Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday 23.4: Clean and jerk, front squats + heavy metcon

Wednesday. AM: Clean and jerk, emom, 1 rep x 9min (85-95kg). Front squats, 4x4 across (110kg). PM: Workout, 30 hspu, 15 burpees, 30 deads (130kg), 15 burpees, 30 power clean (80kg), 15 burpees. Time 19.20

I've been longing to get to this place for months! Eltsu is the place to be when you wanna improve on olympic lifts. Both Eltsu and Liikuntamylly are like heaven to me. It's difficult to describe the joy and happiness I feel when I get the chance to train at these places. Today I followed competitor's wod training day from last Friday. Okay, those guys would nail benchmark workout Amanda after front squats. I would have liked to take a metcon afterwards but didn't have enough time. So I hit it in the evening in another session.

Stage is set for success!

Clean and jerk.

  • Every minute on the minute
  • 1 rep every minute
  • Min 1-3, 85kg
  • Min 4-6, 90kg
  • Min 7-9, 95kg

Looks kind of easy. Just one rep per minute but hey c'mon, the weights were pretty heavy. It was prescribed as 1-3min @ 85%, then next 3min @ 90% and last 3min @ 95%. My max is at 102.5kg so those percentages turned to matching kilos in my case.

After climbing it to 80kg I was ready to put the clock running and start jerking around. On the first rounds squat clean felt a bit stiff for some reason, then I realized I tried to catch the bar with a full hand instead of holding the bar with just the tip of my fingers as I usually do. Don't know what kind of a brain fart that was in the beginning. Then it started to feel more natural and I had no issues after that.

Warming up

Jerk was definitely heavy, can't deny that. But even though it was heavy, I was able to complete the reps as planned and with pretty much the same technique all the way. That's something that pleases me tremendously. Not having to break it with some twisted way. I'm not saying it's as smooth as I'd like but I'm very happy for having the lifts look the same, no matter the weight.

For a second or two I was thinking about hitting it as heavy as possible after this one but then on the other hand, I was pretty much done after these lifts and I was almost in a hurry. Just had the time to sneak in some front squats.

Clean and jerk emom

Front squat.

  • 4x4 across (110kg)

Took two sets to warm-up after the clean and jerk session. First one with just 60kg and the second one @ 90kg. Then jumped right to 110kg. I had decided on the weights beforehand. It was a great surprise the squats felt lighter than I had anticipated. Really, I'm telling you, those were lighter than before. That's somewhat encouraging! Maybe all the squatting is paying off.

Here is the same thing I'm looking at: do the lifts look the same or is there a big variation between the reps / sets. To my eye it looks as good as I wanted. Deep squats, torso upright, elbows up, nothing bending to wrong directions. I'm pleased!

Recap of front squats

Metcon. Time 19.20

  • 30 handstand push-ups
  • 15 burpees
  • 30 deadlifts, 130kg
  • 15 burpees
  • 30 power cleans, 80kg
  • 15 burpees

We spent the entire day downtown walking around, eating and shopping, enjoying a free day in Helsinki. In the evening it was time to hit a metcon. I was thinking between an outdoor running workout in the backyard and a workout at home gym. Pauliina was into training too so we went to the gym late in the evening.

This was a different type of workout. Not possible to push through unbroken so it was obvious my muscles would get fatigued in the course of the workout. I remember having big problems on high-rep hspu workouts when they are conducted exactly like this that you have a whole bunch of reps to be done consecutively. 30 hspu in a row is a mountain of reps for me. I can do tens of them if they are done in sets of about 5-7 reps but having this many reps brings some issues because of the short recovery.

I started by doing a set of 10. From there on I planned to hit 5's till the end. Okay, I got to 20 with that plan. Then it was two triples and then two doubles. Burpees were easier than I thought. Actually they were easier in all 3 sets.

Didn't have any strategy on the deadlifts but to try complete a set of 10 reps on the first try. I got that and decided to push it forward in 10's. It was heavy towards the end but still manageable. I was happy to nail those deads in 3 sets.

Power cleans definitely took the longest time. I did them in singles all the way. My plan with which I was able to stick till the end was to do 5 singles and then a break. This is pretty much the heaviest I've power cleaned so it's not a surprise it took an eternity. The hspu's and first set of burpees was around 4.30, deads + burpees was about 4.20 and power cleans + burpees took me around 10.30.

