The choice of title for this post came to me in a flash of inspiration as I was driving home from the WOD.  My train of thought led me to think about all the people who have given me encouragement since I started CrossFit.  It seemed as though the whole world and his dog were doing it today.

Helen looks like she wants to be beaten
Helen looks like she wants to be beaten (soundly with a barbell)

This is the last week of this cycle of strength work (the presses, squats, clean and jerks etc.).  After that it’s going to change a bit from next week, with emphasis starting to be placed on what we would like to achieve in the way of individual goals.  As I’ve already decided I’d like to try out the beginners’ Olympic weightlifting sessions, this seems to have been timed just right.  I’m already looking forward to Monday, which makes up for the fact I can only go twice this week due to my shifts.  Late weeks really mess it up.

But meanwhile, more front squats.  I’ve got a twinge in my left groin/upper leg area, and it hurts a little when I squat.  So I warmed up with 40kg, before doing the five sets at my personal record of 45kg.  I didn’t feel as if I could go up to 47.5kg or 50kg today, but that didn’t matter as the coach (who’s been away for a week) came over and said, “That’s the most I’ve seen you do.  You’ve really improved”.  I don’t know how he notices, what with all the people he has to keep an eye on, but it’s appreciated.  To be fair, I do talk to him a bit about where I’m up to, so he probably remembers me more than other people.

He also noticed my push press PR of 35kg, which I stuck at today.  I was sharing a rack with a girl who has been coming to CrossFit  for about the same amount of time as me, and she took great interest in the myWOD app on my phone (which I use to record my weights, as I’d never remember them all).  She also liked my wrist wraps, and I let her borrow them as she has a niggle in her left hand.  I told her where to get some for herself.  Finally, on mentioning that she wanted to get a skipping rope to practise double-unders, I showed her the Amazon link to the one I bought.  All in a day’s work – do I get commission?  She mentioned that she’d noticed I’d improved a lot since I started which surprised me a little, as I had no idea people were actually taking notice of what I was doing.  She even told me how long I’ve been doing this!  We also discussed the differences with traditional gyms, and were both of the opinion that the CrossFit system encourages you to work, and MAKES you do it – you can’t just sneak out when it gets tough like at LA Fitness (other identi-kit gyms are available, should you be interested).

To finish off today we did another named CrossFit WOD – “Helen” this time.  Three rounds of 400m running and swinging stuff.  Once again, I had to scale back the pull-ups to ring rows, but I’m going to start practising my kipping soon as a build-up to getting pull-ups.  I can’t scale back forever.  We all headed out on the first run, and I was one of the last back.  But I was the second person out for the next run, but that’s more to do with the fact that ring rows are faster to do than pull-ups, especially when your arms are fresh.  As usual, the coach was out in the car park, shouting at us as we ran back in.  I was ahead of everyone except one young guy who is just lighting fast at running, and as I came back in behind him the second time, the coach shouted, “THIS IS AWESOME RUNNING!  MUCH BETTER THAN TWO WEEKS AGO!  YOU’RE FAST BECOMING MY FAVOURITE ATHLETE!”  My response as I ran in: “It doesn’t fucking feel like it”.

I was in the lead from the third round onwards, and I got the fastest overall time of ten people, but I’m not feeling smug about it due to the ring rows and that some of the guys were using 24kg kettlebells to my pathetic 16kg one.  But I don’t think that 10 minutes, 17 seconds is a bad time considering the “world record” is somewhere between seven and eight minutes.  I was hardly sitting back, drinking tea during this.  Once we were done, I was congratulated on my fast time by the same girl who had been impressed that I kept up with her on a recent WOD (I beat her by two minutes today).  She’s British, but lives in San Francisco and goes to CrossFit there (she’s visiting relatives).  The coach was a little in awe of that, as he borrows a lot of his mobility exercises from the people who work there, and expressed an interest in going over to train with them.

So, not a bad session, but I won’t be back until Friday, by which time hopefully this groin ache will have gone away.  And I will hopefully have a nice new pair of Inov-8s to wear.  More on those later.

