Sunday, May 31, 2009 by Rebecca

Sunday Highlight

One quick note about Sunday's workouts.

The coolest thing is that I got a massive 400m PR. My fastest recorded time ever is 1:59 - but that is on a course that I am fairly certain is actually less than 400m. (The roof of GWPC). Most of my recently, my fastest 400's have been hovering somewhere around 2:15-2:20.

Sunday's workout involved a relay run of 400m - I was first, and I was paired head-to-head with Ynez - who went first for her team. She's a better runner than me, but we're fairly close in speed. We both managed to push each other in a good way - I was determined to catch her, and she was determined not to let me. She finished only about 10 feet ahead of me. The route we ran was actually a bit longer than 400m - from the top of the stairs outside the yoga room, down to the 200m mark and back. I hit my timer at the top of the stairs and stopped it when I got back to the bottom of the stairs. Time: 2:05! With the added distance of the stairs, I know this was for sure my best 400m time ever.

Exciting :-)

Saturday, May 30, 2009 by Rebecca

Strength Cycle Week 11, pt. 2 - more progress!

Warmup: .5 miles on elliptical, ME, 20 situps, boz warmup-2 rounds, hip openers

Warmup: 10 x 45#, 5 x 95#

5 x 115, 125, 135 - got it! PR! (though the last two reps weren't pretty)

21 x 105# - got it - though, again, the last few reps weren't pretty.

Warmup: 10 x 15#, practice with dowel

3 x 40-45-50-52-60
Ii failed to get 60 up at all the first time i tried it. I got it up twice the second time i tried it - and i managed to get a set of three the third time i tried it. PR! Daniel really helped me with my form on these - apparently I didn't really know where "overhead" was, and was consistently finding a place in front of my head instead of directly overhead. which made them much harder to get up.

21 x 40 (12,6,3) - these did not go so well. The first 12 were horribly wonky - i couldn't get a rhythm going, and i was wobbling all over the place. the last 9 were much better. ... last week i managed to get 14 ,7 at this weight. grrr. still - i PR'ed on three of my four tasks today, and I can't help but be happy about that.

Strength Cycle Week 11, part 2

I've been fighting off a case of the grumpies today, which meant a reluctance to do this workout (not having a group setting like a class is a real disadvantage sometimes). Thankfully, Rebecca and I managed to work through it, and I felt better afterwards, despite the annoying pain in my arms.

Deadlift x 5: 250 - 275 - 305 (pr)
Deadlift x 21: 240 (unbroken)
Press x 5: 75 - 90 - 105 (pr)
Press x 21: 75 (18-3)

I really focused on keeping my ass down on the deadlifts, and earned some praise from Rebecca for it. Very pleased to get 105x5 on the press, and was not at all surprised to fail on the big set - a five pound jump from last week combined with some tired arms from the heavy set, I was pleased to make it all the way to 18.

Friday, May 29, 2009 by Daniel

Friday Fail, part 3

Well, if two points make a line, then three points extra bold line. Or something. Today sucked, just like the last two Fridays.

Climbing was terrible. 10a(o), 10b(f), 10c(f+)

I got the intense pain in my biceps again almost immediately, and the deep cut on my index finger made all the left handholds particularly challenging/painful.

I went home, ate and got a few hours of work in, then went to CrossFit where my goal was simply to NOT DNF this one:

Run 800 Meters
50 Pull-Ups (men C2B)
100 Two-Hand Floor To Overhead 95/65
150 Burpees
Run 800 Meters

DNF. I didn't even complete three rounds (5-10-15 partitioning). Most disastrous DNF yet.

My biceps started screaming at me as soon as I picked up the bar. I don't understand how I can do 150 reps at 95# on Wednesday with no pain, but I can't do 5 reps of the same weight on Friday before the pain sets in. And why always Friday? I can think of three things that set Fridays apart:
  1. Climbing in the morning
  2. Fasting until 1 or so (but I eat before CF, and I fast other days)
  3. It's the day after some heavy bench pressing in the strength routine
Clearly, number one is the most probable cause. Next week I'll beg off climbing, and see how the evening workout fares. It could be I just need a week off for my body to FIX whatever's wrong with my biceps, but there aren't any weeks off on the calendar until after July 12. Maybe a half-volume week would work. I'll know more next week.

50% of hell is still pretty hellacious ...

Warmup: ME, Boz Warmup - 3 rounds

Run 800 Meters
50 Pull-Ups (men C2B) *used green resistance band
100 Two-Hand Floor To Overhead 95/65 *subbed 45#
150 Burpees
Run 800 Meters

44:33 for 100% of the running & 50% of everything else.
Rounds consisted of 5 pullups, 10 clean/pushpress, 15 burpees - should have been a total of 10 rounds.
Round 2-5 were done 5 pu, 10 bp, 5 c/pp, 5bp, 5 c/pp

Round 1 & 2
Round 3
Round 4
Round 5

I tried to stop as little as possible on the burpees - just go slow and steady. The ground to overhead (clean/push-press) definitely took the most out of me - even at 45# which should have been pretty manageable - but it probably had something to do with my neck and shoulders being stiff and sore and achy from yesterday's fall. And I'm also pretty sore from all the thrusters and backsquats, etc.

This workout was just taking forever - i was only at the beginnig of round 4 when Max started asking whether people were almost done, so i decided to call it at 50%.

My run times were pretty decent. I tried to run the 2nd one faster, but had to slow down almost immediately to keep a side stitch from forming. I think i probaly could have run the first one a little faster, but i was trying to conserve a little energy for the workout to come.

Thursday, May 28, 2009 by Rebecca

Strength Cycle Week 11, part 1 - progress!

Finally! Progress!

Warmup: 5 minutes on the eliptical to warm up achy legs, 30 situps, 30 dowel OHS, shoulder dislocates.

I was working the Boz warmup with the OHS - trying to get hands and feet narrower as I went along, and for some reason, (finally?) I really noticed the width of my stance for the OHS when I was getting good depth, and realized that it was a lot wider than my usual back squat stance. I turned to Daniel and said - "I think my squat stance is too narrow." At which point he laughed, a little hysterically, and said "I've been trying to tell you that for the last YEAR." Why is it that some things - although you hear them over and over and know them backwards and forward - just DON'T PENETRATE until some totally random magic moment when things finally click?

Warmup: 5 x 45, 5 x 45

5 x 55, 67, 77 Got it!
You can see the knee collapsing in somewhat if you really watch it. I also trimmed 17 seconds off the beginning of the video of me picking up the bar and getting my feet into position ... I definitely need to work on making that speedier. Part of it was me taking a little extra time today to try to find the right width stance, but part of it just needs to get faster.

21 x 62
attempt #1: catastrophic failure
not really sure how I managed this, but I figured I might as well post it since we caught it on camera ... who doesn't love to broadcast their colossal fails? This is a great "how not to squat" vid:

attempt #2: 15,6
went much better - though not quite 21. glad I decided to go ahead and try it again. I was pretty freaked out. I think i could get 21 if i could just get myself to go faster. my arms got too tired to keep holding the bar (well and my legs gave out, too.).

On the whole I am doing better at keeping my knees out, but there is still plenty of work to be done in this arena.

