Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday 15.9: Clean and jerk, Light Grace, 5-rounder

Monday. Barbell, light clean & jerk work 5-5-5-5 (max 70kg). Metcon, "Light Grace", 30 clean and jerk (50kg). Time 1.54. Metcon, 5rds of: 5 hspu, 30 du, 200m run. Time 8.54.

Sunday's workout session was deep but it felt no influence on this training day. I felt good opening the gym door. Decided to hit an awkward workout - benchmark workout Grace - but with light weight. That was actually a genius workout. After getting a grip of life again I did another quite short workout of bodyweight movements. Pauliina also did 2 circuit style workouts. She's rocking it!

  • Clean and jerk, touch'n'go
  • 5-5-5-5 (40, 50, 60, 70kg)
The purpose of this was only to get myself prepared for Grace. I was thinking about doing heavy Grace originally with 70kg. Then again, two points. Firstly, I'm doing these Smolov squats and I don't wanna do too heavy workouts that would burn my legs totally. Secondly, Pauliina gave a good tip yesterday as she said I haven't done too many short and intense workouts. That means workouts that last less than 5min. Something like Fran. There's a seed of truth to that statement. Don't know the reason.

So I took couple of sets clean and jerk with light weight. Did all sets t'n'g style, meaning I didn't stop at any point of the movement, not on the floor, not on the front rack position. Just kept the barbell moving all the time. Felt good on these clean and jerks.

Another one was played last night, NY @ DC

Light Grace. Time 1.54
  • 30 clean & jerk, 50kg
Anyway, it seemed like a perfect day to go for Grace with a lighter version. All out from the very beginning. Just go. I took 15 reps at first attempt, then lowered the bar, took a breath and finished it off with 3 sets of 5 reps. Couldn't drop the barbell this time, there were a lot of people at the gym.

It was great to do this benchmark workout with this weight because I was able to have the barbell moving almost all the time. At least this was fast and intense. And even though the load was lighter than rx'd version it started to burn me from everywhere. That's because there weren't much rest included. My forearms and upper body in general was done after the workout. It also had its effect on my legs too.

Metcon. Time 8.54
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 5 handstand push-ups
  • 30 double unders
  • 200m run (on a treadmill)
For some reason I liked the idea of running (even on a treadmill) last weekend. Took another shot at it today. I'd like to combine running any day on a metcon but treadmill has been out of context. Haven't considered a good piece of a workout. But now as I've done it, I don't see any good reason why not have it in the future too. This workout was supposed to be intense too.

Hspu's were easy, and unbroken. Double unders were great for 4 rounds. I tried to keep the transition much shorter than normally. Right after finishing the double unders, I clicked the treadmill on before even getting on it. My round times were within seconds on rounds 2-4 (1:45 - 1:47). First round is always quicker because of transitions. On the last round I messed around with the jump rope that lost me some time.

These two workouts were great. Awesome reminders to keep short metcons in the stock too. Long, and short, heavy and light, all kinds of workouts.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday 14.9: Rings, Snatch, Metcon

Sunday. Skills, rings. Strength, emom x 8, power snatch x 2 per min (55-57.5kg). Metcon, 3rds of: 1min hang snatch (40kg), 1min box, 1min push press (40kg), 1min row for cals, 1min rest. Result, 228 reps.

After being weak and a human wreck yesterday I was looking to make a strong comeback this Sunday. Rest day definitely made good as my body was extremely tired. I slept like a baby and we woke up rather late today. Huge breakfast of avocados, smoothie and eggs was plumbed down the throat and after letting it settle for a while we headed to the gym for a good training session with Pauliina.


  • Ring muscle-ups (3-1-1 reps)

Decided to try some ring muscle-ups in the beginning of this session. Haven't done these or bar mu's either in a while. It feels like an eternity since last time, no idea when it took place in real life. I'm always a bit nervous when trying ring muscle-ups. Bar versions are working well currently but these rings are intimidating. It was a positive surprise to get 3 reps done unbroken in my first attempt! That is current PR and this was only second time I've got this many done in a row. Took some singles after that too.



