Tag Archives: Stretching

“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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“Nasty Gals.” PUC Day 31. Unassisted Pull Ups in WOD!

I tried and I tried to sleep last night, but sleep took hours coming. I went to the 6:00 am workout with only 4 hours of sleep under my belt. Inexplicably, today Lena woke up at 5:00 am, BEFORE I got out of bed. Sleep problems at home. 2 block breakfast (salmon and banana and coffee) and off to CrossFit Asheville.

Warm Up

Martial Arts Warm-Up routines (running, shadow boxing, footwork). Shoulder dislocates, sampsons, hip mobility, calf and hamstring stretching, etc. Then Windshield Wipers (8), Chest to Bar Pull Ups (10, dead hang), Walking Lunges (20, 10 for each leg), and Ring Dips (medium band assisted, 15).

Skill/Strength Work

Max Height Box Jump

Results:
39.25″ — a new PR!

WOD: “Nasty Gals”

Compare the CrossFit named workout “Nasty Girls”, which was yesterday’s Main Site WOD.

3 rounds for time of:
50 squats
7 chest-to-bar pullups
10 hang power cleans (M-115lbs, W-75lbs)

For me, a difficult workout. But it still marked some milestones. A heavy weight, and … drumroll please, unassisted pull-ups.

Total Time: 11:54.
100 lbs. on the Hang Power Cleans (first 2 reps at 110 lbs.)

MY FIRST EVER WOD WITH UNASSISTED (KIPPING) PULL-UPS!

Stretching/Skill

After the workout, I was feeling the stress in my forearms and joints. I did some mild stretching. I also worked on kicking up into a freestanding handstand. I am almost there!

Pull-Up Challenge Day 31

It’s a bit cheeky, but today I am going to call it good. I’ve done all my 31 pull ups. I did happen to do 10 dead hang pull ups during the warm-up. And then I did 21 unassisted pull-ups during the workout. Even though these weren’t all DEAD HANG pull-ups, they were full-range kipping pull ups performed at high intensity. They deserve to count and my body needs them to.

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“Partners in Crime.” PUC Day 30.

Woke up rough, after only 5 1/2 hours of sleep. No more. Goal for this upcoming week: eat right, sleep right. Still made it to the 9:00 am CrossFit Asheville class for the great skill work and Saturday partner WOD.

Warm Up

Agility Runs. Shoulder dislocates. Sampson stretches, hip openers. Push ups (15). Overhead Squats (15). Pull-Ups (10, dead hang). Side Plank Rolls (10).

Skill work:

Rope Climb intermixed with cartwheel/round-off practice for 10 minutes.

I almost got my cartwheel today! By the end of practice I was doing them in series.

I also discovered that I can kick up into a freestanding handstand, but I have trouble finding balance, and will almost every time fall all the way over onto my back. Thank goodness for the springy gymnastics floor!

I did three rope ascents, foot assisted of course. Others were practicing using only their arms, but I’m not there yet. Nevertheless, I feel like a million bucks, because only a few months ago, when confronted by the rope, I was very intimidated, and couldn’t even ascend past about 1/3 of the distance. The pull-ups must be helping. The weight loss has certainly helped. I am 40 years old and have finally conquered an exercise that was always beyond reach for me, when growing up.

WOD: “Partners in Crime”

Work as a team to complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
One person runs 400m while the other partner completes as many rounds as possible of the following:
7 dumbbell thrusters (M-30lbs, W-20lbs)
8 sand/heavy bag cleans
10 ball slams
Example: If partner A starts on the run partner B performs as many rounds of the 3 exercises as possible until partner A returns from the run. Immediately note rounds andtotal reps of uncompleted round of partner B before B heads out on the run and A begins the exercises. Repeat for 20 minutes. Total combined completion of rounds at the end of 20 minutes.

My partner was one of the newer members, Seth. He’s a mechanic, so I suggested we call our team “Team Machine.” I used 25 lb dumbbells (for a 50 lb total on the Thrusters) and we used the 50 lb sandbag and a 12 lb medicine ball.

Results:
Matt: 5 runs, and 5 full rounds plus extra reps equivalent to a total of 6 rounds + 11 reps.
Seth: 5 runs, and 5 full rounds plus 5 extra reps.
Giving us a total of 11 rounds and 16 reps.

A fun workout. Seth and I worked hard. The runs were outside in the sun. I was drenched in sweat at the end.

Stretching

We did the “full Randy” today. Someday I will describe this stretching routine. It’s pretty good, and I feel better for doing it.

Pull-Up Challenge Day 30

I did my first reps during the warm-up, but I forgot how many. Then I did three more reps after the workout. I know I did at least 12 reps total at the workout, so I’m going to reckon it as 12.

The rest of the reps will be much later today.

Results:
Reps #1-12: At CrossFit Asheville during the warm up and after the WOD.
Reps #13-17: Set of 5, failed on 6th rep. Front grip. 7:15 pm.
Reps #18-22: Set of 5. Wide reverse grip. 7:30 pm.
Reps #23-26: Set of 4. Wide front grip. 7:45 pm.
Reps #27-30: Set of 4. Wide reverse grip. 8:00 pm.

That’s it! Day 31 of the PUC comes on Monday.

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PUC Day 26

Lena playing on my gymnastics rings, June 4th, 2009

Lena playing on my gymnastics rings, June 4th, 2009

Still on a “rest day” as normally scheduled for Thursday (I work out, in theory, M, Tu, W, F, Sa, and rest on Th, Su) even though I took extra rest yesterday on Wednesday, and even skipped my Pull-Ups from my Pull-Up Challenge.

I am still feeling a bit sore from the past few days, and a bit stiff. I will, however, do my 26 pull-ups today, and some stretching tonight.

Pull-Up Challenge Day 26

Rep #1: 8:30 am. Front grip.
Reps #2-4: 8:50 am. Reverse grip.
Reps #5-8: 9:10 am. Front grip.
Reps #9-13. 9:35 am. Reverse grip. Attempted and failed on 6th rep.
Reps #14-17. 10:00 am. Reverse grip. Attempted/failed on 5th rep.
Reps #18-22. 10:40 am. Front grip.
Reps #23-26. 11:40 am. Front grip.

My Home Gym

In case you’re interested, here’s a video tour of my home workshop / gym area.

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