Recap of the evening workout

This was a great workout, there's no doubt about it. It's kind of a chipper, a training method I've neglected. It would definitely be worth doing them every now and then, lots of reps per movement, not rounds or amrap but just chip away the designed repetitions as fast as possible. I call this a training day, two good sessions!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday 22.4: Snatch, Ohs, Nancy

Tuesday. AM: Snatch 5-5-5 (max 55kg). Overhead squats (max PR 80kg). Benchmark workout Nancy, 5rds of: 400m run, 15 ohs (40kg). Time 14.52. PM: Weighted dips workout. Another workout: 5rds of: 10 pull-ups, 50 du.

Holiday! Beautiful weather, I get to sleep more than normally, take some nap, do multiple workouts a day and plan our trip to California which takes place in May with Pauliina. Pretty awesome if you ask me! I went to Liikuntamylly for snatch and overhead squat purposes in the morning. Happened to nail a new PR in ohs. Then I took on Nancy, a great benchmark workout with running and ohs as a couplet. In the afternoon I went to pick up Pauliina from work which turned out to be a good chance to get in another training session.

Summer is coming!

  • Snatch 5-5-5 (40, 50, 55kg)
  • Overhead squats (50, 60, 65, 70, 75, PR 80kg)
Liikuntamylly and Eltsu are the two places where I usually go when I have the possibility. These places are made for olympic lifting. I tend to go heavy on these occasions because of the possibility to drop the bar. It's okay to look for PR's at such venues. I believe I have never gone over 60kg in ohs at my "home gym".


Didn't take any skills practice prior to strength, jumped right on to snatches. Took good mobility session before I touched the bar though. Then some classic warm-up rituals with a barbell plus snatch balance drills. My intention was to do all squat snatches but I found it a little too difficult today, especially on the 55kg snatches I couldn't find the path down properly. That's why they were power snatches instead. Because I wasn't able to find the correct path all the way down, I stayed at 55kg and didn't go heavier on this one.


Changed some plates and started doing overhead squats. Didn't have any plan, it's been too long since I've done ohs. So I just played with it for a while, added weight on the bar and took more reps. My wrists are a little sensitive for high-rep overhead squats. It's pretty much the only movement where I get some wrist pain if I hold the bar for a long time. At 60kg this came in to play and the weight itself didn't feel that heavy so I started to take doubles and singles from then on.

My previous 1 rep max was 75kg, which we had taken together with Toni the last time we were here together. It was a little shaky at the time when I held the bar overhead. Today it felt much smoother and steady all the way down and up. We took a shot at 80kg with Toni but I remember it was a desperate seek for both of us. It was wobbling back and forth when I had the bar overhead and there was no chance in trying to lower by butt to the ground. This time the press behind the neck was stronger and I got a solid balance right away. There was nothing more to be done but complete the rep.

Recap of strength

One thing that bugs me is that there's a slight doubt in my mind of the squats's depth being shallow. I'll take this for now but this is something to consider in overhead squats in the future. This movement pattern is not that familiar to me compared to back and front squats. I'm used to squat with mirrors in front of me so it's a bit difficult to perceive how deep I'm going without the familiarity of the mirrors (or training partner).

Nancy. Time 14.52. Compare to 27.12.2013
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 400m run
  • 15 overhead squats (40kg)
The barbell should be 42.5kg. This place don't have those fractional plates or light weight plates of 1.25kg so I went with 40kg sharp. Not a big difference but still it should have been 2.5kg heavier. On the other hand I ran a little more than 400m. There's a 200m track which I ran twice. I couldn't place the barbell right next to the track so I had to take a side step to my "bar station". On my fourth round one guy was just about to take my barbell 'cause he thought it wasn't in use. That would have been a bummer if I had lost my bar in the middle of a workout =) Luckily I was able to finish this one as planned.

We did Nancy together with Toni in the end of last year, during the winter holidays. Great combination of movements, running and overhead squats, high-rep overhead squats. I remember there was some hassle last time because we only had one barbell but it was a great one anyway. I topped my time with +3min, from 18min to 14.52. Last time it wasn't so precise, today I took it by the second. What I'm most happy about is the round time variation, or actually the absence of them. First round was 2.51, and the last one was 2.58, the rounds in between were 2.53 - 3.01 - 3.06.

I'm very pleased on that one! I was afraid running would get way slower towards the end. I've never been a fast runner and especially in a metcon I feel like I'm wearing down in the run parts. Okay, I was decent runner back in the days considering I was a floorball goalie =) But I wouldn't count that as one of my strengths. The round times hint that the performance was steady all the way.

I got the overhead squats unbroken each round, that's another thing to celebrate. It got tough on the third round but I stuck to the bar and never let go before 15 reps were done. By the way, completing ohs with oly lifting shoes and sneakers are two different things. I'd like to do my squats with oly shoes but naturally it's challenging to run with those flat shoe soles. This workout was awesome and it was pleasing to see the time got better with minutes.