Another session of personal bests

A better frame of mind last night, despite my inner thighs killing me from all that 200m running last time out.  But there’s no rest with CrossFit – you must always keep going, so with that in mind:

Thrusters - eurgh
Thrusters – a bit of a killer after the strength cycle part

I like the way the strength part of our WODs go in cycles.  It gives structure to the training, and means that we’re not just aimlessly lifting stuff with no clear aim in mind.  This is the main reason I joined CrossFit over a “normal” gym.  I prefer to have my routine laid out for me to start with, so I can then work out the way to go once I’ve got some experience.

So to the back squat, and I finished my last set at 50kg seven days ago.  I started at 45kg, as I wanted to see how my aching legs took the squat.  It was surprisingly easy, so I went immediately to 50, and then did what the coach suggested we do – went up another 5kg from my best.  I’m beginning to see the benefit of all this regular squatting.  I could never have dreamed of approaching 60kg when I first started.  The 15kg bar on its own was bad enough, but I am now realising that it’s all in the legs.  If you squat regularly, you will build the strength.

But no amount of squatting can improve your strict press – that’s all in the upper body.  The fact I can now do seven or eight press-ups in a row without cheating tells me I’m getting there slowly.  Again, when I started I was barely able to get the 15kg bar from my shoulders to overhead (no dipping, remember – arm movement only for the strict).  My improvement at this press has been the slowest, as with most people I think.  But I stuck to my aim of improving where I felt I could, and started at my best from last week – 30kg.  Two sets in I whacked another 5kg on, and up it went.  A huge sense of satisfaction, although one rep was a slight cheat because I bent my legs slightly.  The very last rep was a complete failure, as my arms were shot, and it only got halfway up.  But the 40kg strict press is not too far away …

And as if my limbs had been through enough for one week, there was just enough time for a crazy five rounds of punishment in the form of dead lifts, press-ups, ring rows, and thrusters.  I went for 40kg for the dead lift, and 25kg for the thrusters.  My technique for the latter was dreadful.  Not squatting down quite far enough for some, variable grip positions, elbows too low on the squat, not enough power to get it overhead.  Regardless of that, I posted the second-fastest time of 18 people, including the super-fast girls.  Ten minutes, 22 seconds wasn’t as fast as some of the morning WOD people managed, but I’m happy to no longer be the slow coach struggling to keep up.  Mind you, had I done pull-ups instead of ring rows, I would probably have been a bit (a lot) slower.  But I’m working on those, I promise.

Now that might be a good idea …

I don’t know what it was but I didn’t really feel in the mood for this last night.  I was so disinterested I couldn’t even be arsed to write this post about it:

Overhead squats - bloody evil things
Overhead squats – bloody evil things

I felt even less like it when I spoke to one of the girls I regularly work-out with, and she told me she was going to do the beginners’ Olympic weightlifting class instead (these weekly classes run alongside the Wednesday early evening WOD, at the far end of the box).  I started thinking that replacing the Wednesday WOD with that class might be a good idea, as it would give me more of an insight into how to string together all the individual lifting movements that we do in the WODs.  I mean, one doesn’t do “Olympic Push Pressing”, or “Olympic Overhead Squatting”.  They are, inter alia, component parts of the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk, the two Olympic and World Championship weightlifting categories you see on the TV.  The reason we practise the component parts is, I assume, to make us better at the finished product.

So why not do some beginner classes to start stringing it all together?  After all, I’ve been at it six weeks now, and I have a good idea of what is required to perform a decent snatch or clean and jerk.  I just need to hone the individual parts.  And it won’t cost me anything extra either, as it would count as one of my three-a-week sessions.  The only annoying thing is that when I’m on a week of lates I won’t be able to go, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

That said, back to the business at hand – overhead squats and some good old running.  Up to now, I’ve been stuck at 15kg for the OHS while I sort out my technique and improve my shoulder mobility.  I decided this was the time to start ramping it up, so I took the 20kg barbell and put 2.5kg on each end.  No problems there, and my posture was good throughout (no leaning forward as one tends to do with more weight), although by the last set my legs were shot.  I wonder how many squats I’ve done since I started CrossFit.  It has to be around a thousand or more.