  • Every minute on the minute, for 8 minutes
  • 2 power snatch (2min x 55kg, 6min x 57.5kg)

Last time when I did snatches it was Toni and Jouni beside me giving tips on technique and something on the starting position. I had positive memories of that session and it inspired me to get my hands on barbell today for some snatches. I did them as 2 power snatches per minute. Started at 55kg and after 2 minutes I went up by a huge leap of 2.5kg. Stayed there for the rest of the workout. Total of 8 minutes of work, 16 snatches, of which 12 were at 57.5kg.

I'll take those with pleasure. It hasn't been self-evident in the past to get these weights up so it feels great to make those lifts without problems. This type of success builds confidence, that's for sure.


Metcon. Result, 228 reps

  • 3 rounds of:
  • 1min hang power snatch, 40kg (20, 17, 17 reps)
  • 1min box jumps, 61cm (20, 20, 20 reps)
  • 1min push press, 40kg (20, 20, 20 reps)
  • 1min row for calories (18, 18, 18 cals)
  • 1min rest

Had something like Fight Gone Bad in my mind when I was writing the workouts for the upcoming week yesterday evening. The gym at our place has no room for throwing wall ball around so that had to be left outside of the workout. Had it with me but there was no use for that. I talked Pauliina into making this metcon with me, she just switched the movements but worked her ass off for this one. I'm very proud of her finishing it with style!

The movements for my workout turned out to snatch, box, press, and row. There were 4 stations, each for 1min time, for max reps each time. Every calorie on the rower is considered a rep. This totaled 228 reps in 12min working time. Barbell was 40kg for snatch and press.

This was as nasty as it should be. If you've ever done FGB you know what this resembles. Okay, here were 4 stations compared to FGB's 5 stations which makes it even more miserable. However, I was done after the workout, it got me. I was still able to hold the pace throughout the workout. Actually snatches were the only movement on which my numbers dropped compared to the first round (20-17-17 reps). Other than that all other stations got identical numbers each round.

All movements kept heart beat up, and it really didn't come back at any point. That 1min rest period was warm-heartedly welcomed to get pulse back down. I've done something like this before, different movements though. Take a look at this one. Anyway, I'm very happy on the consistent pace over the course of this workout. There's nothing like a motor that keeps running to keep a smile on my face.

Workout of the day

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday 13.9: Rest day

Saturday. Rest day

This was totally needed today. I was exhausted yesterday evening and slept late on Saturday. Both of us felt too tired to hit the gym in the early afternoon so we ate big time breakfast, hopped on our car and went shopping. Once we came home it was nap-time and we never really felt too enthusiastic to do sports. It was close that we almost went for an evening stroll (plus bar muscle-ups) but laziness won this time. Hopefully this brings benefits and we are ready to hit it tomorrow!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday 12.9: Cleans, Squats, Jerk and Du

Friday. Strength, clean singles (max 110kg). Smolov squats (max 130kg). Metcon, 10-8-6-4-2 push jerk (60kg), 50 du's between sets. Time 7.45

I was waiting eagerly how this frequent squatting will feel like in my lower body today and especially after today's squat sets. At least now I feel good and it doesn't bother me at all. Before squats I wanted to take couple of heavier cleans and then a great metcon in the end combining push jerks and double unders. Combo of strength, skills and metabolic condition. Simply said: crossfit.

  • Clean singles 1-1-1-1 (80, 90, 100, 110kg)
  • Back squats, 4x5 (100kg), 1x3 (110kg), 2x2 (115kg), 1x1 (130kg)
It was a bit intimidating to do heavy cleans after giving lots of pressure for my legs but I still needed to get couple of reps just for my mental well-being. I love lifting heavy and to be honest, I believe lifting heavy develops people the most. Staying too light doesn't bring that much improvements in my opinion. At least that's what I've noticed. Of course it's okay to lift light too for technical purposes and to gig the body some recovery. And sometimes it feels body is not necessarily that receptive to heavy weights so the loads must be brought down to where they are easier to handle.

Anyway, I took couple of clean reps from floor. Lately there has been a lot of progression in hang cleans so I wanted to try it from floor for a while. I climbed up to 110kg (5kg shy of my 1RM) and then called it quits. Those reps felt fine, the last one stayed a little too much forward from my torso and it didn't land perfectly on front rack position. Other than that I'm very pleased on the outcome.