Dip dropsets. Total of 60 reps
  • In 60sec, amrap weighted dips @ 20kg
  • 60sec rest
  • In 60sec, amrap weighted dips @ 15kg
  • 60sec rest
  • In 60sec, amrap weighted dips @ 10kg
  • 60sec rest
  • In 60sec, amrap weighted dips @ bodyweight
I was open-minded for this second session, and an article came across from "Fit As Fu*k" where Ditte and Sarah were writing about the importance of dips. I realized it's been a while since last time so it seemed to fit in well to this afternoon. This workout was a drop set style, 60 second amrap of dips with dropping weights, one minute break between sets. I liked this much more than traditional style sets of triples or 5's. Managed to nail 15 reps on the first set so I decided to stick to that rep scheme. It got tougher by the round because the rest wasn't enough to get fully recovered.

This is a weakness of mine so I'm happy on the way I was able to perform. Did 15 reps in each set and the feeling was I really had to do work to get them done. Good workout tip by the ladies, appreciate it!

Workout. For quality
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 50 double unders
Before the dips I did some pull-ups, strict chest-to-bar versions and couple of belly-to-bar to work on my bar muscle-ups. Also tried to get band-assisted muscle-ups without a swing but that turned out to be too difficult as I've used to do bar mu's with a good kip. This training session was easy in nature, goal was to get body moving, definitely not 100% effort, just get the blood flowing, work on some skills and weaknesses. It was also great to see Joni go after hero workout Small. If you still remember that one: 3 rounds of 1.000m rowing, 50 burpees, 50 box, and 800m running. I did it about a week ago because he talked me into it, now it was his time to suffer =) Good job Joni!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday 20.4: Split jerks + sled

Sunday. Split jerks

We're gonna spend some time at Pauliina's parents place in the countryside. I had a quick sneak-in at the gym early in the morning. I had desired for split jerks for couple of days now so now it seemed like a good idea. No time for metcons or anything else, just classic split jerks, put the bar overhead.

My playmate on Sunday
  • Split jerks 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 (across 90kg)
My goal was to take heavy singles, not looking to max out but more like 90% effort. I built up to 90kg by doing 5x40, 5x60, 2x70, 1x80kg split jerks. I'll add video tomorrow of all the shoulder-to-overhead moves. It felt good to jerk the bar.

I believe all the 90kg reps looked pretty much the same, that's where I get my satisfaction on this kind of heavy lifts. I also believe my legs were doing enough work and I dropped under the bar instead of just pushing / pressing the bar up.

Recap of split jerks

In the afternoon we drove to Klaukkala to celebrate Pauliina's parents' 30th anniversary. I say that's a big deal! Congrats to you guys, incredible achievement and commitment!

Chilling in the sun
Before the feast we finished the operation of building a sled with Kari. I'm glad we actually finished the project :) That wasn't self-evident in the beginning. It turned out to be perfect, simply perfect! I took my breathing up by pulling the sled back and forth, and did some kb snatches and swings in between.

Home gym in Klaukkala
The home gym starts to look like professional stuff! Haha, lots of kettlebells, sled, pull-up bar, dumbbells, resistance band, barbell with weights up to 50kg. What more could you ask for?

Plus it seems like the weather is always perfect in Klaukkala, it's difficult for me to understand

Monday 21.4: Handstand, sled, kb, front rack lunges

Monday. Skills, handstand. Metcon, 5 rds of: 20m sled pull, 10 kb swings, 20m sled pull, 20m front rack lunges.

Another training day in Klaukkala. the surroundings have little by little gotten perfect. We finished our own little sled project yesterday and it turned out to be a great leg smoker. We played around with it yesterday and today I took a metcon with this new tool. In addition to the metcon I did some strict pull-ups while playing darts, something every now and then to stay active.

  • Handstand
I took some handstand training before getting some real work done. Had some difficulties in stabilizing my body, especially in the beginning as I was training on a slightly inclined platform. The grass area on the back yard is quite flat but there's some variance to indoor training matts. With my skills there's a difference. Once I found a more flat grass it felt much better.

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 20m sled pull
  • 10 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • 20m sled pull
  • 20m front rack lunges, 40kg

Before I've had difficulties in getting my legs burn in Klaukkala. Kettlebell swings make a good shock to lower body but other than that it's been pretty much bodyweight movements and my legs have been mostly saved. With the help of our new sled it was a totally different thing. Add lunges with a barbell in front rack position, and my lower body was smashed!

