Thursday, October 29, 2015

10/29/2015

OFF

10/28/2015

AM
6-8 sets easy:
:60 row
:60 front leaning rest on ground
:60 airdyne
:30/side plank
2x[:10 double unders + :20 single unders]

PM
A. Snatch pull, 3x1 starting @175 and adding 10 eat set; :90 rest
B. 1-arm DB row w/straps, 3x3-6/arm, 21x1; :45 between arms
+
4 sets @high effort:
10 Russian kettlebell swings, 70
40 unders
:40 rest 
300m run 
:40 rest
+
Not for time:
2000m row cool-down 

AM
6 sets complete

PM
A. complete
B. 45-50-55
+
complete
+
complete


Today was excellent for many reasons. 

I GOT CLEARED TO GO OVERHEAD! Huzzah! The day is mine! I find it amusing that Balza cleared me the day after I had a conversation with Stephen about accepting the fact that I might not be doing anything overhead for awhile. I went into my appointment with the lowest of expectations but he cleared me! He said he can tell both my stability and control are a lot better. I'm still going to have to work on it every day and really focus on using my lats when I'm doing everything. He said just don't be stupid and to keep things light for now. I'm so relieved. 

Snatch pulls were decent, I think 195 got relatively high? (video). 

DB rows were pretty good. 

I was really winded on the running today, that extra 100 meters really got me. The KB swings/double unders were no problem but the run killed me today. 

Cool-down row was good, I really enjoy rowing now. My breathing is so much better on rowing than running. 

Another reason today was awesome- THIS HAPPENED:

I CAN'T HANDLE THE CUTENESS

My new best friend Hector



10/27/2015

AM
4 sets of:
6:00 bike easy
3:00 Balza rehab of choice

PM
A. Back squat clusters, 4x1.1, 20x1, :15 between reps; :90 rest
B. DB pull-overs, 3x6-9; :90 rest
+
For 15:00
1st: 10 fast alternating box step ups/steps downs, 24
2nd: 10 scap push ups on rings
3rd: :20 axle front rack hold (bar starts on floor) start @110 and add from there
+
800m cool-down walk

AM
complete

PM
A. 225-235-245-255
B. 15-20-25(7)
+
complete
axle clean/hold: 110-120-130-140-150
+
10:00 on airdyne (it was raining)


Meh, today was okay. 

Back squats were tough again today, 255 was a struggle. I'm not sure why my back squats are suddenly feeling bad, I'm assuming it's because they're on a different day now. Oh well. It was one of those days where I couldn't believe I once back squatted 280. 

DB pull-overs were good, I really like these. I stopped at 7 on the last set because I could feel myself starting to pull incorrectly. I gotta keep that shit IN LINE. 

The EMOM was okay, step ups were decent considering I have small hobbit legs. Scap push ups were still kind of awkward on the rings but I'm getting better at those. Axle clean/holds were easy up until 150. I failed the first clean but hit it easily on the second try. I do enjoy anything with the axle. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10/26/2015

AM
30:00 airdyne @Z1

PM
A. Bear crawl, 5x10' forward + 10' backward, very slow and deliberate w/flat back; :90 rest
B. Hang power clean, 2-2-2-2-2, begin a set every :90
+
3 sets for even times (start fast and then try to maintain for the remainder of the sets- ok to risk coming out too hot here):
500m row
15 burpees
2:30 walk rest
+
3 rounds not for time:
20 band pull aparrts
8-12 heavy reverse hypers

AM
complete

PM
A. complete
B. 145-165-175-185-195(PR)
+
2:50 (row 1:58.9)
3:00 (row 1:58.7)
3:00 (row 1:58.5)
+
complete
red band
90#/side for RH


Solid day! I felt really good today. I started adding more carbs on Sunday and I can already feel a difference, I had a lot more energy during training. 

I was really happy with the 2RM hang power clean PR (video). It was actually very easy. I think I need to work on using my legs more for the first rep, the second rep is always super easy but I never really know what to do on the first rep. Like, I sort of just bounce it right off my thighs instead of bending my knees and lowering it like I would on a hang snatch. Still working out the kinks on this. I went for 200 and got the first rep but the bar slipped out of my hands on the second rep! I've never had that happen before, I went to return the bar to my thighs and it just slipped right out of my hands. I was very annoyed. I rested and then went for 200 again, I got the first rep but didn't have the energy to even attempt a second rep. Merrrr. Oh well. 195 is fine for now. 