Talking of squats, I can’t say I was filled with joy by the prospect of running 200m and then doing as many squats as I could do, all in a minute.  Or that we had to do it ten times with 45 seconds’ rest between runs.  I knew that with a one minute time cap I was only going to get one shot at the squats on the first run, when I was “fresh”.  So I blitzed the first run and manage two squats on my return.  On the remaining nine runs I was between 20 and 30 feet from the door when time was called.  Some of the young lads were absolutely caning the running, but I’m too told for that sort of shit so I was happy just to take the cardio benefit after my first banzai effort.

We finished off with some dishes (lie on your back and raise your legs and arms straight out in front of and behind you, while keeping your back on the floor, and hold for 20 seconds – it’s harder than it sounds unless you’ve got a strong core) and arches (lie on your front and do the same, so you look like Superman flying – slightly easier, but it hurts your back).

After that slightly disjointed work-out, I was even more determined that I’m going to sign up for the beginners’ weightlifting classes, especially as I was able to observe what they were doing in the rest periods between sets of overhead squats.  I spoke to the same girl afterwards, and she said it was really good, and that she learned some useful stuff.  In the meantime, back to the running …

Box jumps and burpees and kettlebell swings …

… these are a few of my favourite things.  If those nuns had got Julie Andrews into shape doing this shit instead of faffing over her, she’d have soon got her act together.  She could then have made those privileged von Trapp kids do a few 800m runs, followed by 50 wall balls.  If it’s good enough for me …

The Sound of CrossFit
The Sound of CrossFit

Well, you’ve seen the first two parts of this a few times already.  The new strength cycle begins this week, and the aim is to gradually increase your weight.  My PR for the front squat was 42.5kg, set ten days ago.  So no messing – get 45kg on the bar and let’s do it.  I was only just able to manage this weight, and my chest kept coming forward as I stood back up; It’s supposed to stay as straight as possible.  I wasn’t helped by being told how to do it “properly” by a somewhat opinionated individual with whom I was sharing the rack.  I *know* it’s not right and needs work – you don’t have to tell me EVERY SINGLE REP.  Or remind me how to breathe, bless him.

As for the push press, I’m still stuck at 35kg.  My arms were a bit sore, and a few reps didn’t feel as if they wanted to go all the way up.  At least I didn’t scale down from my PR, as with the clean and jerks at the last WOD.

Maybe my body was secretly saving itself for the MetCon at the end.  The 21-15-9 things always look so easy when you see it written down, but then you get halfway through the set of 15 burpees and it starts hitting you.  There were 14 of us at the WOD today, and I wasn’t confident of finishing anywhere near the front of the pack.  But in a shocking development, I finished a few seconds behind the three fastest girls, the ones who are the fastest at everything.  Had I not had a little rest in two of the burpee sets, I reckon I would have “won”.  Not that anyone’s getting competitive or anything …

A girl who appeared to be at our box for the first time (but who has done lots of CrossFit before) was impressed at my speed given my age and complete lack of sustained physical training up to this point in my life.  “You’re 41?! Really?”  I sometimes wonder if I’m actually better than I think I am at certain things.  I may well be – I don’t know.  It’s either that, or they’re just patronising the old man with the greying, balding hair.  I should point out that the fast girls were all doing the same level as me, so it’s not as if it wasn’t a level playing field.

Workout 19 results
I would have been nowhere with this MetCon six weeks ago

Oh, and I used my new wrist wraps today, and I felt they made a difference on the front squat, which has now progressed to the stage where the bar is no longer digging into my collar bone.  Progress indeed.

The big 5-0

I arrived at the box today to the sound of a VERY loud band reverberating around the place.  Our coach was the only person there, doing his own work-out, so he had the volume up.  We’ve got two rather good quality PA-type box speakers at our place, into which the coaches plug an iPhone containing mostly typical gym-type dance music, and you can hear them at the end of the car park with the door shut at this level.  I did a few stretches, tried to ignore that stupid song by System Of A Down, and checked the WOD.

Is Grace easier than Isabel?
Is Grace easier than Isabel? She is if she weighs 25kg.

