Wednesday, December 10, 2008 by Rebecca

Helen - in hell?

Warmup: ME, KB swings - 10 russian, 10 CF, 10 1 handed each hand, 10 KB presses, 10 KB front squats.


Three rounds for time:

Run "400" meters
1 1/2 pood Kettlebell X 21 swings (or 55 pound dumbbell swing)
12 Pull-ups


Round 1
Round 2
Round 3


I started this post the night after, but needed to go to bed. I need to finish it before the details get fuzzy!

This is about 3 minutes slower than the Helen I did on Nov. 26. There are, I think, 2 reasons for that. The first is the pullups. Last time i was doing jumping pullups from a 24" box, and I could tear through twelve in just a few seconds. This time, I wanted to try for a slightly more legitimate pull-up. My original intention was to try to do my pseudo/bent arm dead-hangs until they ran out, and then do jumping. Well - they just weren't there at all from the beginning, so I did jumping pullups from the 10" box which meant I had to do a lot more pulling with my arms to get my chin to the bar. (I think the bar is @ 8' or so.) These were a lot more tiring and took a lot longer - which feels like a more appropriate level to be working at.

The other reason is that the air quality was HORRIBLE, and I was having a really hard time breathing. At the time I just thought it was because I was tired or just having an off night and was having a bad aerobic capacity day, but a lot of other people felt it too. Afterwards, I had a cough for a couple hours. Yuck.

And the other reason - OK - maybe there are 3 - is that Max was urging us not to have any transition time or any rest time "to hit it as hard as we've ever hit anything", and I think that by trying to go full out and not rest and not have transitions, I ended up needing more rest and had longer transitions. I find that if I take a couple seconds to rest *before* I hit my capacity wall, I recover faster and can do more work more quickly than if I try to rest *after* hitting my capacity wall. Which is not to say that the "no rest no transitions" formula is a bad one to practice every now and again. I think it's probably useful to butt up against that wall and try to stretch that capacity.

That said, there were at least 4 minutes of transition time in this workout, and that's a LOT of transition time. There are maybe 45 seconds to possibly a whole minute in round 1 where I had forgotten to put my gloves on, and it took a little while to get that sorted.

One thing I am pleased about is that my run times were universally better than last time, AND the time before that (last time my runs were weaker than my previous attempt). I think that the daily walking exercises I am doing are actually making a difference. I even walked a few feet (25 or so?) of my last 400 when my breathing got ridiculously close to hyperventilating and I got a bit freaked out and decided to walk until I could get my breathing under control. (Another present from the HORRIBLE air ... did I mention it was bad?)

Also, this time, a greater percentage of my KB swings actually made it over head. Not all of them by any stretch, I counted anything that made it as high as eye level, but I tried for overhead when I could, and actually got it some of the time.

So - ultimately - even though my time took a step backwards, in terms of work performed and quality of work, i think this workout took a step forward.

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