I thought the row/burpee piece went really well, this is the best I've felt aerobically in a long time. I tried to push the row as much as I could, I ended up with a 1:58 on the first set so I stuck with that for then next two. Burpees were probably slower than they should have been, and by the third set I definitely took too long between the row and the first burpee. I was breathing hard but I wasn't panicked, I just felt like I couldn't move any faster. I'm guessing my times should have been closer to 2:30 since that's how long the rest was? Felt a bit nauseous after this one. 

10/25/2015

Long, unplugged hike

Grabbed breakfast with my buds instead, then went to the gym and did:
4 sets:
6:00 airdyne
3:00 mobility 

10/24/2015

A. Squat clean, build to a heavy single in 15:00 (including warm up)
B. Front squat, 4x3-4, 20x1; 2:30 rest
C1. Weighted glute-ham raises, 3x7-10, 20x1; :60 rest
C2. Active 2-arm hang from fat bar, 3x:05-:10; :60 rest
+
Not for time:
800m sled drag, moderate

A. 210 (220 Fx1)
B. 175-190-200 (ran out of time for a fourth set)
C1. DNS
C2. DNS
+
DNS


Today was a bit off because of the nutrition seminar at DSC. We had about an hour for lunch and I was only able to complete the first two parts of my training before we had to go back in and eat before the seminar started again. 

Squat cleans went pretty well, 210 was extremely easy to stand up (video). I actually felt like I didn't even fully extend my hips all the way before I dropped under the bar, which is why you see me make the "what the fuck" motion in the video. I went for 220 but the pull was terrible, my chest was completely down and there was no chance of getting it high enough to get under it. Next time. My 15:00 was up anyways. 

Front squats went really well, these are getting so much easier. I think 200 is the most I've ever done for four reps. I would have gone up to 210 but I didn't have enough time, by the time I was finished with my first three sets I had to go get my lunch together before the seminar started again. Very happy with these. 


The nutrition seminar was AWESOME. I learned so much, I'm so glad I went. Mike is a really cool guy and extremely smart. It was also really cool to see him break down macros for every person, since everyone is so different in what they need it was very interesting to see how each person needs a different breakdown depending on their goals, weight, and lifestyle. When it was my turn, he basically told me I wasn't eating enough carbs and that I needed more calories since my goals are performance-based. He seemed impressed that I was already counting my macros and he told me to keep my protein and fat the same but he increased my carbs to 327g (then told me to subtract the amount of carbs in my PWO protein shake, which is 40g, so I'm really shooting for 287g from food). He also told me I need to be taking supplements (fish oil, creatine, Vitamin D, etc) so I'm going to start introducing those as well. He said I needed to go to bed earlier (I already knew that one, heh oops) but it was so helpful to have him break down my macros. I also learned a lot about timing food correctly and eating correctly on competition days. Overall it was a great experience and I learned a lot. Excellent day! 

Mike is the best

We brought a microwave because we're weirdos about hitting our macros
#noshame



Monday, October 26, 2015

10/23/2015

AM
4 rounds easy of:
3:00 airdyne
3:00 row
3:00 mobility work of choice

PM
A. Clean pull, 1-1-1-1 @235; 2:00 rest
B. Snatch-grip deadlift, build to a heavy single
C. Sled drag, 6x20m very heavy grind indoors; :90 rest
+
3 sets:
400m run @same pace as last week
:60 rest

AM
complete

PM
A. complete
B. 225
C. complete w/260# on sled
+
1:28
1:28
1:28


Clean pulls felt REALLY have today, they weren't getting very high and I was getting frustrated. I don't understand why I have no problem using my legs and hips for snatch pulls but with clean pulls I want to use all arms and back (video). I can't even imagine cleaning this. 

Snatch-grip deadlift was good, 225 was definitely tough. As soon as I picked it up I knew I wouldn't be able to go any heavier without sacrificing the tempo. 

Sled drag was rough, I think I overestimated myself on this. Last week I did 245 and it wasn't horrible so I used 260 this week and I think it was too big of a jump. I stopped at least once every set. It was easier dragging it backwards than forwards so I did that the last three sets. 