Didn't have a timer rolling but I went through this one with the same intensity anyway. Breathing was heavy, legs were jacked and it was the classic overall bad feeling that crawled in at some point of the workout. It felt good and I was very satisfied of the influence this metcon brought.

I ran with the sled back and forth for 20 meters. On the other end I did kettlebell swings with 2-pood bell and on the other end completed lunges with Kari's new barbell. This grass area is a little inclined so it was a slight downhill, and then a slight uphill back to starting point.

This workout was cool and I'm sure the sled will come handy in the future as well. It was very firm and I'm guaranteed you can load it up with lots of iron inside. It won't break. It seems to weigh something like 30kg or more, I'd say. I loaded it with kettlebells worth 34kg. Kari was doing his share of working out at the same time. It's pretty awesome Pauliina's mom and dad both workout several times a week, that's something to show respect for.

Recap of the metcon

Another thing to look up on these two is they had their 30th anniversary today. Unbelievable thing, congrats! Some day we'll celebrate that with Pauliina too =)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday 19.4: Hero workout Holleyman

Saturday. Hero workout Holleyman (scaled), time 41.43

Yesterday was a rest day so it allowed me to go heavy today. Body was fresh and ready to hit it. Tomorrow we are going to the country side so it's most likely gonna be bodyweight, kettlebells and sled action. So I was considering between Holleyman and JJ. Both are newcomers in my training and both looked very challenging indeed. I didn't mind which one to go after so I asked Pauliina and she decided on Holleyman. So put on the clothes and do the work. Took some ring dips in the warm-up section to improve on my weakness.

Holleyman. Time 41.43
  • 30 rounds of:
  • 5 wall balls
  • 3 handstand push-ups
  • 1 clean (1-10min: squat clean 100kg, 11-15min: squat clean 90kg, 16-30min: power clean 80kg)
Rx'd version would be done with 102.5kg power cleans. No squat clean allowed. That's a little too much for me, I usually do squat cleans anyway on the heavy lifts. I don't even know where my max rep would be for power cleans. Probably somewhere around 90kg.

Don't have a wall ball either (yet…) so I replicated the 9kg wall ball movement with a 15kg bumper plate. I feel like regular wall ball is easier movement compared to this one. It doesn't matter when there's only couple of reps at a time but if I'd go for 50 in a row, I'd rather do it with normal wall ball. These plates are on your face all the time. Plus you get that short rest as you throw the ball up on the wall. Anyway, I like to have 15kg plate if I don't have access to wall ball because I'm not throwing the plate in the air whereas wall ball needs to be thrown with explosive movement.

The workout itself was a little intimidating. As I think about it, 100kg clean is rather close to my one rep max (110kg) so I didn't know what to think about it. Also 90 handstand push-ups looked like an eternity of reps. Max number I've done in a workout is hovers somewhere around 60 reps. Well, okay this workout was gonna be a longer one so it might not devastate me in the end. Thought 150 wall balls would not gonna be any issue by any standard. I'm comfortable with the movement and consider that some sort of strength.

I started the workout with 100kg squat cleans. Don't know why but after a few rounds my lower back hurt a little in both squat cleans and wall balls. Not in positive way. I don't mind if my muscles hurt but this wasn't a pleasure feeling so I scaled to 90kg. Same feeling occurred in both squat cleans and wall balls, in the squat position. It didn't help on the 90kg squat cleans so after 15 rounds I decided to do power cleans. Had no problems after that at all so it helped mentally a lot. I had good form on both movements so it's difficult to understand where this came from. Anyway, it went away and everything's fine. I'm feeling great at the moment!

I once saw this workout completed year or two ago and it's been on the back of my mind since then. I looked up to this guy crushing Holleyman and wanted to give it a shot myself too. Some day maybe I'm  able to do it rx'd. The cleans were the thing in this workout, at least for me. Wall balls were the easiest. Hspu's started to feel heavier at around 20 rounds. Managed to fight through them unbroken though.

Recap of Holleyman

This wasn't that much of a cardio stuff. That's because the barbell was so heavy I couldn't lift it right away. My body was sweating a lot but breathing was under control constantly. A good workout, nothing more can I say. Great one.

HC Triplet IV on its way!

HC Triplet IV!!!

It's time for the classic throw down between me and Toni, HC Triplet number 4 is about to happen. It's taking place on Saturday 10.5, let's see how many athletes we're gonna see there. There's a rumor going on that my bro and his training partner plus one other fellow athlete is coming too. So it's either me and Toni or max 5 competitors.