Bench Press:
warmup: 10 x 45#

3 x 50, 55, 60, 65, 72 PR!!! GOT IT!!

21 x 55# - got this one too - BARELY. :-D AWESOME

The bench (finally!) felt strong again today.

WIth the 72# WEIGHT - it is SO strange - rep 1 was easy, rep 2 was still pretty easy - rep 3 was damn near impossible, but I finally managed to gut it out, and get that sucker UP.

On the set of 21 I nearly failed at rep 19 - Daniel thought i was done and moved to take the bar from me, but I wouldn't let him take it. I was sure I could get those last two reps, and I did.

Strength Cycle Week 11, part 1

Satisfying night at the gym, as the benchmarks continue to accumulate.

Back Squat x 5: 150 - 175 - 200(pr)
Back Squat x 21: 150 (unbroken)
Bench Press x 5: 115 - 135 - 157(pr)
Bench Press x 21: 120F (15-6)

The squats weren't too shabby, though the last rep or two felt quite hard. I'm consciously trying to avoid pulling down on the weight, but it's a hard habit to break. I'm very happy to FINALLY make a PR on the bench, and would dearly love to get 160x5 next week, but honestly I'd be surprised if it happened - I really seem to have stalled out on the bench press.

In honor of breaking into the 200 club, here's a video of some of tonight's effort. The air squats at the end are for the benefit of some forum folks whom I am asking for help in improving my lumbar extension.

Thrusters are the devil

Warmup: ME, movement drills with a dowell ... not too much else ... waiting around for heat #1 to finish.

Five rounds for time of:
95* pound Sumo deadlift high-pull, 15 reps
95* pound Thruster, 15 reps
*Subbed 45#


I forgot to bring my watch to class so i do not have the splits for this. Which I find totally aggravating.

The SDHP were not a problem. I was generally able to do them in 1 set of 10-12 and then finish out the rest.

The thrusters - well - they're thrusters - they suck. I was able to do them in sets of 3-5 ... which means I probably should have used a slightly heavier weight - except that my time doesn't really indicate that it was too easy. My wrist(s) were really feeling worked by this workout, so I was taking a little extra rest between sets to try to let them ... I dunno - rest. I don't know why my wrists were so unhappy this week, and were just fine last week with a very similar workout. Probably due to using a different bar, and maybe a different grip. last week i used an empty oly bar. this week it was the15# alumalite with 15# bumpers.

Daniel said my form on the thrusters wasn't looking too bad. My depth was excellent, and my knees - while wobbly - were not in danger of actually knocking together. We'll see how squats go tonight.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 by Daniel

Pick it up and put it over your head

I can't really say I have an ambivalent attitude towards thrusters. There's not much "ambi" there. I hate the fuckers. Consensus at CFEB is that they are the single nastiest exercise in the CrossFit canon - basically the demon offspring of a burpee and a barbell.

So with that in mind, you can imagine the joy with which we contemplated this puppy:

Five rounds for time of:
95 pound Sumo deadlift high-pull, 15 reps
95 pound Thruster, 15 reps


I'm not terribly proud of that time, but I'm quite happy about that "RX." Our thrusters are typically high-volume/low-weight, so I haven't attempted doing 95# thrusters for reps in many months, and I was worried about being able to do 75 of them. They were quite doable, which means that an RX Fran is now in my grasp. I'm anticipating having to do Fran at the cert next month, and I was afraid I'd have to scale it, which would have sucked. Now, whether I can do it in under 10 minutes or not is a different question...

As for this workout, I spent quite a lot of time resting. I typically knocked out the SDHPs in two quick sets of 8/7 - they weren't terribly difficult. The thrusters I did in sets of five across the board, and - since I didn't want to keep cleaning the bar - I didn't start a set until I was confident I could get five. I focused as much as I could on form, but my lower back was still hurting afterwards - probably from the high-pulls and from rounding my back at the bottom of the thruster.

Sunday, May 24, 2009 by Daniel


So we're not supposed to talk much about the super-secret training we're doing for the Affiliate Cup, which is why Sundays have gone kinda dark around this blog. Suffice to say this is some of the hardest shit I've ever done, and I feel completely worked.

I would like to note that I cleaned 135# ten times today. This was my 1RM in February, and my 3RM about a month ago. Progress feels good.

Increased Capacity

The past couple weeks I have been participating in the Team CFEB training regimen - primarily as an exercise in solidarity, and to see what I am capable of. Gita has said that the goal is to increase capacity and conditioning, and I don't know about the other athletes, but I have DEFINITELY seen a significant increase in both.

Yesterday was an absolutely banner day. Hopefully without revealing too many details ... I managed to get 25 Russian swings with the 1.5P KB - a KB 8lbs heavier than the heaviest KB I've ever swung before, and 16# heavier than the one I usually swing. The team I was on actually won the team WOD.

But by far and away the most impressive accomplishment of the day was in the running. I ran every step of nearly 4 miles of running - 3 of them on rough, hilly terrain. It was not that long ago when it was a major accomplishment just to run one complete mile of flat road. And not only did I run every step, but the running felt strong - it felt good, even. We ran in the same location last week, and I had had to walk some of the route the second time through. This week, I ran all three laps. I forgot to put my watch on so I didn't get the times for this week's runs, but I am pretty sure they were faster than last week's. For a lot of the running I was right on Ynez's heels. I think it freaked her out a bit to have me so close, but it was great inspiration to me to keep going.

I'm excited to keep working with Team CFEB and see how much farther I progress.

Saturday, May 23, 2009 by Rebecca

Strength Cycle Week 10, part 1 & 2

Part 1 (5/21/09)
Warmup: not much. some squats, some hip openers, some dislocates.

Warmup 5 x 45#, twice.

5 x 55# , 65#, 65#(uneven weight left & right)

This week was a moderately successful return to focus on form after last week's ugly results. I've included some footage from last week in the video below to show the progression.

Bench Press:
Warmup: 10 x 45#

3 x 55-55-60-65-72(f rep 1)

Everything just felt heavy and awkward. It was not a particualrly good lifting day.

Part 2 (5/23/09)
Warmup: jog .25 mile on treadmill, mobility exercises, a few reps of 30# snatches. A few attempts at 45# snatches - turned into 45# shrugs.

warmup: 10 x 30#, 10 x 45#, 5 x 95#

5x 115, 120, 130 - got it!

21 x 100# - got it - pr - this is where i was stuck before i had to go back down in weight when i discovered how to use my hamstrings.

This is only video of my heaviest attempt. My form has cleaned up a lot - but I have got to figure out how to keep my knees from buckling.

warmup: 15 x 15#

3 x 40#, 45#, 50#, 55#, 60#(f rep 2)

21 x 40# (14, 7)

I am still struggling with my form on these. I don't always get my head through fast enough - particularly when i get tired. ... apparently I somehow skipped 21 x 37#. I think I will go down and try that weight next week.

Strength Cycle Week 10, part 2

Well, despite feeling rather like I got run over by a stampeding elephant named "Eva," today's strength routine turned out rather well - and certainly better than Thursday.