This is 3rd day in a row back squatting and getting these legs stronger. Today the reps and weights were different from the first 2 day of Smolov squats. And we got a little heavier, for a single 130kg lift. At first I was thinking that 130kg is quite a lot if you compare the weights thrown around lately. But then again, 130kg shouldn't be that bad. So I went and took it up, it wasn't remotely as tough as I thought it might be. That was encouraging. Good squat session!

Mostly squats

Metcon. Time 7.45
  • 10-8-6-4-2 push jerk, 60kg
  • 50 double unders
As my lower body has taken hit on the past days I figured the workout should be something that would involve of course entire body but mostly put pressure on upper body to give a break on these legs. I'm very satisfied on the way I was able to come up with this workout. It worked for its purpose perfectly. My shoulders were burning all the time, at least from the second round on.

Got the push jerks unbroken, that was a clean plan, and I had no doubts of getting it done as planned. But the double unders killed my shoulders to the ground. There was practically no rest for shoulders in this workout as they were working big time in both movements. This time it was possible to tape this entire session so I utilized the chance so you'll see it below.

First set of double unders went great, 50 unbroken. From then on I changed my tactic to complete them 30-20. On the second round I had one miss but then on the remaining sets it was pure 30-20 reps. Last round was actually 30-10-10, my shoulders simply couldn't handle it anymore.

I'm positively surprised this 3-day intensive squatting has not had its downsizes this far. It's been okay to adapt to these volumes. Hopefully I'm able to continue finishing the Smolov squat program till the end. Time will tell. The metcon in the end was way better than I thought. It didn't take my breath away entirely but it surely burned my shoulders.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday 11.9: Squats, Hspu, T2b and Running

Thursday. Strength, back squat, continuing Smolov squats. Metcon, 15min amrap of: 10 hspu, 15 t2b, 200m run. Result, 6rds.

This was a busy day, had to sneak into a dentist in the morning and barber shop in the evening before having the possibility to pick Pauliina up for a late night training session. It turned out to be a good session indeed. My friend Jasper also joined us for crossfit. Pauliina has taken sprints into her program on a frequent basis and she's utilizing tabata perfectly. Little by little she's moved more into crossfit =) This was the second day of Smolov squats, and 15min amrap was there to finish this man.

  • Back squat 3x8 (95kg), 1x5 (100kg), 2x2 (110kg), 1x1 (115kg)
This was exactly the same rep scheme as yesterday, and the weights were identical too. They felt okay, at some points it felt even better than on Wednesday. The point of this frequent squatting rhythm in the beginning is to get the body used to squatting big volumes. This is part of "Smolov" squat system. You can google it to find out what's it's all about. The point is I'd like to see my legs stronger so this is the first experiment of a strength program. Purely aiming to increase lower body strength.


Metcon. Result, 6 rounds
  • 10 handstand push-ups
  • 15 toes-to-bar
  • 200m run (on a treadmill)
This workout was great. What I had in mind was something of hspu's and t2b's. I'm glad I changed my original plan which included pistol squats and burpees. I was never pleased with how that workout looked on paper. I thought about including rowing as part of this but Jasper just went working on concept2 and it bailed him right in the beginning. There have been some issues with the machine lately. There's something wrong in the chain and it kind of misses strokes at times. That feels a bit insecure.

Pauliina suggested to take running involved. I don't like to run on a treadmill but for some reason I jumped on to this idea, and made it a 200m run, combined with hspu's and t2b's. Those worked very well together, and I was able to keep good intensity on all movements. Luckily Pauliina also talked me into running faster than what I started at. First round was 12km/h pace, then on the second one I increased it to 16km/h, and kept it there till the end. That was way better pace. It's difficult to know what a good pace would be, especially because I haven't used treadmill practically at all. Just on few occasions. It worked pretty well on this kind of short sprint. You'll never witness me run 10km on that machine =)

I got handstand push-ups unbroken for 4 rounds. That felt very good, and those rocked pretty well up and down as kipping hspu's. On the 5th round it was 6-4 and on the last one 8-2. On the last set the first reps felt lighter for some reason compared to the round before. Also toes-to-bar was my thing today. All rounds unbroken, boom! They felt heavy in the end of the 4th set. Still, I was able to grind through and get them done without dropping down from the bar.