We've had three HC Triplets prior to this one. It's something we have decided to do every half a year or so. The idea is to compete in three different events in as many ways as possible, classic crossfit stuff. Originally we didn't have much equipment with us, just a kettlebell and jump rope, and that's pretty much we want to keep it like. It's not gonna require lots of barbells or other tools to play around. Bodyweight and some iron, pull-up bar, let's see what it turns out to.

It's probably the only time of the year we hit three workouts in short time during one day. It's gonna be cruel, lots of mental game is in play and muscles will be sore for couple of days. You better have a day off the day before and prepare your body not to be fresh the day after. This far we have enjoyed these events together tremendously and even though we are nowadays working out separately with Toni, this is the time we hit it definitely together. It wouldn't be the same, not even close, without having my best buddy there with me.

HC Triplet I
Take a look at the earlier HC Triplets. The first one took place 8.9.2012, this was the first year, we had just started crossfitting couple of months earlier when it hit me one beautiful day that what if we would do couple of workouts back-to-back. Toni got enthusiastic right away so we scheduled one Saturday afternoon at Malminkartano's "Jätemäki".

Final wrap of the first Triplet (in Finnish though…)

HC Triplet II: In To The Woods
For the second Triplet we changed location. We wanted to have a pull-up bar plus a track so the perfect location was found at Pirkkola. Still, lots of bodyweight was moved around but the kettlebells got heavier and Sandy was also built up just days before the throwdown took place. That's a 25kg sandbag that killed our hamstrings on the weighted lunges. This Triplet was a little different as we completed the last event indoors at our gym. Thus we were able to incorporate some movements that were impossible outdoors.

Clipse for event number 2

HC Triplet III
Back to Pirkkola. The heaviest Triplet, no doubt. Kettlebells were thrown in the air, swings, clean & jerks, snatches. Still, a lot of bodyweight movements. And running, which is an essential part of these events. We both felt like we don't have anything left before the last event but somehow we managed to suffer through all three events. Great finish in the end.

Recap of the last Triplet

HC Triplet IV. Let's see what the day brings us. Once we know the exact number of participants we're able to write down the workouts. We've sketched some awesome workouts for single athletes but if there are multiple athletes we might need to go teams this time. Go figure, we'll see. It's two weeks from now so it's getting closer and the tension is growing.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday 18.4: Rest day

Friday. Rest day.

I was about to hit the gym and work out with Juuso in the early afternoon for some split jerks and metabolic conditioning but then Pauliina suggested to take a rest day and spend the day outdoors. That shocked me for a second or two but then again, it's been a long time since I didn't put my body to test on some level so it started to sound like a good idea.

I've been working on my strength, conditioning, and skills for about 3 weeks in a row without a full rest day so I guess my body will thank me (and Pauliina) for this day off. Let's hope the recovery makes its way to my muscles and lets them get better and more relaxed. It feels fine now, no prob, legs are a bit sore but other than that everything is fine. I suppose the recovery process has developed a lot in my 2 years of crossfitting.

And increasing the level of intensity step by step is paying dividends now. My goal in the early steps was to teach my body to get used to training on a daily basis, and it looks like I'm pretty much where I planned to be.

It really seems the spring is on its way now. The sun is shining, it's getting warmer by the day and I'm on holiday next week! We took a looooong walk and found some cool places in the beautiful Helsinki to play around.

Here's the Games Update show, covering Masters qualifiers, 4 events in 4 days.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday 17.4: Squats, Hspu, Burpees

Thursday. Strength, back squats 7x3 (around 130kg). Pair wod, 5 rds of: 200m row / max effort hspu's, 10 burpees, 20 air squats. Time 11.14

I believe it was Sunday when I squatted the last time, and it was a metcon type of action. That really hurt my legs for couple of days. Today I really needed to have the bar on my back and do those squats, I was missing them =) Juuso and Pauliina were also at the gym, we hit a pair wod with J in the end.

Quite even round times?

  • Back squats 3-3-3-3-3-3-3 (125, 130, 130, 130, 130, 130, 130kg)

Didn't think about this for too long. All I needed to have was heavy squats. While I completed my warm-up squat sets with 60, 80, and 105kg, I decided to hit triples at around 130kg. Jumped 125kg from 105kg and did the first set there. I was able to pump it up and down without any pauses on top. Added 5 more kilos and completed the rest of the sets with this weight, total of 7 triples.