Deadlift x 5: 245 - 270 - 300 (pr)
Deadlift x 21: 235 (unbroken)
Press x 5: 75 - 90 - 105F/3
Press x 21: 70 (unbroken)

When I started this strength routine, 300 was my one-rep max for deadlift, and 105 was my one-rep max for shoulder press. I'm not at all surprised I failed at three reps on the press today, though - after yesterday my shoulders have been feeling totally fried, and all my presses felt hard today. I was quite surprised that I managed 70 x 21. Hopefully I'll be able to get 105x5 next week.

Rebecca got my 300x5 on video for posterity, and I neglected to edit out all the time I spend psyching myself up to pick up the bar:

It's funny how my ass goes down to start the pull and then shoots right back up. On these sets of five the first one is always my worst one, and then my form is not so bad afterwards. My hips are shooting up a little faster than my shoulders, but overall I'm fairly happy with my form here.

Friday, May 22, 2009 by Rebecca


Warmup: 40 situps, 25 Vups, 20 hollow rocks, 10 kte.

Three rounds for time of:
Run 400 Meters
1.5 pood Kettlebell swing, 21 reps
12 Pull-ups


400mKB SwingPullups
Rd 12:15
Rd 22:25
5:55 (11:23)
Rd 32:30
6:07 (17:30)

This is over a minute better than my last time - both my running and my KB swings by almost 2 minutes a piece, but my pullups got longer by 3 minutes - which just tells me that I was using a more appropriate sub this time (the pull up times last time were a bit ridiculous). This time i used rings that were just at about wrist height so I could get a little jump in, but i was still doing mostly pulling. I could get 2-4 pullups in a set before failing.

I started this WOD on my own after pretty much everyone else who was doing Helen had finished (though long before anyone doing Eva was anywhere near done). My excuse was lack of kettlebells of the proper weight; I knew that Helen is relatively short, so I decided it would be just fine to start it late since I have my own watch. I nearly decided just to skip it all together. I was just feeling horribly unmotivated. I owe a debt of thanks to Polly who urged me to just get it done and reminded me that I'd feel better once I started.

I really tried to focus on going at a steady pace, eliminating as much transition time as i could - going from one exercise to the next and starting the reps even if i had not fully caught my breath yet. "Do a couple reps, breathe, more reps, breathe" I think it really helped.

I have to say that after all the volume heavy workouts we've done lately, Helen felt like a short sweet break of a workout. I feel much more energized, now. Though if I am going to continue to feel that way, I need to get to bed, now.

Friday DNF day (Eva)

Today was very similar to last Friday, which is not really a good thing.

Started out with some crappy climbing:

10a(o), 10b(o), 10b(o), 10c(f)

Once again, my distal deltoid/proximal bicep were really hurting from the climbing. I don't know what's going on with that. My traps were sore waking up (from the snatch/OHS, I'm sure), but didn't really bother me much today. Just the arms.

I ate as much as I could, and rested through the afternoon, but it wasn't enough to get me through Eva:

Five rounds for time of:
Run 800 meters
2 pood Kettlebell swing, 30 reps
30 Pull-ups

DNF (3 rounds in 39:30)

It was the arm pain that caused me to stop, and it was the pullups causing the arm pain. The swings were actually getting easier - I did the first round in sets of 10 and moved to 2x15 in the last round. In fact, this may be the first time I've done 2-pood swings and they felt just fine, and didn't make my throat raw from grunting. The pullups were done on the rings, and were just causing more and more pain. In general, my pullups and climbing have gone downhill, probably a result of gaining weight on the strength cycle. The price you pay, I guess.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 by Daniel

Strength Cycle Week 10, part 1


Back Squat x 5: 135 - 165 - 195(pr)
Back Squat x 21: 145 (unbroken)
Bench Press x 5: 125 - 140 - 157F/4
Bench Press x 21: 120F (16-5)

Continuing to make progress on the squat (195 wasn't actually as bad as I feared it would be), but my bench remains stalled out. It felt weak right from the get-go tonight. Last night's WOD? Waiting too long between squats and pressing? Goofing around with weighted pullups? Different equipment? I don't know, but in general tonight I wasn't feeling it. Distracted, irritable, awkward with the different equipment and location...hopefully next week will be better. Only have to do this twice more and then we can shelve it for a little bit.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 by Daniel

Damn you, Overhead Squats

I think I may be starting to get the hang of snatches - maybe even figuring out the final pull (though I'm still nowhere near diving under the bar). But I'm still horrendous at OHS, and will probably never get much better at the snatch until I get the OHS.

Run 800 Meters
21 Power Snatch 95/65
Run 800 Meters
21 OHS 95/65
Run 800 Meters
21 Power Clean 95/65
Run 800 Meters
21 front Squat 95/65

33:30 (Snatch at 85#, most OHS at 75#, all else RX)

So, let's check out the splits:

Run 1: 3:26
Snatches: 4:11
Run 2: 4:48
OHS: 7:55
Run 3: 4:10
Cleans: 2:16
Run 4: 4:21
Squats: 2:19

Wow, I didn't realize how crappy my runs got. But apart from that, it's clear that the OHS are the outlying movement. After 5 it was clear to me I needed to drop the weight if I was going to get anywhere, so I went down to 75# and worked in with Bill. The weight was not bad, but it hurts my wrists like CRAZY. I think the limiting factor here is actually hamstring flexibility: in order to go down all the way, I need a super-wide grip (all the way to the collars), which torques my wrists and makes them burn in a bad, bad way. It's all because my trunk leans way forward at the bottom of the squat. I can't really think of a way to work on this other than by doing squats up against a wall, or maybe front squats. But if I can get my trunk upright, then I can take a narrower grip on the bar, which will prevent wrist pain.

The second lesson here was about my lower back - it's been acting up lately, and I think the consequences of poor form are catching up to me as my weight and volume is going up - particularly as we keep hitting thrusters and snatches for reps. By the time I hit the cleans, my back was smarting pretty bad, but I found that if I focused on keeping my chest high, back arched and visualizing a short, vertical bar path then it didn't really hurt. Virtuosity is about more than efficiency of movement for a better time - it also prevents injury, and I need to be better about protecting my back.



Run 800 Meters
21 Power Snatch 95/65
Run 800 Meters
21 OHS 95/65
Run 800 Meters
21 Power Clean 95/65
Run 800 Meters
21 front Squat 95/65


Time Elapse Exercise
5:12 5:12 Run 1
1:38 6:50 Snatch 22#
6:35 13:25 Run 2
4:09 17:34 OHS 22#
6:32 24:06 Run 3
2:06 26:12 Cleans 42#
6:42 32:54 Run 4
3:29 36:23 Front Squat 42#

I think the weights I chose were too light for everything except the OHS. There was a bit of a scramble for bars, so i opted/offered to use the preset bars from upstairs, but they only have 10# increments, and OHS with 30# just wasn't happening, so I chose the 20# bar for the overhead work, and then ran up to get a 2nd heavier bar for the cleans and the squats.

My run times were pretty pathetic - but except for about 50m the second run when i got hit with a nasty side stitch, I managed to run all of each run. I discovered that if i felt a stitch forming, I just had to slow down to keep it at bay .... though at some point i'm not sure it wouldn't just have been faster to walk.

