doing a mix of morning and evening sessions in the future!

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!

wod 12

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 – 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!