Awesome training day! I felt confident on the squats and on the metcon I was able to maintain a steady pace. It took me 14:50 to finish the workout. I tried to increase the speed of the treadmill a bit higher from 16km/h but accidentally I pushed a wrong number so I ran the last 130m with 18 unit incline. Don't know what that "18" means but suddenly I was running on uphill at a pace of 16km/h. So I was burned after that last sprint and didn't attempt any hspu's anymore. This was enough and I was done.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday 10.9: Squats, Pull-ups, Push-ups

Wednesday. Strength, back squat, starting Smolov squats. Metcon, 5rds of: 10 pull-ups, 10 push-ups. Time 3.28.

Today was the first day I have ever started any kind of strength program. I've done all my strength training by feeling in the past. Just trying to work weaknesses and trying to keep it as versatile as possible. Constant variety. Now I'm gonna try how the "Smolov" squat program is going to rock. I have no doubts it would rock if I did purely strength. But of course I'm gonna do crossfit so I'm a little worried how my body is gonna react squatting that much. If it looks like I'm wasted then crossfit will probably take over and I'm gonna slow down on the squats. Let's see, but today was anyway the first day of a lot of back squats. These sets and weights are predetermined, there's notthing I can do to influence them =) They are calculated from my current max automatically.

  • Back squat 3x8 (95kg), 1x5 (100kg), 2x2 (110kg), 1x1 (115kg)
So these reps and weights were given to me. The loads were not heavy at any stage. This is part of the "introductory" cycle, just getting used to squatting frequently. I'm trying to follow this closely but I'm not gonna have bad conscious if I have to modify something on the fly. Those first sets were toughest if something was tough in this session. There was no doubt of getting those reps done as planned but I had to stop before the last reps in the second and third set. Just to release the tension, but only for a second or two.

Metcon. Time 3.28
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
Something quick in the end. Something like power snatch and pull-ups were in my mind in the morning. However, my upper body is sore from yesterday's cleans. There were a big load of them with different weights so I definitely felt the burden today. That's also the reason why I skipped snatches because it would have brought similar tightness in upper back as cleans.

So it ended up being pull-ups and push-ups. Short and rather intense. Not 100% effort but I moved with a purpose. Both movements felt heavy this time, even with the small amount of reps. There were only 50 piece of each. I got the pull-ups unbroken but had to cut push-ups to pieces on the last 2 rounds.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday 9.9: Hang cleans and ring dips

Tuesday. Strength, hang power cleans 5-5-5-5-5-4 (max 95kg). Metcon, 7min amrap of: 2-2, 4-4, 6-6… hang power clean (60kg), ring dip. Result, 100 reps

What a day! The day at work was long and a bit dull. It was kind of a seminar day and that long days just sitting around without being able to activate human body is a torture. The content of the day was good, nothing about that but I just need to keep moving during the day. Human bodies are not made to stay still and be inactive. The day could have continued in a restaurant in the archipelago but my body needed to get activated and it was time to hit the gym. I was lucky to have 2 friends working out there at the same time!

Fruits for snack in the evening

  • Hang power clean 5-5-5-5-5-4 (60, 70, 80, 85, 90, 95kg)
There was a possibility of not being able to do a workout today at all because of that program at work so I didn't have any plan when entering the gym. I just went by feeling and soon after warm-up I had a barbell in my hands and I was doing hang power cleans. I figured why not continue to take sets of this movement, 5's felt like a good idea. The weights took me by a huge surprise. Never thought I could move this kid of loads from hang position. There was a time when my max hang power clean was around 75kg and hang squat clean 90kg. This was pretty much two weeks ago. One day my pal Toni came to the gym and taught me how to take hang cleans from mid-thigh position. Before that I used to take them from high-hang position, there's a huge difference.

Take a look below, I got a set of 90kg on tape. I believe 80kg was the last set I did touch'n'go style without stopping on the front rack position. After that I took a short break after each rep to inhale and then tried to keep it inside to maintain good posture. Last set was 95kg on which I was able to take 4 reps as the 5th failed to rack. Had to drop it but the gainz were huge on this movement anyways!