Saturday, May 16, 2009 by Daniel

Strength Cycle Week 9, part 2 and Oly Seminar

Deadlift x 5: 225 - 255 - 295 (pr)
Deadlift x 21: 230 (unbroken)
Press x 5: 75 - 85 - 102 (pr)
Press x 21: 67 (unbroken)

Wow, a good day! Especially considering how fucking wrecked I'm feeling these days. We got a good long sleep last night, and I woke up stiff but fairly energetic. Took my first contrast shower, which may be a bunch of hoo-hah, but is harmless and seemed to to a fairly good job of alleviating the soreness. By the time we got to Ironworks, I was feeling pretty close to 100%.

This did not last. While I did make good weights on my lifts, it came at a pretty steep cost, pretty quickly. My arms, particularly my upper biceps and deltoids, started acting up again, and my overall energy plummeted. The lifts went well, though Rebecca yelled at me throughout my heavy set of deads for not using my legs enough (ie, too much back). I was pleasantly surprised to get the 21 consecutive at 67...though that just means I have to do 70 next time!

After the strength routine came a three-hour Oly lifting seminar with Jim Schmitz. He spent about half the time on the snatch, and the rest on the clean and jerk - typically going around the circle and having each person do whatever the drill was. To be honest, I was rather disappointed with this. Perhaps it was my mood, which was somewhere between grumpy and downright cranky, or my general sense of exhaustion. There were some good takeaways, though:
  • He likes to do developing sets of three, and they do work well: so a power snatch and two squat snatches, or a power snatch -> hang squat snatch -> squat snatch. By the time you get to the third rep, form is generally improved.
  • I like the exercise of going tno the bottom of a OHS or Front Squat and taking some time to move your head all around down there in order to establish a comfort zone at the bottom of the lift.
  • Also good is the slow deadlift -> shrug drill, with a weight heavier than you can clean
  • For coaching, holding a dowel in front of you to help track the lifter's bar path is a "why didn't I think of that?" idea.

Friday, May 15, 2009 by Daniel

I broke my ass.

Climbing this morning was my first clue that my body was not recovered from yesterday. I only did three 10B's, telling myself I was going to take it easy, and after the first climb my biceps/deltoids were screaming at me. I reluctantly agreed to listen to them and stop after only three climbs. I was worried about what would happen with the evening WOD.

Turns out the problem wasn't with my arms. It was with my ass.

Five rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
75 pound Sumo deadlift high-pull, 21 reps
75 pound Thruster, 21 reps

21:08 DNF (3 rounds)

I had a good pace for the first two rounds - probably would have finished around 30-32 minutes, I think. Unfortunately, I developed a very painful cramp in the back of my left hip/glute, particularly on the SDHPs. I've felt a smaller version of this pain before, usually while running up hills, but this is the first time it has ever gotten so intense that it has prompted me to stop.

More stretching is in order, I think, as well as some hard ball rolling after workouts. Hopefully this won't develop into yet another chronic injury like my ankle and shoulder.

"I can stop any time this gets too hard ... "

Warmup: Jog 400m, lots of OHS and hip openers and running in place trying to stay warmed up while waiting for heat 1 to finish.

Five rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
75 pound Sumo deadlift high-pull, 21 reps
75 pound Thruster, 21 reps


This workout was absolutely brutal. I nearly quit about half way through round 1 when some folks were heading out for the run on round 3 and I was still struggling through round 1 (The top finishers got this one done in 22-25 minutes). I forgot to hit the split timer between the SDHP and the thrusters on the first round, but I can guarantee that it was the thrusters that took the most time. I was only getting sets of 1 to 2 reps - 3 if I was lucky.

I just reminded myself of the mantra I discovered yesterday, with a slight (very effective) modification: "You can stop any time this gets too hard to continue." It's a very subtle shift from permission to a challenge. The stubborn mule in me is EXTREMELY reluctant to admit that ANYTHING is too hard, so if I have anything left, I'll keep going. Also, it helps me keep things in perspective. I know what hard is, I know the difference(generally) between pain indicative of an imminent injury and pain that is merely the discomfort brought on by hard work. The later does not count as "too hard".

Interestingly, my thrusters got better as the rounds went on. I found that I was able to string together as many as 5 in a row. The last round of thrusters went a lot faster than round 3 and 4 because Daniel came out to coach me and cheerlead me through it. Everyone else was long done, the sun was going down, and I was losing my determination. It made a huge difference to have him there urging me to pick up the bar and get it done. Thank you, honey!

Thursday, May 14, 2009 by Rebecca

Pain Fest

Warmup: ME, BOZ warmup X 3 (10 dislocates + 10 OHS w/ dowel - increasingly narrow grip and squat stance.)

Run One Mile
100 Squats
Run 800 Meters
75 Push-Ups
Run 400 Meters
50 Burpees
Run 200 Meters
25 "GI Janes"
Run One Mile


1 Mile
100 Squats
75 Pushups
50 Burpees
25 GI Janes
1 Mile

This was a bastard of a workout. There were a couple times - particularly once the burpees started where I nearly broke down crying. Having really suffered through 50 burpees yesterday, when i was relatively fresh, I knew exactly how horrible 50 burpees was going to be totally wiped, and that made it harder to just buckle down and get through them.

My strategy for this workout was "slow and steady" I was not worried about breaking any speed records - I knew it would be hard enough just to finish the damn thing.

"Focus" is my new mantra. "I can. I will. I must." is just too many damn syllables for when I can barely think. I used it to help me get back on track with the burpees - I kept losing count and just wanted to throw in the towel. Take a breath, "Focus".

As soon as I started the last run I found myself plagued with NaST - 'There's no way ..." "My feet hurt, my knees hurt, I think I'm getting a side stitch." ... "Focus" would get me through a couple steps, but I just couldn't keep the bad thoughts at bay and I was sure that I wasn't going to get through it without walking. And then I decided to try a technique Ynez has talked about using with food. I gave myself permission to stop if i really wanted to; if it got unbearable I could absolutely stop at any time, but I was pretty sure I had a little left in me - enough for a few more steps anyway. I dunno - something about having permission to stop shut my contary self right up - there were no more excuses about why it was too hard to continue - and then all I had to do was keep putting one foot in front of the other. it was a LONG ass mile - but I ran the whole damn thing - in fact I ran every step of all the runs. Except for the GI Janes - where I used somewhat lower rings so I could do jumping pullups, this workout was pretty much Rx.

I definitely feel like I have reachieved my ability to work through the suck, and I am very happy to have finished this workout. Max has promised to make tomorrow's workout another killer - which means I need to get myself to bed.

Overtraining is the new training

This week begins the enacting of Gita's new motto, "overtraining is the new training," in which we ride the line of volume, strength and endurance for the final six weeks leading to the Games. It got off to a good start:

Run One Mile
100 Squats
Run 800 Meters
75 Push-Ups
Run 400 Meters
50 Burpees
Run 200 Meters
25 "GI Janes"
Run One Mile

45:11 RX

Max came up with this one, and it was a well-designed bit of agony. The movements stacked together nicely in such a way that each one made the next one harder (burpees after pushups are brutal). While I'm not particularly proud of my time, I'm pleased that I was able to pick a pace and maintain it with only a few pauses for breath throughout. Well, except for the GI Janes - those were slow as molasses.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 by Daniel

Strength Cycle Week 9, part 1

Max has instituted weekly 1RM deadlifts on Wednesdays to act as a sort of overtraining-o-meter, given the crazy shit he and Gita have planned for us over the next few weeks (ie, tomorrow's WOD). All well and good, except Rebecca and I already have strength days set aside, and they aren't jiving too well with the new CFEB schedule. Solution? Move 'em. So now we're going to do our strength stuff on Wednesdays and Saturdays, instead of the deadlifts and so we don't have THREE workouts on Sundays. Hopefully this will work out - we only have 3.5 weeks left in the cycle, anyway.

