I have no idea what I did, but for the last week I’ve been nursing a slight “injury” in my left leg. I thought it was a groin strain for a bit, but I’m not so sure now. Whatever it was, it hurt every time I lifted my leg while sitting down, and while squatting. So in the interests of not doing myself in even more I decided not to go to CrossFit on Wednesday or Friday last week. I couldn’t go on Wednesday anyway, as my shift didn’t allow me time to get to any of the sessions. I woke up yesterday morning, and the leg thing didn’t feel as bad. It was almost as if it knew I was going to put it to the test. And that’s apt, as this week is the first one after the previous eight-week cycle of strength work, and the WODs this week are designed to test us to see how far we’ve come.
I chatted to the coach about my niggle, and between us we decided that I’d go easy in part A (the back squat), to see how it felt. The idea was to keep increasing weight for 15 minutes until we got to the point where we couldn’t go any further. My PR for the back squat is 55kg, and I got to 50kg before I decided to not push it any more, just in case I aggravated it by a display of bravado. But it held up nicely, and I think I may even have somehow helped it by squatting – almost as if I “ran it off”, to borrow a football analogy.
With that out of the way, it was time to see how many pull-ups we could do. I can’t do any, even with kipping, so level 1 was ring-rows, but with your feet on a 16″ box, so you’re essentially lying horizontal before trying to pull yourself up. We had three goes at getting as many as we could before we had to stop, with a minute’s rest between each go. I did ten on my first go, and that was the most I could do. But what I did do was practise my kipping on the bar (swinging your body back and forth to generate movement in the hips). I couldn’t turn any of it into an actual pull-up, and I need a lot more upper body and core strength before I get my chin over the bar. I WILL do it one day. You’ll know when I do – I won’t be able to shut up about it.
Part three – clean and jerk, followed by toes-to-bar. Now if you can’t do pull-ups there’s a good chance you can’t do toes-to-bar either. But we were allowed to do toes/knees-to-wherever-you-can-get-them-up-to, which suited me fine. I must have looked like a demented monkey, hanging from a bar trying to swing my knees up into my face. The idea was to do three of each, then six of each, and so on. I think I need either some grips or some gloves, or something. And some chalk. Shut up, I DO. I managed 12 of each before the seven minutes was up.
This is the first WOD at which I wore my new Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 shoes. They sound fancy, but they’re simply a pair of trainers with a completely flat, thin sole – no cushioning, and no heel drop. This makes them ideal for gym work such as lifting, as your feet don’t wobble around as they do on the cushioning of a pair of conventional training/running shoes. They are also very light, and they don’t limit the mobility of my feet during WODs as my Nikes do. They can be used for running, but you have to adopt the flat-footed style, as heel-striking will hurt after a few strides. I’ll have to ease my way into that gently, as I don’t think doing five 800m runs in the Inov-8s is going to be good for my calves, having been used to running in “normal” trainers up to now.
Finally, we now have a “PR board” at our box. The idea is that everyone writes down their PRs for various lifts and running distances, but it’s far too small for everyone and I think we’re going to have to splash out on a huge landscape white-board if we want to get over 100 people’s names down! I’ll see how full the small one is when I go in again on Wednesday.