Hang cleans, 90kg

Metcon. Result 100 reps (2 ring dips on the round of 14's)
  • 7min amrap, 2-2, 4-4, 6-6… of:
  • Hang power clean, 60kg
  • Ring dip
I had something like benchmark workout Elizabeth in my mind. It turned out to this one after thinking about it for a while. This included more transitions between stations as Elizabeth is 21-15-9 of cleans from ground accompanied with ring dips. Here I got more reps than the benchmark wod is rx'd during that 7min time frame. Here were double the amount of transition stages.

I performed very well on both moves. Got the cleans unbroken except from the last set at the round of 14's. There I did 9-5. Those 2 previous rounds (rounds of 10-12's) were great. Using hook grip is a big thing, especially on a workout like this. Usually this type of stuff has destroyed my forearms but now they were okay.

Ring dips have traditionally been a weakness - or at least I've considered them so - so I didn't know how those would turn out. I did them unbroken to finish the round of 8's. On 10's I got them 6-4, next round maybe 8-4 and on the last round I was able to get 2 reps before 7min came full. Even though the workout was over, I wanted to finish the workout so I did those remaining 12 reps just for the fun of it.

The training session was awesome. I had little expectations for today as I described in the beginning so it was a pleasant surprise to sneak in a workout. Was able to manhandle hang power cleans in both strength and metcon. Loads in the first part were definitely record breaking numbers. The metcon kicked ass too!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday 8.9: Clean and Jerk emom, metcon of jerk and box

Monday. Barbell, emom'ish x 6 sets: 2 hang squat clean + 2 push jerk (across, 80kg). Pull-up singles 1-1-1-1 (max 40kg). Metcon, 5rds of: 7 push jerk (60kg), 20 box. Time 7.55.

Good training day, I especially liked the metcon in the end. The only thing I wasn't able to complete from the original plan were front squats. Not enough time for that. The session started with some clean & jerk work, then ad hoc weighted pull-ups as I was talked over to test my 1RM on the fly right after the first part of the session. In the end the time was running and I had time to squeeze in a workout that wouldn't take too much time. My notes stood 7 push jerk, 14 pull-ups and 21 box, that would have been a killer workout. The "thing" of this training day was Jouni visiting PR town with 160kg deadlift! This was second time he was pulling stuff from ground in his life, what a stud!!! He'll be lifting 200 in no time as he continues to crossfit.

Mobility tools

  • Every minute on the minute x 6
  • 2 hang squat clean + 2 push jerk
  • Across, i.e. all sets at 80kg
My plan was to hit it in emom-style. However, I didn't stress about the time as we did our barbell work together with Jouni. So it was natural that it wasn't possible to do it exactly every minute. It was more like one set for every 90 seconds. Cleans were light all the way, both reps in each set. I did them from hang position. At some sets it was difficult to hold on to hook grip for the second rep.

Push jerks were much tougher. I got them all done - no doubt - but in some reps I wasn't able to lock out immediately. That means to say I didn't put enough effort on the vertical press and/or didn't squat enough on my way down. Last set of these 6 attempts was the best. I wanted to finish strong so I put a lot of focus on pressing strong while dropping down fast. It felt like the first rep especially flew up. It was a good finish to this one. Got to say the bar path was good on the jerks, directly upwards. Sometimes in push jerks - particularly on the heavier weights - the bar might escape a little too much forward. This was not the case today, got them done well.

  • Weighted pull-ups 1-1-1-1 (25, 30, 35, PR 40kg)
Didn't plan to do this. One friend had just finished doing his sets of weighted pull-ups and he was asking where I'm at on this movement. I told him I've never really tested them out. In the beginning when I started crossfitting about 2 years ago, there were some sets but never really tested 1 rep max. Well, it took about 30 seconds to talk me into trying what the heaviest weight would be for me. I didn't wanna sacrifice time on this one because there was a metcon ahead of me and I knew I can't spend the entire evening here. I took couple of reps of fun without resting that much in between. Probably took me all 3-4 minutes to complete these. That was a nice test, happened to reach 40kg for PR.

Metcon. Time 7.55
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 7 push jerk, 60kg
  • 20 box jump, 61cm
Something like "2007" was in my mind for today. Not the original version but it somehow got modified to this piece. It's about push jerks and pull-ups. This time it turned out to be a combination of push jerks and box jumps. Simple and it was such a beauty. This was crossfit. Even though shoulder-to-overhead is upper body movement I'm telling you my legs were burning. Combine that with box jumps and they were gone.