Back Squat x 5: 145 - 170 - 190(pr)
Back Squat x 21: 140
Bench Press x 5: 125 - 145 - 160F/2 - 157F/4
Bench Press x 21: 120F (16-5)
Finisher: 50 unbroken burpees for time: 4:11

Well, the squats went well. 190 was my 1RM when we started this cycle. I've discovered a bad habit: when coming out of the hole and trying to get my chest up, sometimes I PULL down on the bar very hard. This makes it more difficult, I've found. I need to be lighter on the bar with my hands - I can manage this on the big set, but at high weights I find I'm falling back into the good-morning habit. 140x21 was miserable.

The bench was terrible. I've definitely backslid and/or stalled out on this one. While it's nice to be making all the progress on squats and deadlifts, my press strength (shoulder and bench) just does not want to budge much. Next week I'll go for 157 x 5, then 5x3's up to 160 the following week. Maybe I'll get 160 x 5 by the time the strength cycle ends.

The 50 burpees were a good challenge: once you stop to take a breath, you're done. The obvious plan, then, is to set a pace slow enough that you can maintain it. Mine felt pretty damn slow, but really I don't think they were THAT much slower than my regular burpee pace - 4:11 translates to a 5-second-burpee pace, which may be a second slower than regular. My quads were burning throughout and trembling afterward.

Strength wk9 pt 1 - and some burpee fun.

Warmup: 400m jog, 15 pushups, 30 situps, 15 squats, 15 dowel ohs, 15 good mornings 15# bar.

Wod 1:

10 x 45#
5x 55#-65#-75#(pr)
21x 65# (f) 14,7


3x50#-55#-60#-65#-72#(f rep 3 - twice)
21x55 (f) 19,3 (rep 19 didn't *quite* count my right arm just would not fully lock out - so i did 1 extra.)

I was feeling pretty good about this. I thought I was doing pretty darn well with the squats this week. And then I watched the video Daniel took. My form is terrible. And it is entirely clear why my left knee always hurts afterwards. As Daniel put it, I am essentially doing assisted pistols. I would say that 70-80% on my weight is on my left leg. doing heavy reps with horrible form is just stupid - it doesn't help me and could very well injur me. The weights are not going up - and may very well go down - until I can keep my weight on both legs and keep my knees out. I also loose my lumbar curve pretty quickly. I have GOT to get serious about loosening up my hamstrings. I'll try to get the video up tomorrow - though honestly, it's just embarassing.

WOD #2:
50 Unbroken Burpees - no stopping to rest or breathe - constant motion.
5:45 - definitely a PR.

Averages out to 6.9 seconds per burpee. might be my fastest per burpee time ever - even though the burpees were pretty damn slow, not stopping to rest made a huge difference in the time. It was definitely a suck fest. But it felt good to get it done. I can. I will. I must.

Monday, May 11, 2009 by Rebecca

Oh yeah - climbing!

Ok - really I only did 2 climbs and spent the rest of the night chatting so there was a bit more social than climbing to the evening. The two climbs I did went fairly well considering that I haven't been able to straighten my arms without wincing all day. My forearms are a bit fried from carrying heavy things around all weekend.

I started with a 5.9 that went fine, and then (eventually) I did a 10a/b. the holds were not terribly friendly (bad for pumped forearms), and there was definitely some sloppy climbing from me wen i felt my forearms giving out ... I think i had 2 takes - but all things considered I still feel like it went pretty well.

I got to watch Ynez strategize her way up a very stemmy 10d that was built for someone with a somewhat wider wingspan than she's got, but every time i thought she was stuck and couldn't possibly make the next move, she found a way to make it work, and made it all the way to the top of that sucker. It was pretty inspiring.

I can still climb, at any rate

Haven't been climbing in about three weeks, so didn't have terribly high expectations with tonight's social climbing trip to the Power Company:

10a/b(o), 10c(o), 10d(o), 11a(f+)

My grip felt somewhat weak, but other than that it went quite well. The 10d was pure stemming, and quite easy as 10ds go. The 11a was a pinchy arete climb that turned into a book stem at the top. I fell a few times in the first 15 feet on the technical, delicate moves that my brain was telling me weren't possible, but I made it clean after the halfway point.

Sunday, May 10, 2009 by Rebecca

Strength week ? ..8? Part 2 'n some other stuff ;-)

The last couple weeks have been pretty wonky so I'm not really sure what week we're on for the strength cycle - but Daniel says it's 8 - so sure. It's 8. Today went pretty well.

Warm up: 5 minutes on the elliptical just to get the blood flowing, 15 situps, 15 dowel OHS, 10 pushups, hip openers, some hammie stretching.

warmup: 10 x 45#, 5 X 75#

5 x
115# - 120# - 130# (f rep 5 - rep 4 was UGLY)

21 x 85# - way too easy. next week back up to 95#

Shoulder Press:
warm up: 10 x 15#

3 x
35-40-45-50-(54.5 oops!)-57(PR! - finally!)

21 x 35#(PR) (2:31)

WOD #2:
Won't say too much about this - it was the first WOD in our affiliate cup training series, and we're all keeping mum about the details - but I do want to mention one significant personal achievement. I managed to get 30 nearly consecutive eye-level russian swings today with the (grey) 20kg KB. I can't quite get it overhead yet, but this is still a massive PR. I'm thinking that it's possible the black(24kg) won't be too far behind.

Today went really well. I'm a little bummed that I lost it on the 130# deadlifts. My hamstrings just decided they were done and I couldn't keep my lumbar arch locked in (rep #4 was all back - almost no legs) , but given the workouts of the past several days, and how sore my hammies have been, I cannot say that I am surprised. I AM surprised at how easy the 85# set of 21 was. That set was truly unbroken, and my form never degraded.

I had to do the final set of 57 on the presses twice because I (idiotically) forgot to change the weight on one side of the bar the first time, so I had a 2.5# weight on one side and a 5# weight on the other. The lift was totally lopsided and wonky, but I thought that it was just me havinga hard time - until I started cleaning the plates of the bar. Doh! But I got it the second time too. I sorta wish I had tried for 5 just to see if I could do it - the 3 weren't THAT bad. And the 21 x 35 wasn't too bad either. Although I did require a few little 'breaks with the bar in the racked position after rep 12 or 14 - i never had to drop the bar.

The past couple days Max has been remarking that he has noticed a recent, significant capacity increase in me, and while I was grateful for the compliment, I wasn't really sure that I saw what he saw. After today's 2nd WOD I said to Daniel "I don't really know what Max is talking about. I don't feel like my workouts have gotten that much better or that I've gotten that much stronger." He turned to me and said, "You just did 30 swings with a 20kg KB - a bell you've never swung before. What do you think?" *insert lightbulb moment here*. "Oh. Right. I see your point." (Duh.)