First sets went "touch'n'go" style, then probably 4th and 5th set were clearly tougher and I needed to stop on top and reset to hold the breath inside before going back down. The 6th set was the most challenging. It felt like my legs would bail me out after first rep. Somehow it felt like all the strength just vanished from my lower body. Managed to get the reps up though, Juuso spotting the last 2 reps just in case. He also spotted the last set, which turned out to be easier than the 6th one. Those triples were very good ones today with 130kg. I had to do lots of work. It wasn't easy to get the reps in the books, and I had to squeeze the get them done. Legs were doing exactly the work hey needed to.

Masters competition update

Metcon. Pair wod, time 11.14
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 200m row / max effort handstand push-ups
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 air squats

We decided to hit a pair workout with Juuso in the end to get some heavy breathing. We both did burpees and air squats but on the first movement we separated. He wanted to row but my hands are still ripped because of Tuesday's pull-ups so I didn't want any movement where I would need to hold on to any kind of barbell. No pulling, no pushing on barbell. Handstand push-ups seemed like a good idea. So he rowed, I did hspu's, then we both completed burpees and squats at the same time. This was a pair workout so you weren't able to move to the next movement before both had done the reps.

What I didn't realize was that the combination of handstand push-ups and burpees was tough. It burned my shoulders pretty roughly. Squats weren't that bad. Well, in metcon everything starts to get under the skin at some point but hspu's were definitely more challenging. Burpees and squats went unbroken. On hspu's I got 10 on first and second round, then 8 and finally 6 good reps on last 2 rounds. Jumping right on to burpees wasn't cool right after these. Shoulders were smashed! Round times on this workout were very solid, last 4 rounds were within 3 seconds.

In the evening Pauliina decided it was time to get a new carpet at our balcony so we jumped on our car and drove to Ikea for some Thursday evening shopping =) No surprise something else was found on the shopping cart too at the cashier…

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday 16.4: Ring skills, Snatch

Wednesday. Ring skills. Snatch 3x5 (across 50kg).

Easier day for sure. My hands got ripped yesterday so it wasn't the most pleasureful thing to hold on to barbell nor rings. I took it light by working on my muscle-ups and then some squat snatches. Got the sweat on, played around for a while and then headed home where Pauliina's parents had spent the day with her. Got a change to hang around with the whole bunch. Always a great time!

  • Ring muscle-ups
  • Kipping swings
My goal was to work on my weakness and try to nail consecutive reps on rings. My grip was quite weak though because it hurt a little just hanging there. I took singles instead of the original plan. After having done couple of reps I realized I've done about 25 muscle-ups in 3 days so I stopped there not to over burden my elbows too much.

In the end I practiced the swing on rings. It would be beneficial to take advantage of a fierce kipping motion on the muscle-ups to get several reps in a row. My lower body tends to slack on the movement as you saw on yesterday's training session.

Rich Froning, Ben Smith and Matt Hewett hitting a team wod: Grace + Isabel + 30 mu's

  • Squat snatch 5-5-5 (50kg)
It's awesome to have those big sized plates at the gym nowadays also for lighter weights. That enables me to pull from the ground already from 30kg and up. Before the lightest version was 50kg if I wanted to pull all the way from ground. This has already yielded in better squat snatch technique.

Today I took actually 5 sets of 5 reps. First sets were 30kg and 40kg, then I took 3x5 with 50kg. Below you'll see the first set of 5's. I didn't want to go too heavy. This Wednesday was intentionally lighter in nature. Some skills and technique, no strength nor metcons.

50kg snatches

I have some holiday ahead of me after tomorrow. Let's see what kind of training week it's gonna be like. During Easter we're spending some time with the in-laws, then probably some "two-a-day" training days might be ahead of me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday 15.4: Sprints, bar mu's, outdoor metcon

Tuesday. Outdoor training at Pirkkola. Sprints, 4x400m. Skills, bar muscle-ups. Metcon, 4rds of: 350m run, 20 pull-ups, 8/8 kb shoulder-to-overhead (32kg). Time 15.30

Outdoor training at Pirkkola, with my big bro, c'mon! I intend to spend more time here in the spring / summer, goal is to go once a week and practice on my running skills / speed / intervals and also bar muscle-ups. It's also great to combine running into metcons. These are actually all the elements we did today with Sipa, "sprints", bar mu skills and metcon with running. Tough one.


  • 4x400m run

Those sprints were quite pathetic at this time of the spring. Haven't been running much during the winter time. My legs are still out of order from Sunday's funday-squats. They were stiff as wooden logs as we entered Pirkkola. Our goal was to take couple of faster runs on the track. Then hit some skills and metcon. Since it's been a while since running 400's we decided to take it easier on this first track and field session.