The warm-up was weird.  A 600m run, a bit of jogging up and down the box with high knees and similar, and then a partner thing involving jumping over and crawling under each other.  Then 40 shoulder taps in the press-up position with a partner, a three-minute squat hold, and we were done.  Today’s coach always does different warm-ups to the others, but I suppose it mixes things up a bit.

Onto the strength part of the WOD, and my back squat best was 35kg three weeks ago.  I’ve had a few kilos on my shoulders since then, so I decided to push the boat out and start on 40kg.  I did one set of three reps, then another set at 45kg, and then (wait for it), three sets at 50kg.  Fifty kilos?!  That’s 110 pounds (seven stone, two pounds), and the most I’ve done in any discipline except the dead lift.  I was kind of encouraged along by the guy sharing the rack with me.  He reckoned I had more in me but I was happy to stick where I was, as I still had to do the ever-difficult strict presses.

Talking of which, this is the thing at which most people have the lowest weight, as there is no momentum from the lower body – you simply stand still and try to lift the bar from your shoulders to overhead.  My previous best was 20kg, but that was three weeks ago, so I was hopeful of making an improvement.  I started at 25kg with no problem, and then notched it up to 30kg.  I just managed it, but a personal record is a personal record.  I don’t think 40kg is out of the question in another three weeks’ time.

Just like “Isabel” a couple of weeks ago, “Grace” is another of the many named CrossFit WODs that people do at boxes all over the world.  All you have to do is 30 clean and jerks as fast as possible.  It sounds so easy, huh?  I wasn’t sure whether to go with my PR weight, as it’s 37.5kg and I was worried that I wouldn’t do the 30 reps in the four to five minutes in which the coach suggested we should be finishing.  So I wimped out and went for 25kg.  I should probably have gone for 30kg, as I found it relatively easy to bang out the first 15 reps without a break.  I was done in 3:26, which was only five seconds slower than the guy lifting 60kg in front of me.  It may have been fast, but I feel as if I cheated myself there.  I should have gone heavier, and I will do next time.  But one thing I did notice was that the bar is now coming straight up past my chest and onto my shoulders, instead of swinging outwards.  Technique sorted!

If the current work-out cycle continues, we’ll be doing this sort of thing again in another three weeks, by which time 25kg will hopefully be a distant memory for just about everything except maybe my overhead squat.

A running theme (running 400 metres)

I impressed myself tonight with my running.  The last time we did 400m runs with something else on the end in a certain amount of time, I didn’t get back in time to do even one of whatever the thing was.  Squats, burpees?  Something like that.  Tonight we had two minutes to run 400m and then do as many kettlebell swings as we could in the time remaining.  Times five.

When did Wednesdays become so arduous?
When did Wednesdays become so arduous?

My overhead squat still needed work tonight, and I had a little advice on my posture.  I tend to lean forward with my knees when squatting with a bar over my head, whereas I need to stick my arse out backwards instead.  As for the floor press, I did 25kg last time out so I decided to be ambitious and start with 30kg for a couple of sets, which then became 35kg for the remainder.  My arms felt ready to fall off by the last rep.

As for the running, we had lots of young men at this evening’s WOD, so plenty of competitive fast runs between them.  I kept up generally for the first two runs, and then tailed off over the last three.  I had a conversation with someone afterwards, and I mentioned that one guy said he was “saving himself” for the last run.  We couldn’t work out why – we both agreed that you may as well do the fast stuff when you’re fresh at the start.  That’s how you improve, apparently, according to one of the veterans I spoke to, so I’m going to stick with going fast at the start.

I managed 26 kettlebell swings over the five runs, as I was back at the box with between 10 and 30 seconds to go each time.  And I did the full American swings too, not just the Russian ones (look it up).  The coach noticed my running has improved quite a bit, and said so too.  I feel quite smug. 🙂

Phase two – engage!