I't's weird how some stuff can just sneak up on you - even when you're specifically looking for it.

Strength Cycle Week 8, part 2

Deadlift x 5: 225 - 255 - 290 (pr)
Deadlift x 21: 225 (unbroken)
Press x 5: 75 - 85 - 100 (pr)
Press x 21: 67 (17-3-1)

I'm quite pleased with this. Despite not having even attempted this portion of the strength routine for three weeks, there wasn't really any backsliding - two PR's, in fact! And the 225x21 is a real mental benchmark for me - it was not terribly long ago that 225 for reps was seriously difficult. The only downside is the big set of presses - last time I failed on rep 20, so this was a little worse. But three out of four ain't bad, so I'm happy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009 by Daniel

San Francisco CrossFit Throwdown

Bill and I get comfortable on the field after finishing our heat.

Another month, another affiliate cup throwdown. On one of the most beautiful days the Bay Area has seen, we had the immense good fortune to go to one of the most beautiful places in the Bay Area (Crissy Field) and lug heavy shit around. It was a fabulous day.

16 folks from CFEB showed up, which allowed us exactly four teams of four. SFCF was very cagey with the details of the workout, so we had to have our teams picked out AND signed up in advance. Nobody wanted the first slot, but my team volunteered to go second (I like just getting it over with, though there is something to be said for learning from the experience of previous teams). My team consisted of Bill, Jennifer, Doron and myself. We had about 10 minutes of prep time between when they told us the announcement and when we had to go (they released a new team every minute, making this the all-time shortest throwdown I've ever seen).

Here was the workout:

Two-man sled drag, ~150 pounds
One-man zercher pipe carry, ~60 pounds
One man rest

Drag the sled .3 miles. Everyone on the team does 30 burpees. Drag the sled back. The catch? The pipe (they were yellow and affectionately dubbed "french fries") can never, EVER touch the ground, or else incur a 20-burpee penalty for the whole team, and every team member must drag, carry and rest at least twice.

15:04 RX

We acquitted ourselves well, I think. Nowhere near the best times, obviously (the top time was 11:20), but somewhere around the middle of the pack. Everyone was worried about the zercher carry, but it really wasn't THAT bad - and there was always someone to hand it off to in case of trouble. The real pain was the sled - that got tiring FAST, and we really should have switched off more frequently, as fresh legs made a BIG difference in keeping that thing moving. Our burpees were also not terribly fast. It was a fun workout, and a nice change of pace from the weight-lifting orientation of the other gyms. My personal hunch is that the Games are going to be more like this.

Gita and Polly dragging the sled. Team A came in sixth place, with a time of 12:20 (I think)

Afterwards, we grabbed lunch (Blue Barn - one of the best salads I've ever had) and headed over to Rodeo Beach across the Golden Gate, one of Gita's favorite spots (it's where Sandra got married). The place had a good amount of people, but it wasn't terribly crowded, and (since this is what we do), we decided to go for a hill run. Nobody kept time or marked distance, it was very casual, but we figure it was about a mile, and pretty damn steep (several sections were stairs). Truth be told, I found that to be much more tiring than the throwdown. I tried to run as much of it as I could, but wound up walking quite a bit and came in third - WELL after Brandon and Gita. We admired the vista from the top of our hill, then about half the folks ran back down. I hate running downhill - it stresses my knees and makes me nervous - so I walked back down at a leisurely pace with Rebecca, Ynez and Max. Then we had about an hour of lying on the beach in the sun, which was totally great. That night we had the victory dinner for Polly's qualifications to go to the Games, so it was a day almost entirely spent with the CFEB family, and it was fantastic.


Friday, May 8, 2009 by Rebecca

Squat Snatches

Warmup: run 800m, max rep pushup (29), max rep pullup (1), burgener warmup w/ dowel.

Squat Snatch

Apparently my new birth control prescription was screwing with my hormonal balance; I was feeling extremely emotional. I spent most of the workout trying not to cry - and having no idea what the hell i was so sad about.

I tried to do my best at this workout regardless, and I got a new power snatch PR. The rule was that - ideally, you'd get the bar overhead by doing a true squat snatch, but if that was unachievable, then you had to get the bar overhead however you could, and then OHS squat it.

I was able to snatch and squat 40# ok, and I could snatch 45# ok, but I could not squat 45#. I tried 3 or 4 times, and unceremoniously dumped the bar every time - without the alumalite I couldn't use bumpers, and I was afraid I was going to damage the equipment - there's no way to slow the momentum of the bar after a OHS failure at the bottom of the squat - (and I was tired and the last person working out), so I stopped.

I was super frustrated (see note re: hormones above), but I had to remind myself, that even earlier that day I was sure I couldn't snatch the empty oly bar, which I discovered that I could - so that was a big improvement and a big PR. The 45# OHS will come soon, i think.

Also - my max rep pushups was an increase of 4 over my previous record - and I think I probably had a couple more left, but mostly I was just focused on getting more than last time.

Snatch this

Max Rep Pushups: 40
Max Rep Pullups (C2B): 14

Squat Snatch 3-3-3-1-1-1

Since I am unable to perform a true squat snatch, these were really "the exercise," ie, a power snatch and then an OHS. I don't actually know what my 1RM for OHS was - I don't think I've ever tested it - but the 105 snatch is five pounds heavier than my previous 1RM, and I was really pleased (and surprised) that I managed to OHS it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009 by Rebecca

Strength - apparently I actually still have some!

Warmup: some air squats, 30 situps, hip openers, some OHS squat w/dowel, iguana stretches

WOD (same numbers as last week, because last week was an absolute, abortive disaster - and I didn't even have daniel's excuse of being sick - I just hadn't eaten anything):

Back Squat:
55-65-75 - fail rep 5 - NEARLY had it. Made the mistake of trying to breathe on the way up, and lost all core stability. I was almost half way up when i lost it. Grrrr.

21 x 60# - got it! Next week 62.
I was having a really hard time catching my breath on these. That was, in fact my limiting factor. I knew from my failure on the 75, that I had to hold my breath all the way down and up in order to make it through the reps, and so I had to pant at the top of each rep to make sure I had enough breath to make it all the way through the rep. Knowing that I wasn't allowed to breathe until I got back up made a great motivator to get down and up quickly ;-)

Bench Press:
50-62-72 failed rep 3 - the first 2 reps were hard but felt doable. apparently I let the bar dip (arms not perpendicular to the floor) on rep 3 and totally failed. I tried again and couldn't get any. Next week should probably be 5 x 3

21 x 55# (15-6) The first 12 reps were great - and then my right arm just couldn't keep straightening - I only made it three more reps and stopped - I didn't fail, I stopped. When my right side starts failing so significantly like that it makes me angry and sad, and it screws with my concentration. After about 20 seconds I finished out the last 6 reps. They were so easy, I know I waited more than enough(too much) time to finish the set.

I feel like I've lost a bit of my ability to keep pushing through discomfort. Though I feel like I've been really aware of that for the past couple workouts, so hopefully, it won't take too long to get back into the swing of things.

Still - it feels good to be getting back into the swing of things.