Runs were very hard. This is my own fault for pacing them too quickly four weeks ago. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through the third one without vomiting afterwards, I was breathing really hard. The rest flew by between runs. Eeeeesh. I was happy I was able to keep the pace and I'm a little nervous for what might show up next week.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

10/22/2015

OFF

10/21/2015

AM
6-8 sets easy:
:60 row
:60 front leaning rest on ground
:60 airdyne
:30/side plank
2x[:10 double unders + :20 single unders]

PM
A. Snatch pull, 5x1@185, :90 rest
B. 1-arm DB row w/straps, 3x4-7/arm, 21x1; :45 between arms
+
5 sets @high effort:
10 russian KB swings, 53
30 double unders
:30 rest
200m run
:30 rest
+
Not for time:
1500m row cool down

AM
6 sets complete

PM
A. complete
B. 40-45-50 (5 on the L)
+
complete
+
complete


Today was a good day!

AM session was good, double unders felt excellent this morning. Also getting better at engaging my lats during the planks instead of keeping my traps tense. 

Snatch pulls are getting so easy, 185 was getting pretty high today (video). The first three reps were a bit higher than the last two, but overall these felt really good. I'm getting very anxious to get back to snatching. Also, please enjoy this bonus video I caught of myself talking about how I should have a whistle like Captain von Trapp from Sound of Music. I'm so weird. But we already knew this. 

DB rows were good. 

I enjoyed the KB/double under piece, I really liked the :30 rest before the run. I was pushing the run a lot more since I was getting a bit of rest before/after. It was nice to do some KB swings today! Shoulder felt really good through the entire training session. Maybe we could start testing this out a bit more? Ehhhhh? 

10/20/2015

AM
4 sets of:
6:00 bike easy
3:00 Balza rehab of choice

PM
A. Back squat clusters, 3x1.1.1, 20x1, :10 between reps; :90 rest
B. DB pull-overs, 3x7-10; :90 rest
+
For 15:00
1st: 14 alternating box step ups/step downs, 20
2nd: 8 scap push ups on rings
3rd: :20 axle double overhand deadlift hold, 160
+
Not for time:
800m walk cool-down

AM
complete

PM
A. 225-235-245
B. 12-15-20
+
complete
+
complete


Back squats felt reallyyyyyy heavy today. I'm not sure if it's because I'm used to doing them on day 1 and now I'm doing them on day 2? Either way they were really hard. 

I really enjoyed the DB pull-overs, today was the first time I had ever done these. These are definitely a good exercise to help practice engaging my lats. 

The EMOM was pretty good, step ups were all completed in :30. Scap push ups on the rings were a bit awkward the first set but it got better as I went along. The axle deadlift hold was very tough, by the fifth set the bar was slipping out of my hands. I never dropped it early but I was very close. Curse my tiny hands and weak grip. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

10/19/2015

AM
30:00 airdyne @Z1

PM
A. Bear crawl, 5x10' forward + 10' backward, very slow and deliberate w/flat back; :90 rest
B. Hang power clean, 3-3-3-3; begin a set every 2:00
+
10:00 @80% 
15 burpees
250m row
+
3 rounds not for time:
20 band pull aparts
10-15 moderate reverse hypers 

AM
complete

PM
A. complete
B. 145-155-170-180 (PR+5)
+
complete
+
complete
red band
65#/side for RH


Pretty good day! 

Bear crawl was good, I tried to really focus on pushing my shoulder blades back and trying to keep my traps relaxed. 

Hang power cleans were excellent, these are my favorite. 180 was a 5 pound PR for a 3RM hang power clean (video). It was very easy, I definitely could have gone heavier. I probably should have taken time to set up a bit more for the first rep but the second and third rep just flew up there. I know I could hit 185, maybe 190 for this. 

I actually enjoyed the 10:00 piece. I got 4 rounds plus 1 burpee. I think that's decent? I think I was breathing harder than an 80% pace but I was just trying to stay moving the entire time. I thought my transitions were pretty good. I would like to keep doing things like this to try and get my aerobic capacity back to where it was before I had to start decreasing my volume. I never thought I would enjoy doing burpees and rowing but I know I need to work on things like this. I don't want to be totally useless for the Open. At this rate my arms won't even be functioning by that point. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

10/18/2015

Long, unplugged hike

Errrrrrrr

Did not complete. It was 30 degrees this morning so Heather and I decided to skip the hike. I went in around 2:30 to do some airdyne/mobility. Also I think I slept on my neck weird, the entire upper part of my neck was stiff and sore. It's feeling better now but I tried to roll it out as much as I could. 