It felt like my legs were led. It was far from having a light feeling. My bro's body and steps looked way lighter and he felt like running faster. This was a good season opener, looking to improve my time a lot from today's time. I have actually never in my life timed 400m. Last summer we ran 1.10 when we took some sprints with Sipa and Toni. Today those splits were around 1.30. That's a pace I should have on longer distances too. I've maintained about 1.35min / round pace for 3k in the past.


  • Bar muscle-ups

I can complete bar muscle-ups without problems, have been able for a longer time already. But there are technicalities I need to fix. It's not balanced at all. My lower body does not do the work correctly. My right leg does some sort of kipping whereas left leg just hangs there. That results in landing unbalanced over the pull-up bar. That's not a good thing.

I was trying to fix this issue today with the help of my bro. As you see in the video I can do some sort of kipping movement with my legs but once I need to start pulling myself up I kind of forget the leg work totally. This is another issue that can be fixed here in Pirkkola. Once that's taken care of I aim to learn do the bar muscle-ups without that much of a kip so that I can do them also at my home gym where the pull-up bar is close to the wall. Currently that disturbs me too much so it's difficult to practice this skill there.

Metcon. Time 15.30

  • 4 rounds of:
  • 350m trail run
  • 20 pull-ups
  • 8/8 kettlebell shoulder-to-overhead, 32kg

This looks easier than it was. Huh, my hands got ripped even though I had proper rock tapes on both hands. My palms looked bloody messy after the workout. We completed this so that we ran the distance together my bro. As we came back to the spot I jumped on the pull-up bar and completed 20 pull-ups. At the same time Sipa was doing 2-pood kettlebell swings.

After those sets we changed roles. I did 8 right hand push jerks with the bell, then immediately after 8 left hand jerks. Sipa has some issues with his fingers, some sort of fraction, so he did strict pull-ups. That's also the reason why he did swings instead of jerks. Then we went to run together the same trail run again. Total of four rounds. Pull-ups turned out to be rather tough and jerks sealed the deal. Got the jerks unbroken and pull-ups went 15+5 for the first 3 rounds, and 10+5+5 on the final round.

We were both done after the workout. It took 15.30 to finish this one. Couple of photos, and then back home to spend quality time with my baby. It was awesome to come home to a ready dinner table, prepared by my love one. Power nap and some more eating =)

Monday, April 14, 2014

March stats

March stats. Figures from last month.

Here are the training numbers I completed last month. Lots of time focused on getting my posterior chain / lower body stronger. Strength weights in general are in line with the past months. It's been about 100.000kg per month for the past half a year or so. It changes a little month to month to which movement I'm concentrating more on.

Strength. 106.000kg

  • Back squat 20.000kg
  • Front squat 2.700kg
  • Overhead squats 2.900kg
  • Clean 18.500kg
  • Press / Jerk 12.000
  • Clean & jerk 4.600kg
  • Snatch 5.700kg
  • Thrusters 5.300kg
  • Deadlift 19.600kg
  • Bench 4.400kg
  • KB swings 11.000kg

But it's definitely not all about strength. Strength is just the prerequisite to being able to perform well in other movements, bodyweight and skills. It's way more difficult to complete handstand push-ups, muscle-ups or pull-ups without a good strength base. What I'm looking at in crossfit is being well-rounded athlete and having an engine that never stops. That's what I'm training for. Strength is a natural base for that.


  • 0 pistol squats
  • 55 muscle-ups
  • 853 double unders
  • 255 handstand push-ups
  • 4 handstand sessions

As you see muscle-ups have taken their place in the skills stats. Once it gets warmer outside and the green areas are dry I'm gonna get back to handstand training so I'm anticipating the number of handstand training sessions to increase.


  • 615 squats
  • 105 dips
  • 453 push-ups
  • 575 burpees
  • 468 pull-ups
  • 368 t2b / k2e
  • 149 wall ball
  • 662 box jumps

Sick number of burpees and box jumps this month. Clearly more than before. Also quite a number of t2b's in my opinion compared to other months. Push-ups are a weakness and I've got to have a good number of them every month, at least from here on.

Cardio. 19.300m

  • 13.500m rowing
  • 5.800m running

Pretty basic, it usually revolves around 20km. I started April with a 10km row intervals so I assume the figures are gonna get bigger in this month. All in all, a well-balanced month in my opinion. If something should be added, it would be snatch, overhead squats and handstand training.

Monday 15.4: Clean and jerk, metcon

Monday. Strength, 10x3 clean & jerk (across 70kg). Metcon, 7rds of: 5 deads (125kg), 15 push-ups, 8 t2b, 15 box.