Strength Cycle Week 8, part 1, redux

I'm feeling much better the past couple days, as all the hullabaloo of the past couple weeks fades and I can settle back into my regular routine. After last week's debacle of a workout, I was a little nervous about trying again today, but once I started squatting and feeling strong, the nervousness faded.

Back Squat x 5: 135 - 160 - 185(pr)
Back Squat x 21: 140
Bench Press x 5: 115 - 140 - 160F/3
Bench Press x 21: 120F (17-3-1)

The 185 was surprising OK. I mean, it was heavy, but the weight went down and then it went up, and I never felt like it might fail. 140x21 was agony.

I appear to have backslid on the bench, which isn't really surprising, I guess, since I've done very little to work those muscles in two weeks.

Now that the weights have gotten heavy enough to start failing, I'm considering scaling back on the Intermittent Fasting for the next few weeks. I'm torn about this, as I don't like the extra weight I've already gained, but I do want to get the most out of this strength routine. Maybe I should wait another week and see how I fare at the bench.

Next week: 190/145 (omg), 160/120

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 by Rebecca


Ok - yeah. it's been kinda a while since i last actually posted. The last couple weeks have been crazy and I've been feeling less than motivated. Sleep has been bad, food has been bad (due mostly to high time of stress at work but also to being out of town a lot), and thus workouts have been bad, and it is way less fun to blog bad stuff than good stuff.

I'm going to try to go back and make up the posts I've missed - but I have to start somewhere, so I'll start with today.

Some OHS with a dowel, about 2000m running, helping to set up the equipment.

For time:

22 Deadlifts 250#/185# *subbed 105#
Run 400m with 10#/8# dumbbells
Single Kettlebell Carry 200m 2P/1.5P *subbed 1P for all KB
22 KB Swing 2P/1.5P
Single Kettlebell Carry 200m 2P/1.5P
22 Chest to Bar Pull-Ups *subbed jumping (as close to C2B as I could manage)
Run 800m with 10#/8# dumbbells
22 Wall-Ball 20#/14# *subbed 33# thrusters
Run 400m

30 minute time limit.

22 Deadlifts
400m Weighted Run
200m KB Carry
22 KB Swings
200m KB Carry
22 Pullups
800m Weighted Run
22 Thrusters
22 Burpees
400m Run

This was a major slog fest, but it was a good slog fest, and it felt great to 'get back on the horse'.

At 30 minutes - when I'd finished thruster #8, Max said "Ok you're done - DNF." I sat down for about 20 seconds and realized that - dammit I was NOT done - I got back up and finished. I was essentially done with equipment, wouldn't be taking up anybody's space. It sucked but it was a good kind of suck. My 'discomfort tolerance' seems to have decreased somewhat. My mantra on the 800m run was - "it's only uncomfortable, just run, dummy" - obviously - at 8 minutes - I didn't run as much as I shoud have. The main problem on these was my grip. Holding dumbells while running is hard and unnatural and makes for a weird gait.

The deadlifts actually went pretty well. The swings went pretty well, too - even though I had to do them in sets of 3-5 due to my arms being fried from carrying that thing 200m first. I tried to see whether you can do KB swings with an alternating grip ... turns out not so much.

The pull ups were aggravating. There was no way I was going to be able to hang onto the bar for kip attempts - my hands were fried - so I decided I wanted to try to do jumping C2B pullups. but even jumping I can't quite get my C 2 the B. I got close, I had the height - particularly on the last 4 or 5 when I switched to a chin-up grip i jwas just always about an inch from the bar. I think I actually managed it on the last one. My shoulders definitely touched the bar - i just don't know if it was low enough.

Overall, it was hard, but it felt great to be back.

Catch-22 Redux

I'm gradually regaining control of my life. The last two weeks have illustrated to me how much a creature of habit I have become, as the disruption of my regular routine has tended to make me very cranky. Particularly with my workouts. From SoCal to the cold to Aromas, I've lost two weeks out of the strength routine and missed a boatload of workouts, and while the rational part of my brain tells me that it's fine - maybe even good to mix it up - the irrational part is yelling at me that I'm falling behind, getting lazy, yada yada. Both jobs are also very crazy and behind schedule on their projects, which stresses me out - but this is not a blog about work.

Max wanted to give CFEB a taste of the Qualifier workout, so he concocted a version of Catch-22 that we'd be able to do at Ironworks:

For time:

22 Deadlifts 250#/185#
Run 400m with 10#/8# dumbbells
Single Kettlebell Carry 200m 2P/1.5P
22 KB Swing 2P/1.5P
Single Kettlebell Carry 200m 2P/1.5P
22 Chest to Bar Pull-Ups
Run 800m with 10#/8# dumbbells
22 Wall-Ball 20#/14#
22 Burpees
Run 400m (unweighted)

30 minute time limit.

32:09 RX
(technically a DNF)

Very brutal, and a disappointing time. I gamed this one extremely poorly. It was the KB Carry that did me in. After the deadlifts (which were more or less fine, considering it was the heaviest I'd ever gone with deadlifts for reps), I did most of the carry holding the kettlebell by its handle behind my back, so it hit my butt on every step. This was exceedingly unwise, although I didn't know it at the time. The deadlifts and kettlebell completely shattered my grip, so that by the time I got to the pullups I could barely even hang off the bar - I did the pullups mostly in singles with long rests, which took forEVER. The rest went fairly quickly, but by then it was too late - I wasn't fast enough to finish it in under 30 minutes. If I could do it again, I'd carry the kettlebell on my shoulder, in such a way as to keep it there without working my grip. This one change, I think, would substantially improve my time.

It was a good workout, though. Felt MUCH harder than the scaled version of Catch-22 that I did on Sunday, but that's not too surprising.

It feels really good to be healthy and back on track.

Sunday, May 3, 2009 by Daniel

CF NorCal Qualifier: Sunday

From a judge's perspective, Sunday was much more low-key than Saturday. We got to show up a little bit later, there were not as many setup hiccups, and everyone had a better idea of what needed to happen. The workout was going to require a LOT of judges, so they press-ganged all the logistics volunteers to become judges. Rebecca and I got to be thruster judges, which (in my opinion) was the best slot. We didn't have to switch out weights in the mud like the deadlift team, and we weren't out in Siberia like the OHS judges. We got a great view of the field, and an easy movement to judge - just make sure they break parallel and reach full extension.

The organizers had the great idea to allow the general public to signup for practice runs at the workout before the official heats, which quite a few people did. This allowed us some trial runs in a low-stakes setting, which really helped work out any kinks in our setup. There weren't many, though - it's a straightforward job. There were six official heats total, spaced about 40 minutes apart. It was fun to watch from our spot up on the hill, though unfortunately it rained nearly all morning. The dirt there is really great, though - nice and sandy, so the mud wasn't slippery or dangerous.

Polly's heat was very exciting. After she went through our station, Rebecca and I ran up the other side to watch her at the OHS (damn that hill is steep!), and as she staggered away from the OHS I ran back down to watch her hit the finish line. It was a thrilling ending. When they came out of the trees, Candace was about 100 feet in front of Polly, and they were racing pell-mell down that incredibly steep slope. Polly - who is fearless at downhill - turned that 100 foot lead into about 10 feet by the time they hit bottom. Candace wasn't going to let her win, though, and they crossed the finish line a second apart. Polly squeaked into the top five, guaranteeing her a spot at the Games in June! Very exciting.