10/17/2015

A. Squat clean, 1-1-1-1-1 heavy but not maxes, begin a rep every 2:00
B. Front squat, 3x4-6, 20x1; 2:30 rest
C1. Weighted glute-ham raises, 3x3-5, 20x1; :60 rest
C2. Passive 2-arm hang from fat bar, 3x:20-:30; :60 rest
+
Not for time:
800m sled drag, moderate

A. 175-185-195-205-205
B. 145-165-175
C1. complete w/15#
C2. complete
+
DNS


I knew today wasn't going to be 100%, I spent 6 hours standing at a competition and definitely didn't have enough food in me. It was worth it though. More on that later. 

Squat cleans were alright, I worked up to 195 very easily but both reps at 205 were ugly and tougher than I would have liked. My legs were really tired. I caught the first rep at 205 pretty low on my chest which hardly ever happens. I decided to stay at that weight for the last set and it was just as ugly as the previous rep. I don't know what I was doing but I had this weird hitch in my pull that came out of nowhere and it felt like it took forever to stand it up. This was annoying. I don't know why my form went out the window all of a sudden. Also, I feel like 205 shouldn't be that hard to stand up. Then again, my legs were already tired and I was already at 70% energy at that point. Meh. Could have been better. 

Front squats were surprisingly easy considering how bad my cleans were, I thought these were going to be terrible but they actually weren't bad. 175 got tough during the last two reps but other than that everything felt pretty good. 

Glute-ham raises were fine. The hold from the bar was fine too, I didn't have any pain at all. It just felt RIGHT. Ah, pull up bar, how I've missed holding you. Maybe this week we can start adding in some strict pull ups? Eh? EHHHH?

I skipped the sled drag. I'm sorry Stephen! I was completely drained at this point, I woke up at 6:45 and stood in a cold gym from 8:30 AM-2:00 PM. I just didn't have any energy left by the time I got to the sled drag, and I needed to go home and eat. I am the worst and will try to make this up at some point this week. Perhaps Thursday.


That being said, I had the experience of watching some of my MSC athletes compete in the Festivus Games and it was a blast. We had 9 total athletes competing, most of them coming from the classes. It was really cool to watch them compete for the first time, they all did so well. I was so proud of them. Two athletes made it to the finals for the Master's men's division and two athletes made it to the finals for the intermediate men. In the end, Jay and (Silent) Bob took second and third in the men's Master's division and Bobby took FIRST place in the men's intermediate. It was a great day watching all my athletes compete and have a great time doing it. They said they would definitely be interested in doing more competitions in the future, so that's exciting. It was an excellent morning. 

Coaches + Amber

Bobby takes first place in the men's intermediate

Jay & Bob with a second and third place finish in the men's Master's division

All the competitors! So proud of everyone!






10/16/2015

AM
4 rounds easy of:
3:00 airdyne
3:00 row
3:00 mobility work of choice

PM
A. Clean pull, 1-1-1 @235; 2:00 rest
B. Snatch-grup deadlift, build to a heavy double, 31x1
C. Sled drag, 6x25m very heavy grind indoors, :90 rest
+
4 sets:
400m run @same pace as last week
:90 walk rest

AM
complete

PM
A. complete
B. 200
C. complete w/245# on sled
+
1:29
1:28
1:28
1:29


Clean pulls were definitely heavy but better than the last time I attempted to pull this weight. The second rep was ugly, I was using all back and no legs. The first and third rep were pretty good. 

Snatch-grip deadlift was good, again this is mostly just based on how much my thumbs can handle. I also felt like I was starting to tip my chest forward on the second rep so I called it at 200. 

Sled drag was definitely tough but I'm enjoying these. 

Runs were HARD. The :90 rest made a huge difference. My breathing was really good on the first two sets but I was dying by the fourth one. I felt lighter today and I was moving better than last week so that's good. 

10/15/2015

OFF

Lots of mobility 

10/14/2015

AM
6-8 sets easy:
:60 row
:60 front leaning rest on ground
:60 airdyne
:30/side plank
2x[:10 double unders + :20 single unders]

PM
A. Snatch pull, 3x1 @185; 2:00 rest
B. 1-arm DB row w/straps, 3x5-8/arm, 21x1; :45 between arms
+
5 sets @high effort
5 deadlifts, 205
200m run
35 double unders
2:00 walk rest
+
Not for time:
1500m row cool down

AM
Same Z1 session from yesterday, wanted to get some extra mobility in

PM
A. complete
B. 35-40-45
+
1:37
1:37
1:36
1:37
1:38
+
complete


Good session today!