The start of a new month, and my second at CrossFit.  Having had three days off, it was time to get back into it and see how much my muscles remembered about repetitive movements.  As it happens, they didn’t do too badly at this little lot:

A stiff work-out
A stiff work-out to start a new cycle (the bit at the bottom says “50 air squats”)

Warm up consisted of lots of shoulder, chest and hip stretching in impossible positions, but it always does – you have to get the bits that are going to do all the work warmed up nicely.  A quick check of my poncy phone app revealed that the last time we did clean and jerk, I managed 30kg.  So I started at 35kg for three sets, and then went up to 37.5kg.  I managed fine with that for the remaining five sets.  I discussed the possibility of doing the split legs for the jerk with the coach, but he suggested there wasn’t much benefit in it at the moment, and I could work on that later.  The girls in front of me were doing it though, and with lighter bars!  Given the heavier weight I’m now lifting up, I found myself muscling the bar up on a few reps, instead of lifting with high elbows and getting underneath it.  Perhaps I should start squatting down into the clean, to enable me to catch the bar earlier, instead of remaining upright.  That would be a level 3 move (squat clean and jerk as opposed to power clean and jerk), so I’ll try that next time.

As for running – I’m getting better despite all my moaning.  I felt a lot more comfortable with the 400m runs tonight.  It’s just all those 50 reps of stuff you have to do when you get back that did for me.  Despite finishing my last run before six other people, I still finished my squats after them.  My legs were shot though.  Must go faster …

Should have gone faster
I should have gone faster than this, to be honest.

Still, not too shabby.  I remain a faster runner than the Captain, and he’s been doing this for six years now.  He’s more of a weightlifter though, if I’m being fair.

Progress report number one

Another Friday, another “easy” WOD.  I use the word “easy” in a relative way now – I know there’s nothing easy about lifting heavy weights if you’re new to this sort of thing, as I found out myself a month ago!

Last of the easy ones
Last of the easy ones before the cycle restarts next week

Once again, parts A and B were all about trying to increase the weight, and make small improvements.  I started my front squats at my previous best from last Friday of 37.5kg.  Then it was three reps at the magic 40kg, and then three more at 42.5kg, just because I could – a satisfying improvement, and I’ve managed to fix the “bar in the collar bone” problem of previous front squats.  I think having a heavier bar helps – it forces itself back into your shoulder rack more.

I started the push press at 35kg, and didn’t feel as if I could improve much today.  My arms must be tired from all the stuff I’ve put them through this week, so I stuck at that weight for the three sets.  There’s plenty of time to improve.

And then the back-breaking stuff – dead lifts and kettlebell swings, alternating between the two every minute.  Another tweak of my dead lift technique from the coach, and it feels more natural now.  They always make my back ache, as does swinging a great big 20kg kettlebell over your head.

Back-breaking set-up
The back-breaking set-up – dead lifts and kettle-bells

So, after a month of tediously documenting every WOD, how much have I actually achieved by putting myself through this stuff?  Well, first of all my body has become much more used to heavy physical exercise.  Comparing how I feel now to how I felt after my induction course reveals a world of difference.  Naturally, my body aches as I sit typing this, but my muscles have now “learned” the movements I make them do, and so each time I exercise them they respond better.  I have also lost the fear of going to CrossFit.  The first few sessions were quite nervous affairs, as I didn’t know anyone and I was useless at any form of exercise, so I was talking myself down before actually trying anything.  But you then learn that you have to do it at your own pace, and not worry about the others banging out the reps.  I’m there for me, not them.

As for what I have managed to do, I CAN DO ACTUAL PROPER WEIGHTLIFTING, like what them big muscly people do at the Olympics and everything!  I know 30kg isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, but at the induction course it was all I could do to get the 15kg bar up to my shoulders from the hang position, and I don’t think I’m far off 40kg for the clean and jerk.  I couldn’t even get the 15kg bar over my head on that very first day – I had to use the 10kg training bar or a piece of PVC pipe to learn the moves!

Things I can do: skip with a nylon washing line, jump up onto a 24-inch high wooden box, swing a 20kg kettle bell over my head, lift a 50kg barbell off the floor, squat down and get back up again while holding 42.5kg on the front of my shoulders,  run 1k, and smaller portions thereof multiple times without collapsing, do more press-ups and sit-ups in a row than I have ever been able to do before (50 sit-ups the other night, remember?).  And I can throw a 9kg medicine ball up a wall.  Why would you even do that?

