“Alex”

About 6 hours sleep. 1 block breakfast. 6:00 am CFA workout.

Warm Up

Agility drills; shoulder dislocates; Sampsons; hip-mobility; calf and hamstring stretching; push-ups (15); squats (15); knees-to-elbows (15); pull-ups (medium band assisted, 15).

WOD: Alex

The CFA WOD is “Alex”, in honor of one of our members who is leaving, after today, for the Marines.

3 rounds of:
400m run for time
Max ring dips in 400m run time
Power Cleans using ring dip reps for time (M-115lbs/W-75lbs)
3 minutes rest b/w rounds
Post slowest run time, total ring dips, slowest power clean time.

I used two small rubber bands to assist on the ring dips and a 40 kg set-up on the cleans.

Results:
Round One: 1:17, 21, 4:41 finish (i.e. cleans in 2:07)
Round Two: 1:25, 16, 4:45 finish (i.e. cleans in 1:55)
Round Three: 1:28, 10, 3:30 finish (clean time unknown; the dips interval was cut short by accident)

A fun, kinda sweaty workout. My power cleans felt good. Naturally, I could have gone heavier, but I want to keep babying my back. Which is actually feeling fine today, a week later. Whew!

Two more workouts with CrossFit Asheville before we depart for the summer. I’m going to miss everybody.

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“The Flash”

Slept in a bit, cause I could… Lena didn’t wake until after 7:00. Even with her two wakings between 12 and 1 I managed to get at least 6 hours of sleep. Cleaning around the house, breakfast was lots of coffee and “1.5” block of food (but actually 1.5p/5f/1.5c). Note to self: that much extra fat wasn’t a great idea even a full hour before the am workout. Made it to the 9:00 am CFA workout.

Agility Warm Up

Then the standards (ADs, SD, SS, HM, stretching). Push-Up (15), Squats (10), Knees to Elbows (K2Es) (12), Pull-Ups, medium band (10).

Strength

Worked on 5 rep max for Shoulder Press.

Results: 10×45#, 5×75#, 5×95#, 5×105# (PR), 5×95#, 5×95#, 5×95#

WOD: The Flash

The CrossFit Asheville WOD was:
Complete max rounds in 15 minutes of the following:
100 single jump ropes or 25 double unders
100 feet suicide drill with turn points every 20 feet
5 handstand push-ups
10 heavy kettlebell swings
12 front squats holding medicine ball

Used 44 lb Kettlebell; did band-assisted HSPUs; 12 lb medicine ball.

Results: 3 rounds & 1 suicide set.

In the heat and humidity, I got a good sweat going.

Strength Gains

I have three data points on this blog for shoulder work.

  1. Today
  2. June 6th
  3. April 30th

On April 30th and June 6th I established a 1 rep max SP of 120#. I don’t have any data on a 3 rep or 5 rep max for shoulder press. So I am glad I decided to do the 5 rep max today. By the end, doing three work sets at 95 lbs, I felt strong. In fact, when these work sets of 5 reps of shoulder press are compared with the work I did on the Push Press and the Push Jerk on 6/6, I am a little embarrassed! Obviously I am even stronger than I thought. I think that these work sets and my 105# five rep PR points the way to increasing the 120# PR in the 1 rep.

Injury Check in; Yoga/Stretching

Back is feeling on the mend. I could feel the twinges during the WOD but no big deal. I noticed that on June 6th I was complaining of left shoulder pain. Nothing remains of that, which, in retrospect, seems not to have even been an injury.

I did a fair amount of Yoga stretching last night. In fact I even got my internal heat going a little bit. It felt good and I plan to do some more tonight. I am going to focus on combining about 5 cycles of a warrior and standing pose sequence with some seated and twisting poses.

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“Mini Fran.” PUC Postponed.

Lousy sleep, only from 1:00 am to 6:30 am. I went to bed before 11:00 pm, but couldn’t fall asleep. Thinking about so many things. But I felt ok in the morning and I jetted off to the 7:00 am workout at CFA. No coffee. No breakfast. Only about 8 oz. of water. So I knew I was asking for trouble. But it was alright.