Snatch pulls were heavy but still got pretty high. 

DB rows felt pretty good. 

I enjoyed the deadlift/run piece. Deadlifts were super easy. Breathing still wasn't great but better than normal lately. All double unders unbroken. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

10/13/2015

AM
4 sets of:
6:00 bike easy
3:00 Balza rehab pieces of choice

PM
A. Back squat, 3-3-2-2-1-1, 20x1; 3:00
+
For 15:00
:90- 12-15 scap push ups
:90- 1 double overhand axle deadlift + :10 static hold @top, 180
+
800m cool down walk

AM
complete

PM
A. 195-205-215-225-253-245
+
complete
170 on the axle DL
+
complete


My knee was still bothering me today, I'm not sure what the deal is. There's no pain when I squat but it still feels really unstable in the knee cap. I kept the back squats light today just to be on the safe side until I can see Balza or Pete. 

Stephen cut the pistols from my EMOM so I just did scap push ups and axle deadlifts, starting every :90 instead of every minute. Scap push ups were easy, axle deadlifts were really tough. I could barely hold on today and I could only do 170. I tried picking up 180 but I could barely pull it off the ground, my hands just could not get a good grip on the bar. During the deadlift hold the bar felt like it was slipping out of my hands, which is weird because I did the same weight last week and it was fine. I couldn't even hold it on the last rep so Stephen told me to use a mix-grip and end on a good note. 

I have an appointment with Balza tomorrow, I'm really hoping he clears me to go overhead. My shoulder feels completely fine and I feel like I need to start testing it out a bit more. I'm also going to ask him about my knee and see what's up with that. I just want to be healthy and go back to my normal training volume! 

10/12/2015

AM
30:00 airdyne @Z1

PM
A. Standing broad jump, build to a max in 3 attempts after warm up
B. Power clean, build to a max for the day
+
10:00 @80%
75 double unders
15 glute-ham sit ups
200m run
+
3 rounds not for time:
20 band pull aparts, same band as last week
10-15 moderate reverse hypers

AM
complete

PM
A. 7'2"
B. 205 (210 Fx1)
+
complete
+
complete
55#/side for RH


Meh, today was decent. 

I did the best I could on the broad jump. I think I really need to watch some technique videos because I was basically just guessing on how to do it correctly. I know my number is pretty pathetic, I need to work on this more. 

Power clean was easy up to 205, although I caught it a bit low. I loaded the bar to 210 but it was basically just a pull, it got nowhere near my chest. 

Double unders were unbroken for the first two rounds, I tripped up at 65 on the third round. GHD sit ups surprisingly weren't that bad, I don't really get dizzy on these anymore, these were definitely not as terrible as they were during regionals practice. My breathing was not great on this.

I started having a weird feeling in my right knee this morning. I thought it would go away by the afternoon but I definitely noticed it during my PM session. There isn't any pain, it just feels like my right knee keeps locking up and isn't very stable. Like, I wouldn't be comfortable split jerking right now and putting pressure on the right leg. I also felt like my hips were unbalanced, I asked Heather and Pat if my right hip looked higher and both of them said they could actually see my right hip was higher than my left. I'm guessing this is contributing to my knee issue. I'm going to make an appointment with Pete for the end of the week. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Patience & Consistency: Things I learned on the road of improvement

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out"


For those of you who don't know, I coach classes at three different gyms. Being a coach is the best job in the world, I love it so much and I look forward to coaching my classes every day. I am always inspired by my athletes and I really enjoying helping them reach their fitness goals. 

A lot of people are now "regulars" and have been coming to class for quite awhile. There are a few people who I've been coaching for almost two years now. We also have new people joining the gym every month, which is awesome. I love when new people come into the classes because it's always enjoyable coaching someone through the basics of CrossFit and watching them get excited when things start to "click" during a lift or skill work. 

I've definitely seen a trend with some of the new athletes that join the classes over the years and I guess that's why I was inspired to write this post. I noticed some people tend to get discouraged when they're the "new" person in class. As I'm explaining the basics of a snatch to someone or putting someone through an assessment, I hear things like "this is embarrassing, I can barely do push ups" or "I feel like I'm never going to get this." They see more experienced athletes in the class lifting more weight or doing muscle ups and get discouraged because they're not there yet. I've noticed some people are always so quick to feel bad about themselves when they first start CrossFit, even though most of them are doing movements they've never done in their life. 