Things I can’t yet do: double-unders (although I fluked one the other day), pull-ups, muscle-ups, handstand push-ups (or handstands for that matter), and pistols.  In other words, all the stuff that requires good upper-body and core strength, and I’m still working on that.  I have set myself the goal of doing a strict pull-up by my 42nd birthday (that’s in April).  I may be able to do a kipping pull-up before then (that’s swinging your body to create momentum first), maybe by March.  I’ve no idea.

The fact that I have gone from just about being able to front squat a PVC pipe to front squatting a metal barbell weighing 42.5kg in a month means I should be able to improve in all the other areas in time.  With that in mind, I’ve made a list of the weights I have managed in various movements, for comparison at some point in the future:

  • Back squat – 35kg
  • Power clean – 25kg
  • Clean and jerk – 30kg
  • Front squat – 42.5kg (my best improvement over three weeks)
  • Overhead squat – 15kg (needs work on technique)
  • Push press – 35kg
  • Strict press – 20kg
  • Power snatch – 25kg
  • Thruster – 25kg
  • Dead lift – 60kg (but usually 40/45kg at the moment)
  • Kettlebell swing – 20kg (but sometimes 16 on longer reps)

And all that in just 15 sessions spread over October.  I think I deserve a cup of tea …


Short but sweaty

The work-outs that look the shortest time-wise are always the ones that kill you the most.  This is because more reps of tough stuff are packed into the available time.  Today’s WOD required so much writing that it went over onto the second white board.  So here’s the first three bits.

It looks a lot, but most of this is just different scaling levels.
It looks a lot, but most of this is just different scaling levels.

Because everyone is at different levels with their weights, and what they can and can’t do strength-wise, it took all that room to write down the different scalings!  For part A I did ring rows and squats.  I can do pistols (squatting on one leg) with the assistance of two rings, but there’s no benefit to be gained, as I tend to rely on the rings to let my weight down, so my quads don’t do any work.  No cheating the WOD, remember!

Part B was slightly harder, but only with regard to push-ups.   The hang cleans were nice and easy at 25kg, but after 15 press-ups my body decided it didn’t like me any more, and threw a wobbly.  It’s only six minutes, but you don’t realise how quickly your body starts to tire of repetitive movements at speed until you do it.  To be fair, I did practise some 50% handstand push-ups in the rest period (feet on a box behind you, and press your head down into the floor with your arse in the air), but I decided that I wouldn’t be able to do eight of them in a row without collapsing.

But if that was bad then part C was the worst.  Dead lifts – no problem at 40kg (I thought 70kg was pushing it for level 1 men, as 60kg almost broke my back a couple of weeks ago).  Burpees over the bar means you do a burpee, and then jump sideways over a barbell you have set up next to you (the one you used for the dead lifts), and then do another burpee, then jump back over and so on.  By the time I got to the skipping I was knackered, so I was only able to do 25 of the buggers at a time, and I’m stuck on singles remember, so I had to do 100.  I still can’t do a double-under, but one of the girls showed me a way to learn them without getting too frustrated.  I need to spend a while mastering these things, as they look cool when done properly – she did 50 in a row, effortlessly.  I only managed two-and-a-bit rounds in this part.  Bloody washing line …

Is there no end to this?
Is there no end to this WOD?

Part D – back to the ring rows for the weaklings (that’ll be just me then, getting my arse kicked by the girls again), which was fine, as chest-to-bar pull-ups aren’t happening round here any time soon.  But thrusters are evil.  I decided to have 25kg on the bar for these instead of going lighter for speed.  I figured that as I was completely finished by this stage anyway, there was no point in treating this last bit as a race – build a bit of strength instead.  In this round you did two reps of each exercise, then four of each, then six, and so on.  I got up to the eight thrusters, and managed six of them.  I had to drop the bar between each of these last six once it was over my head – I had nothing left to do two consecutively.  To be honest, I was watching the clock counting up to the end of time, and paced myself accordingly.  That was one HARD work-out, make no mistake, but of course I enjoyed it!  I’d stop going if I began to fear this shit – I have too many things that need mastering before that happens.