When I got there I saw that the workout was “Fran.” Ouch. And bad timing for me. My first experience with “Fran” was when I was a CrossFit Newbie (see Feb. 16, 2009), and today, as luck would have it, I encountered her again when I was recovering from an acute back injury.

Never mind, I decided to do a mini-Fran, and let’s just say this: “it is what it is.”

Warm Up

Agility drills (footwork, arms, crawling, etc.), Shoulder Dislocates, Sampson, Hip Mobility, Hamstrings and Calf stretches, Squats (10), Push-Ups (15), Knees to Elbows (12), Pull-Ups (medium band assist, 10).

I was happy and surprised at how easily I knocked out the K2Es. I did 12 in a row with just a tiny little kip to get me up. Knees touched the elbows every time.

Strength and Skill

Rx’d was work on Kipping Pull-Ups or Muscle Ups. I worked a bit on the Kipping Pull Up. Nothing major. I just took it easy.

WOD: “Mini-Fran”

For me, Mini-Fran today was:
15, 12, 9 of Thrusters (65 lbs), and Pull-Ups (medium band assist)
for time.

Results: 6:54.

This felt ok. I felt a little wimpy for not going all-out, especially knowing that both Tom and Rustan had pushed themselves as hard as they could go during the 6:00 am workout, using no resistance bands, and prescribed weights.

My back is recovering and I did not aggravate it further with the thrusters or the pull-ups. That was the goal. I also got the metabolic rush which told me at least that I was not sandbagging it through my Mini-Fran, even if she was light on the weight, easy on the pull-ups, and smaller on the reps.

It’s hard to compare this case of “Fran” with the previous one in February. I did 9 fewer reps, and I did 10 fewer pounds, but I used less resistance on the pull-ups. And I personally weigh a lot less; I weighed in at 179.5 yesterday, and I weighed in at 211 on Feb 15th. But the fact is that I did this one almost 9 minutes faster than the last one. I am clearly stronger, faster, and more capable of putting out the power now. But the results are not comparable, strictly speaking.

Pull-Up Challenge Postponed

It’s my challenge, so I make the rules. I know I have been poking through the end of this first third of the challenge, having stretched one week’s worth out into about 3 weeks worth of time so far. But until I am sure that my back is going to recover without getting further tweaked, I am going to hold off on the extra pull-up training.

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Day of Fathers

Today Yael let me sleep in (I slept until almost 8:00 am!). Then she brought me coffee and the Sunday NYT in bed. According to me, this is the holy trinity.

Later, brunch at Jesse and V’s with their baby Annalise. Beautiful. We all went on a walk, and I had a good time walking around with Lena.

Then: Lena took a good nap. I talked with my dad, then managed finally to rebuild and restore my old blog, which I had crashed pretty badly two days ago. Then I took the dogs out for a good long 2 mile walk in the neighborhood. I wore my Vibram Five Fingers. It was a light rest day walkabout, really fun. I met some guy named James riding his longboard. The whole walk got me thinking about skateboarding. I haven’t gone in months.

In a few minutes: a 3 year old’s birthday party and father’s day gathering at Mike’s. Later: relaxation and some yoga stretching, getting ready for the return of the WOD tomorrow.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

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Yoga to the Rescue. Swimming at the YMCA.

Crossfit is great. I love it, and, barring actual physical disability, at this point in my life I plan always to do it, or apply its principles to what I do.

Did you sense the “however” approaching? Yes, it’s here. “However,” I see this morning that there are times when CrossFit will not be enough. In particular, CrossFit seems ill equipped for relief and recuperation from pain associated with acute injury. For that you need something else.

Two days ago, I sprained the muscles of my lower ribs (both sides) on my back during the CrossFit Asheville WOD “In the Fight.” I regard this as my own fault. Four problems contributed to the injury. (1) rushing the movement; (2) Straining with my face and body beyond the force required to complete the motion; (3) a lapse in form caused by fatigue; (4) itself exacerbated by training on what should have been a rest day. More simply put, on Thursday am I was already stiff and sore in my lower back from the previous day’s workout, and I should have stayed home; instead I worked out and pushed myself too hard and hurt myself.