I got to try my own hand at the workout afterwards - though I scaled it down considerably.
"Catch 22"
22 deadlifts @ 225#
Farmers walk with 25# dumbbells to top of inner loop (hill)
22 thrusters with 25# dumbbells
Farmers walk with 25# dumbbells to bottom of inner loop (hill)
Run to pull-up bar and do 22 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Run to top of outer loop (hill)
22 overhead squats @ 65#
Run to bottom of inner loop (hill)


It was a fun workout. I had some trouble with the C2B pullups (really need to work on those more), but the killer was the OHS. When I came into the station, I was first in my heat and on the heels of the heat ahead of me. When I left, I was one of the last in my heat. And most of my OHS weren't even to true full depth! It was embarassing. Yet another thing to add to the list of shit I need to be better at.

It was a great weekend - a lot more work than I was anticipating, but definitely worth it. Met a lot of really cool folks and got to hang out with friends in a beautiful (albeit a bit soggy) location. And everyone was passionate about CrossFit, so I felt right at home. Can't wait until June! I will be an observer at the games. CFEB will be sending a team to the affiliate cup, and I'll be happy to cheer them on - I'm not quite strong enough yet to be on the team myself. Maybe next year.

Saturday, May 2, 2009 by Daniel

CF NorCal Qualifier: Saturday

Instructions to volunteers were to show up at 6am sharp, which, as it turns out, is really fucking early. Max, Rebecca and I left the hotel at 5:30, and showed up to a ranch in disarray. The coordinators were all there already, and as the volunteers trickled in we started getting miscellaneous jobs (sweep the floor, move some equipment, etc). Eventually they got around to separating the judges from the logistics volunteers, and Max and I were assigned different workouts - I got Workout A, and he got B.

Workout A:
For time:

Row 500m
30 Burpees
10 Shoulder-to-Overhead (Men: 165#, Women: 95#)

Workout B:
Max reps in 10 minutes of:

Ground-to-Shoulder (Male: 185#, Female: 105#)

My workout took place outside, which normally would have been great, but it was less great in the drizzling rain. Jason Khalipa (last year's Games winner) was our head judge, and he went over the movement standards in detail with us after we finished hauling out and setting up all the weights. Then it was just a matter of waiting for the heats to start. Polly and Gita had shown up by that time to register Polly, so we went and hung out with them at "CFEB HQ" (ie, Gita's truck). They both seemed remarkably cool and collected. And hungry. Polly's heats were at 11am (B) and 3pm (A), so they had plenty of time to wait and watch.

The heats began at 9am, and the day was kind of a blur after that. Each heat was 10 minutes, then we'd get a 10 minute break to reset and change weights before the next one. I have to hand it to the organizers: not a single heat went late. Jason would brief the athletes and then release them to us to find a judge, at which point I'd show them the rower, go over the rules, show them their burpee spot, go over the rules, and then show them their bar...and go over the rules. By and large, the competitors had good form - except on the burpees. We all know how much burpees suck, and it's SO easy to slip into bad form. I was a little too lenient with my first few heats, until Jason urged me to be stricter. I would generally give an athlete one warning "Let me see your EAR!" if their arms started to drift forward or "Jump straight UP!" if they started canting forward, and if that didn't work I'd start not counting reps - they'd clean up really fast at that point. I never had any athlete who was anything less than polite and professional in their conduct, which was nice - especially since some of them were, well, huge.

Sore from the day before, the day was exhausting. So much yelling, so much anxiety, so much energy - after six hours, I was quite drained. I didn't get to see the inside competitions until after mine were all done (there was one additional heat inside...not sure how that worked out). I never really got to watch Polly, even when she went through my workout - I had to be focused on my competitor. But the word was that she did extremely well, and when the day was done she was tied for third place! Very exciting.

Afterward, we all went out for some really freakin' delicious burritos at a local taqueria, then it was back to the hotel for some much-needed sleep.

As it's relevant, I'm going to paste in here some observations I made for a thread on the national boards, though some of it is jumping the gun a bit:
  • First of all, it was an EXTREMELY well-organized and fun event. I didn't really have a grasp of how complicated the logistics were until I showed up. The organizers did a phenomenal job. And they took care of their volunteers (ie, providing coffee and food and gratitude), which said a lot to me.
  • The movements chosen were relatively easy to judge - at least the ones I judged. The only gray area might be the burpees - burpees go very quickly, there are a lot of things to look for and gray areas that athletes tend to push, particularly when they get tired.
  • After two or three heats, I got into a good rhythm of judging: knowing what to say to the competitors at the beginning, knowing the most common faults to look for and the most effective cues to prevent them. I quickly learned that the most common faults could be prevented in advance by stern and clear warnings during the introduction (ie, "If I can't see your ear, I'm not counting the rep"), and that asking the athlete to show me a couple reps before the heat started went a long way in correcting any potential faults. I wish I could have do-overs on the first few heats, so I could approach them with the experience I had gained by later in the day.
  • On Sunday, official heats started at 9am, but there was an hour of "practice" heats whereby people who were not competing but who wanted to try the workout could have an opportunity to do so (scaled however they liked). This was a FANTASTIC idea: it allowed many in the crowd (almost entirely CrossFitters themselves) to get a proper appreciation of exactly what the competitors were doing, and to compare their own times to the official ones, AND it gave the judges a chance to work out the kinks in their situation in a low-stakes environment so the first official heats did not have a judging advantage or disadvantage. I cannot recommend this setup enough for future competitions.
  • I was concerned about safety on the shoulder-to-overheads. It was pretty cramped, and there was a lot of 165-pound barbells taking bad bounces. I saw Jason Khalipa whip his head back just in time as a dropped weight just missed his face, and I saw competitors trying to get under weights that were clearly far too heavy for them. Having more space is really the only answer I can think of to address this: clearly delineated areas for competitors and a DIFFERENT area for judges, so it's not all mixed together (judging someone with another competitor dropping weights right behind you is nerve-wracking). I had no such concerns for the rowing, burpees and dumbbell thrusters, and from what I saw of the cleans and muscle-ups, they looked OK.

I'll write up Sunday tomorrow.

Friday, May 1, 2009 by Daniel

On our way

Squeaked in this little workout just before heading down to Aromas for the weekend:

For Time, in any order:

75 Box Jumps 24"/20"
75 Burpees
75 Wall-Ball 20#/14#*
75 Push-Ups

Uh, I don't remember. 21ish, I think.

Friday was the first day I started to feel recovered from my cold, although it was still lingering a little. I really wanted to get a WOD in just to try and keep a foot in the game, but I didn't want to risk a relapse or killing myself before the qualifiers, so I went at about 75% intensity for the full volume. It felt good, with the volume just barely on the far side of intimidating. Probably spent a little too much time chatting while catching breaths, but whatever - as my DOMS the next two days would attest, I was doing something.

Caught dinner with Alex, Rebecca and Jiro at Le Cheval, and then headed down to Aromas. Checked in the hotel at around 10:30 and went straight to bed, since we had to be at the ranch before the crack o'dawn the next day. Details to follow.