Four minutes rest between each six-minute burst of activity was just enough to reset yourself, but my sweat-drenched T-shirt told the story well enough.  I’ve started bringing a spare one with me, as driving home with my back sticking to the seat isn’t very nice, and it probably doesn’t do the seat any good either.

A word on the “Bingo balls” mentioned at the top of the first image, in case you were wondering.  The trainer who is currently devising all of our WODs has become increasingly frustrated with people leaving their clothing and equipment lying around the box after a work-out, so if you are caught you have to have a go on a toy bingo ball machine he brought in.  Whatever number comes out – that’s how many box-jump burpees you have to do as punishment.  The first victim got 75 – a harsh lesson.  Mind you, they’ve become so successful a deterrent that the girl who manages the admin has now started threatening people with them if they don’t use the online planner to book their sessions, as we’re supposed to do every time.  She was in with her laptop for the 17.30 session on Monday, telling off the naughty younger lads who tend to just turn up without booking.  Then it was laptop away before joining the rest of us for a good kicking. 🙂

Today’s results:

Mixed results, but I didn't do too badly.
Mixed results, but I didn’t do too badly.

One more day of non-running before it returns on Monday …

Punish me. Harder. OK, not that hard …

My wife and I went to Leeds for the weekend.  And while there, I ate some very naughty food.  Nando’s, burger and chips, hotel fried breakfast (times TWO!), biscuits, chocolate, and Pepsi (other cola brands are available).  Dirty Boy!

We got back home at around 15.00 today, and I could easily have cried off CrossFit until tomorrow, but tomorrow is the Royal Marines 350th Anniversary WOD at our box, and it looks evil.  Then again, this hardly looked inviting:

Punishment for all that naughty food. Don't pity me.  I deserve it.
Punishment for all that naughty food. Don’t pity me; I deserved it.

Nonetheless, I consider this to be the lesser of two evils, and so I reserved my place at the 17.30 work-out, and drove there actually looking forward to it.  Well, the first bit was the “easy” bit – just do some power snatches.  I learned a little more about technique tonight, with the coach moving me into the correct position.  I almost had it, but I need to lean forward a bit more.  But I was fine with 25kg on the bar.  I suppose I should have scaled up towards 30kg, but I’m going to leave that for next time.  The high-hang snatch is just out of reach at that weight, I feel.

And then  the nasty bit – the “Filthy Fifty”, as it’s known.  Fifty reps of just about everything you can do in a CrossFit box – box jumps, pull-ups (or ring rows if you can’t do them), kettle-bell swings, walking lunges, knees-to-chest (or leg raises if you can’t do those either), push press, sit-ups, wall balls, burpees, and double-unders (or 100 singles, with the washing line, remember?)

It just sounds horrendous, and it was.  I started out OK, but I had to do them in a different order to above as there weren’t enough rings for the ring-rows (I can’t do proper pull-ups yet, and some people were “cheating” with jumping pull-ups), so I let the girls next to me do theirs first, and I got my 50 KB swings out of the way instead.  By the time I was down to the push press (bar from shoulders to overhead with a slight dip of the knees first, remember?) I had to do ten of them, and then do ten of something else just to keep my body from tiring of the same thing over and over.  So ten push press, ten sit-ups, ten wall balls, then maybe twenty-five single-unders, and back to ten push press, and so on.  As long as you do them all, that’s my preferred way of doing it.

I managed 15 burpees before I went down too hard on my left arm, and made it hurt.  That was enough for me.  I can live with doing only 465 of the 500 reps available, and I posted a time of 35 minutes and three seconds.  Not bad, considering the fastest at the 06.15 session (yes, that’s 06.15 in the morning) was 29 minutes.  How I did those wall balls is beyond me.  I HATE those things.

Still, I think I worked off some of that shitty grease I shovelled into my mouth yesterday, and I’ll be going back Wednesday morning to work some more of it off.  De-load week, my arse …

Work-out 13 - unlucky for some, but just a nightmare for everyone attempting it.
Work-out 13 – unlucky for some, but definitely a nightmare for everyone attempting it.

(Am I mad?)