You can’t deadlift yourself out of back pain… I think. (Actually, I’ll ask Corey, Shanna, and Randy what they think about that.) But in any case, I knew yesterday morning immediately, as I cringed just getting out of bed, that a CrossFit WOD was probably not the correct prescription for my aching back. After all, the WOD was a “back squat” and then a grueling partner WOD involving two men lifting 7000 pounds from ground to overhead (in somewhere between 52-156 reps). Even if the reps are shared, I needed rest, first and foremost.

I also needed some kind of movement to get blood flowing in my back, to keep range of motion going, and to relieve acute pain. YOGA to the rescue. It’s days like yesterday, and today, where I am grateful that I have several years of Yoga practice under my belt.

Saturday AM Yoga Practice

Today, I began the day with posterior-chain focused Yoga stretching. Cat Cow, Child’s Pose, Warrior 1, forward bend, pigeon, cobbler, hurdler’s stretch, etc. Basically, trying to get full range of motion into a mid-back that feels fused and frozen.

Swimming at the Y

Yesterday, I spent some time in the pool with my family. That was fun, and in the pool all my back pains went straight away. It’s amazing what some zero-gravity play can do.

So today, I went to the YMCA during Lena’s nap. I swam maybe 10 to 12 laps, with various strokes, in the lap pool, and then did some stretching and pool calisthenics in the warmer family swim pool, using some pool noodles as flotation aids.

Then some time in the steam room.

Yoga Stretching in the Evening

I did some rolling and stretching and sitting again in the evening. It was good for me. By the end of the day it began to be clear that the pain I have been suffering is muscular rather than skeletal (thank god) and will inevitably subside if I care for it properly.

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Laying Low

Oh my back hurts. I think I will survive and recover fully. I’ve dealt with this combination of stiffness and immobility with aching pain before. It’s muscular and connective tissue related, as far as I know. It’s like I sprained the lower ribs of my back. It WILL get better.

So today I rest. Update tomorrow.

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“In the Fight.” aka Vicious. Laid low.

Substantial sleep, woke up sore and stiff in the lower obliques of my back. Got a good breakfast and coffee in, took Lena and Orion for a stroller walk round the ‘hood and to GreenLife, and had a small second breakfast. Then off to Open Gym time at CrossFit Asheville.

Warm Up

Running, martial arts punches and footwork, shoulder dislocates, sampson and hip mobility, walking lunges (10 per side), ring dips (12, small band assist), windshield wipers (12), wide grip pull ups (10, all dead hang). The windshield wipers got me thinking that maybe my back soreness was due to them. Then, to get ready for the workout, I did the Burgener warm-up, a few 35 lb dumbbell hang power cleans, a few push-presses at 75 lbs, and a few swings of the 52.9 lb kettlebell.

WOD: “In the Fight”

“In the Fight” is the CrossFit Asheville WOD This nasty and vicious workout left me a broken man.

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. Complete 3 total rounds.
1. Tire flip
2. Dumbbell Power Clean (M-35lbs, W-25lbs)
3. Burpee Box Hurdle (M-20″, W-18″)
4. Push Press (M-75lbs, W-55lbs)
5. Kettlebell swing (M-1.5 pood, W-1 pood)
The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of “rotate” move to next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep. Post total score and loads to comments.

Results: AS Rx’d, except I rested 2 minutes between rounds 2 and three. Total reps: 129.

It was hot out and I got a sweat working. During the second round on the Dumbbell Power Cleans, on about the 5th rep, I felt a crazy popping up and down the ribs on both sides of my back. This was painful and the ache from it has persisted for several hours. Will monitor.

Stretching

As you might expect from my report of an acute “injury,” I stretched out a lot after the WOD.

Pull Up Challenge Rest Day

Normally, when I work out, I also do my Pull-Ups. And I’ve already done 10 today! But I will give my body and my back a bit of extra rest and put off day 33 until tomorrow.

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

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