I started the week with a little easier session. Toni tried to talk me into going for DT but that would have been third hero workout in three days and that's simply too much to handle. My body felt fine for the most parts. Some left knee issues have been bothering me for about 2 days now but other than that I'm feeling like rather normal, even though I don't remember when my last recovery day was. Took some semi-heavy c&j's and then some deads and bodyweight in the end.

  • Clean & jerk 10x3 @ 70kg

I needed to get some weight overhead. The bar was not loaded to be heavy, just 70kg. Took 10 sets at the same weight, there was about one minute break between the sets. I had a clock running there but didn't mind about it that much. Just took the bar up when it felt good. Wanted to get the reps done unbroken in touch'n'go style. So this was also some sort of technique training.

Neither of the movements brought too much burden on my muscles so it was a good lighter version of a workout for clean & jerks. Technique remained solid all the way in all sets. Happy with the form of the reps.

Workout. Not for time
  • 7 rounds of:
  • 5 deadlift, 125kg
  • 15 push-ups
  • 8 toes-to-bar
  • 15 box jumps, 61cm

Juuso was hitting hero workout McGhee - 30min amrap of: 5 deads, 13 push-ups, 9 box - so I tagged along after my clean & jerk sets. He was 10min in to the workout and 20min left to go. I didn't want to hit a tough metcon today so I followed this guy as he was doing the workout. After he had done deadlifts I grabbed the bar. Just basically followed him through the stations. It was easy-pace action compared to my regular metcons and simply perfect for today's purposes.

Deadlifts were light and all other bodyweight movements went unbroken. Push-ups started to become quite heavy but manageable. Could have had more t2b's but then again, I reminded myself that this is just a little something for fun. Don't take it too seriously, just complete some reps here and there, and enjoy the moment.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday 13.4: Nate, Squat / Kb workout

Sunday. Hero workout Nate, 20min amrap of: 2 muscle-ups, 4 hspu, 8 kb swing (32kg). Result 8rds. Workout, emom for 14min. Odd min 6 back squat (100kg), even min 12 kb swing (32kg).

What a weekend, two hero workouts in two days. Nate has been teasing me for some time because it would be a workout with muscle-ups included. Completed another workout too, inspired by The Champ Mikko Salo who posted his workout on Instagram yesterday. That one included back squats and kb swings with 2-pood bell. Mikko is a CF Games champ from 2009 so I had to modify my workout a little compared to him.

Nate. Result 8 rounds

  • 20 min amrap of:
  • 2 ring muscle-ups
  • 4 handstand push-ups
  • 8 kettlebell swings, 32kg

I'm extremely happy on that Nate was within my reach. I've been working on my muscle-ups the past couple of months since I got the first one in December. For a long time it looked like the progression stays slow and nothing happens. Singles every now and then. Little by little I got them rolling better and the future started looking brighter.

Next development step was to being able to do muscle-ups without false grip. I do both style mu's. Today the workout anticipated lots of reps so I turned to false grip after the first one. The greatest number of ring mu's I've done during one day was 10 reps prior to this day. So I was looking to complete something like 5-6 rounds at most. Those 2 other movements were not gonna be an issue but I thought muscle-ups would turn out too challenging after couple of rounds. Got the muscle-ups done without misses almost completely. Only on one  round I had one miss as my tapes failed me. Okay, maybe an excuse but I lost concentration once those tapes started coming off.

Handstand push-ups were easy, same with the kettlebell swings. I tried to nail those reps right away and then rest for a while to save some energy for the muscle-ups because this workout is definitely mu-oriented. All three movements put pressure on upper body so considering that, I'm even more satisfied how well this one went.

And now there's a starting point from which to improve on. Once I get those mu's rolling better I'll do them unbroken and don't have to rest that much between kb swings and mu's. There was a total of 16 mu's, 32 hspu's and 64 kb swings. I tried to nail one more rep in the last seconds but failed to shoot my head through the rings fast enough. Very happy on the result though!

Recap of Nate


  • Every minute on the minute
  • Odd minutes, 6 back squats, 100kg
  • Even minutes, 12 kettlebell swings, 32kg

Mikko completed a workout like this. On the minute, complete 10 back squats (100kg) and 10 kb swings. Then rest for one minute. Total of 10 rounds… That is some heavy shit!!! My version of the workout was also emom but I changed between squats and swings. Thought 6 squats and 12 swings would make the deal. And they certainly did. My focus on the squats was to do them without stopping at any point of the set to catch a breath. Just force the body move back down immediately after coming up.

This was a great end to the training session. The combination of squats and swings made me gasp for air and my legs burn. Excellent training for this Sunday!!!