I always have to remind people that almost everyone started the same way. Almost every single athlete that I'm now coaching walked into the gym at one point and knew almost nothing about CrossFit and the movements that go along with it. There are always a few people who have an athletic background and can already do pull ups or have solid aerobic capacity, but for the most part we all started from ground zero. In fact, I am one of the biggest examples of literally starting from nothing and putting in the time and effort to ensure improvement, and I always share this story with my athletes when they get frustrated. 

First, let's all take a trip down memory lane.......


This was me in the summer of 2010. Bad hair and baggy clothes aside, I was in terrible shape. I was overweight and had exactly zero self-confidence. My dad dragged me to a CrossFit class in the park while I was home from college because he recognized that I needed to get in shape and get healthy. My first CrossFit workout consisted of all the basic movements- step ups, push ups, sit ups, and lunges. I fucking hated it. I could barely do any of it. I did the push ups on my knees, I had to do the step ups on the smallest of steps, and I was extremely winded and ready to quit two minutes into the workout. I remember constantly asking the coach if we were close to being finished. We did lunges with a PVC pipe and I could barely hold it overhead. I was sore for a week, I could barely bend over and tie my shoes. It was the actual worst. It made me realize how out of shape I was, and I decided to make a change and started coming to classes four or five times a week. 

And now, let us fast forward to the summer of 2015.....


This is me 5 years later with my awesome team at the 2015 Central Regional. I am a completely different person than the chick in the first picture. I have so much more confidence and I am a lot stronger, both mentally and physically. If I could back in time and tell my out of shape self that in five years I would be competing at the regional level, I wouldn't have believed it. No way. I've done things over the past few years that I never thought I would be able to do. There's really no secret to getting better, I basically just did three things:

I stuck to one program. I listened to my coach. I trained consistently. 

That's it. There's really no secret formula to improving and reaching your goals. You just have to put in the work and you have to do it every day. 

I always like to sort my thoughts into list format, so here are a few things I've learned over the years as an athlete who was once starting from scratch: 

1. Don't bounce around between programs
If you're constantly jumping between different programs, chances are it will take you a lot longer to reach your goals. Choose a program that works for you and stick with it. Each day is part of a bigger plan to help you get where you need to be. If you're going between three different programs because you're just doing what you "feel like" doing, you're not going to get any better and you definitely won't be hammering your weaknesses as much as you need to. Your programming should be small pieces that fit together to form a bigger picture. Talk with your coach and decide what is best for you. It might be the classes, the competition track, or even individualized programming. Whatever it is, stick with it. You will see more progress if you're patient and follow one program. 

2. Write everything down. Seriously, everything.
I have been keeping a blog of all my workouts since February 2013. Writing down all of your workouts and PRs is a great way to see just how far you've progressed over the years. Here's something I wrote in my blog from September 2013:

"The muscle ups felt awesome today! I am getting a lot more comfortable stringing them together, I didn't have any misses, they are getting a lot smoother and faster. Yay! Hopefully I'll be able to string three together soon"

Now here's a post from June 2014:

"My muscle ups are feeling so much easier lately, I was really happy that I was able to string 5 together for 5 out of 6 rounds. Now I just need to learn how to breathe during longer sets of MUs"

And now a post from January 2015:

"Muscle ups were EASY, my PR is 8 in a row, and for a moment I thought I would be able to hit 9"

Writing everything down helps you see progress over time. It's very easy to get discouraged on a bad training day, and when things aren't going well I tend to look back at old posts just to see how far I've come in the past few years. It's important to look at the bigger picture instead of day to day. Maybe you're getting frustrated because you're having trouble stringing more than six pull ups together, but if you look in your notebook you'll realize you couldn't even do a single pull up one year ago. It's all about the journey and seeing how far you've come. If you're a new athlete starting CrossFit, go buy a notebook and start writing down every workout from now on. 

Writing everything down is also important going week to week. If Stephen gives me 1-arm DB row, 3x8-10/arm, and this week I have 1-arm DB row, 3x6-8/arm, I'm going to have to look back at last week so I know where I ended last week and where to start this week. It's very important to my training so I can stay consistent and increase the weight correctly. 

Just write it all down man. 

3. Train consistently
My training really improved when I started sticking with a schedule and began training five days a week. It's hard to improve and get stronger when you're skipping training days. Your programming is a specific long-term plan, and if you come for a few weeks and then disappear for a few weeks you probably won't see much improvement. Make a schedule and stick with it. This is probably the most important thing. If you want to get better at something, you have to do it every day. This was ingrained in my brain when I was a jazz studies major at college. My college experience was a lot like my CrossFit experience. When I first showed up as a freshman, I basically sucked at jazz trumpet. My professors told me the only way I would get better was to practice. Every day. So that's what I did. I practiced for hours every day, and by the time I graduated I had a lot more confidence in my playing ability, my sound was bigger, and I was a lot better. You just have to come in and put in the work, and you have to do it on a regular basis. 


Here's me playing at a jazz club as a timid freshman

Here's me playing jazz with my pals at my senior recital


4. Be patient
CrossFit can be very frustrating. Sometimes there are days when shit is just not going well and things don't make sense. The important thing is to just stick with it and see it through. Progress isn't going to happen overnight, but six months from now you'll look back at your old numbers and realize just how much you've improved. The same thing will happen a year from now. Put in the time, listen to your coaches, and be patient. You have to look at it as a journey, really. That's the way I see it. I've been doing this for six years and I still have a long way to go, but I'm proud of how far I've come. I'm proud of how far everyone has come. I've seen athletes walk into the gym that couldn't do pull ups and now they're stringing bar muscle ups together. I've seen females that never thought of themselves as strong and now they can do handstand push ups and front squat 180. Progress will come if you stick with it and have patience. It worked for me and I know it can work for you. 

So I guess the point of this entire blog post is: be proud and be patient. Be proud of yourself for taking your fitness into your own hands and for putting in the time and effort to get better. Be patient with your training and improvement will come. Set goals for yourself and always have fun. 

That's all I got. 












Sunday, October 11, 2015

10/11/2015

Long, unplugged hike

60 min complete @Ault Park 

10/10/2015

A. Squat clean clusters, 5x1.1 moderate/tough, :10 between singles, 2:30 rest
B. 1&1/4 front squats, 1-1-1-1-1; 2:30 rest
C. Weighted glute-ham raises, 3x4-6, 20x1; :90 rest
+
Not for time:
800m sled drag, moderate

A. 160-170-180-190-200
B. 190-200-210-220-225 (then hit a 235 front squat PR, just for fun)
C. complete w/12#
+
complete w/90# on sled


Another good day of training! 

Squat cleans were SO MUCH BETTER than last Saturday. Last week was definitely a result of bad diet, travel, and lack of sleep. These were much easier today. I worked up to 200 and both reps were pretty easy, here's the video. I can definitely go heavier. 

Front squats felt great today! I worked up to 225 and it's only 5 pounds under my front squat PR so I went for 235 because I knew I could hit a PR. And I did. And it was easy. Here's the video. I went for 245 because 235 was so easy but I failed it. I know I could at least hit 240, I can get it next time. 

Weighted glute-ham raises were fine, these are getting better. Stuck with 12# for all sets.

Sled drag was decent, I just don't care for these very much. Luckily, Heather was a good bro and did the sled drag with me so time went by much faster. 


10/9/2015

AM
4 rounds easy of:
3:00 airdyne
3:00 row
3:00 mobility work of choice, include anything Balza gave you

PM
A. Clean pull, 1-1-1-1 @230; 2:00 rest
B. Snatch-grip deadlift, build to a heavy triple, 31x1
C. Sled drag, 6x30m very heavy grind indoors; :90 rest
+
4 sets:
400m run @same pace as last week
2:00 rest

AM
complete

PM
A. complete
B. 185
C. complete w/220# on sled
+
1:29
1:29
1:30
1:30


Pretty solid day!

Clean pulls were a lot better than two weeks ago, I took more time to build up to working weight and I was able to get the bar a lot higher on the pulls. 

Snatch grip deadlifts were easy, I mostly just called it because my thumbs were on fire. 185 was relatively tough-ish, the tempo got a bit spicy on the third rep. I'm definitely enjoying all the snatch deadlifts/snatch pulls, it's building my confidence for the moment when I can finally pull the bar off the ground and go overhead. 

Sled drag was also better than two weeks ago, not sure why. I was able to move the sled a lot more efficiently today. 

400m repeats were pretty terrible. Dammit. I felt so heavy and my legs felt like they had been dipped in concrete. I was so winded after just the first run. I hate that. I definitely don't feel as lean/light as I did a few weeks ago. I've basically just come to accept the fact that I'm going to be on the heavy side until I can go overhead again and my volume gets back to normal. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

10/7/2015

AM
6-8 sets easy:
:60 row
:60 FLR on ground
:60 airdyne
:30/side plank
2x[:10 double unders + :20 single unders]

PM
A. Snatch pull, 4x1@180; :90 rest
B. Deadlifts, 5x9 tough and go @165, begin a set every :60
C. 1-arm DB row w/straps, 7-10/arm, 21x1; :45 between arms
+
5 sets @high effort:
10 burpees
200m run
30 double unders
+
1500m row cool down

AM
switched this out for the same AM session as yesterday (bike/mobility)

PM
A. complete
B. complete
C. 35-35-35
+
1:52
1:45
1:42
1:48
1:52
+
complete


I did the same AM session as yesterday (bike/mobility) because I really wanted to keep working on the shit Balza gave me (sorry Stevo, hope that's cool) since I had an appointment with him today. 

The snatch pulls are making me very happy. Once I get my shoulder shit together and I can go overhead again, I'll be very excited to get back to snatching. The pulls are feeling really easy, 180 was shockingly high every time. 

Deadlifts were so easy. I used to not really care for deadlifts but I am starting to enjoy them now. I guess that's what happens when you're limited to like four movements, eventually you have to start liking one of them. It's kind of like how the bachelorette works- you put a chick in a room with a couple guys and eventually she's going to start thinking she loves one of them, because he's a little better than all the rest of the guys. That's how deadlifts are to me right now. 

I enjoyed the 1-arm DB rows with straps (thanks Heather for showing me how to use these). I stuck with 35 for each set even though I got 10 reps every time, I really wanted to make sure I was engaging my lats and not shrugging with my traps. 

Burpee/run piece was okay, although I feel like my aerobic capacity has gone to shit as of late. I was extremely winded by the second set. Burpees were fast but I felt very heavy on the runs. Tripped up on double unders on the first and fifth set but sets 2-4 were unbroken. I feel out of shape. 

I saw Balza today, he said he can tell I'm definitely making progress but I still need to learn how to control everything instead of letting my traps do all the work. I need to work on pushing my shoulder blades back and down and engaging my lats instead of letting my traps shrug up. He said he could tell I've been doing all his exercises every day and that there's definitely a lot of progress being made, so that's good. I'm getting very antsy to get back to doing things overhead but I also don't want to revert back to my bad habits. I just have to stay the course. Even though I feel like a weak, soft, chubby slob right now, I know things will be better in a few weeks. I just keep telling myself how much easier muscle ups and snatches will feel. 

10/6/2015

AM
4 sets of:
6:00 bike easy
3:00 Balza rehab of choice

PM
A. Power clean, build to a touch and go 2RM
+
For 18:00
1st: 8 alternating pistols
2nd: 12 fast push ups
3rd: 1 double overhand axle deadlift + :10 static hold @top, heavy
+
800m walk cool down

AM
complete

PM
A. 190 (cleaned 200 for one but failed the second rep)
+
complete
scap push ups instead of regular push ups
170# for axle DL
+
complete


Merrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I am no longer good at power cleans. These were all terrible. For some reason I'm second guessing my set up and overthinking it way too much. I'm trying to engage all the correct muscles when I set up and I think it's throwing me off. I know I'm going to have to retrain basically every set up for every lift. Everything was really easy up to 185, then things started going downhill. I cleaned 185 once and it was really heavy so I went for it again and I caught it super wide. Usually 185 is no problem for me at all. I went to 190 and did that for a double, I caught the second rep REALLYYYYY wide, it was so ugly. I almost called it there, but I decided to just go for 200 because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I caught the first rep pretty easily but the second rep was basically just a pull, it wasn't high at all. If I'm being honest, I almost had a meltdown after this. I feel like I'm becoming worse at the things I'm supposed to be good at, my squats cleans were terrible on Saturday and my power cleans were awful today. It's not that I can't move the weight, but for some reason I'm not confident in my set up or confident walking up to the bar anymore. Usually I can look at a bar with 190 and know I'm going to lift it with no problem, but today I was like "ehhh 190, I hope I can hit this." It was very frustrating. I think my overall confidence has gone down a lot over the past few weeks from not being able to do anything overhead. I'm not really doing things I'm good at anymore and it's making me sad. Rant over. 

The EMOM was okay, pistols weren't as solid as last week. Deadlifts were also a bit harder than last week, my grip was slipping a lot sooner. I did scap push ups instead of regular push ups just to keep drilling the shit Balza wants me to be doing. 

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