I got both movements done unbroken each round. There was some leg-shaking in between stations, and it took about 1:36 on average per round as I calculate it for all 5 rounds. The number of box jumps were more intimidating this time as both movements put pressure on lower body. And breathing was sky-rocketing too, no surprise there.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday 7.9: Strength endurance workout, Sled pull

Sunday. Strength endurance workout. 5 rds of: 25m max effort sled pull sprints plus 75m sprint without the sled. Full recovery between rounds.

Second day in a row training outside the gym. It's something I enjoy tremendously and I'm ready to hit it anytime. We had a lot of work to do at the in-laws' back yard terrace as we were preparing it to the upcoming autumn and winter. Took us couple of hours to get the job done, lots of physical work being done. It seemed perfect to finish the work by doing a strength endurance workout from, Jason Khalipa's and Miranda Oldroyd home base stuff. workout.
  • 5 rds of: 25m max effort sled pull sprints plus 75m sprint without the sled. Full recovery between rounds.
  • Workout Details: The max effort sled pull should be heavy enough so that you cover your 25m distance in about 6-7sec. Once you pulled 25m, leave sled and sprint 75m at a 95-98% max effort.  Walk back to sled, turn it around, and push it easy back to the original start. Full recovery between rounds. The goal of this workout is to recruit your fast twitch (type 2a) fibers and extend their endurance.
I follow on a regular basis, together with, both freaking awesome crossfit sites. Nccflab is a training site created by NorCal Crossfit monsters, including some sick names of the scene like Khalipa, Oldroyd, Fisher, Barber and their endurance cosh Chris Hinshaw. This is one of Hinshaw's creations. I just saw Camille Leblanc-Bazinet smashing this workout couple of days ago.

I've never this type of workout, it was a great variation. Sprint with the sled for one quarter, then drop the straps that were tight around your arms and just go all out for the rest of the distance. That was the name of the game. There's a slight incline on this open field so it made things a little more challenging. I liked it!

The sled itself is about 20kg, and I had stuff inside worth of 30kg - kettlebells and dumbbells - so it totaled 50kg. This is the only place where I can get my hands on a sled and I'm more than happy to do it. This was a great idea from Kari somewhere in the spring time. We built it together in a day, great tool for crossfit purposes.

My butt was on fire after each sprint. It was awkward feeling to drop the straps as the load just dropped from my shoulders just like that. It was kind of a heavy sprint, then all of a sudden it's just you with your own body and nothing else, and you're supposed to go as heavy as possible. Kind of a liberating feeling. That incline though made it less liberating though =)

As you see from the pictures, the weather was beautiful so I don't know any better way to spedn it but outdoors and of course some training is included if you ask me. The fall is coming anyway and there's nothing we can do about it. So we'll try to take advantage of those chances whenever it feels appropriate. Well, there's no prob training outdoors in the winter time either. I'll take that too!

It's gonna be another tough training week ahead of us. Gotta start writing down some good workouts =)

Sled sprints

Saturday 6.9: "Kettlebell Hell"

Saturday. Metcon, "Kettlebell Hell", 3x3min workouts of kb swing, burpees, kb snatch / kb c&j and goblet squats.

Workout outdoors, that's great. Love every minute of it. We are spending the day at Pauliina's parents. Just hanging around and chitchatting. The plan was to hit it early afternoon at their place and throw down together for a training session, all four of us. That's family quality time if you ask me!!!

"Kettlebell Hell"

1. In 3 minutes complete:
25 KB Swings, 32kg
15 Burpees
AMRAP of 1-arm KB Snatches (32kg) from the hang in the remaining time.
Result, 14 snatch

Rest 1 minute

2. In 3 minutes complete:
25 KB Swings, 32kg
15 Burpees
AMRAP of 1-arm KB Clean and Jerks (32kg) from the hang in the remaining time.
Result, 12 c&j

Rest 1 minute

3. In 3 minutes complete:
25 KB Swings, 32kg
15 Burpees
AMRAP of KB Goblet Squats (32kg) in the remaining time.
Result, 20 squats

I'm so proud of this gang as they did this idetical workout with me. Maybe a bit scaled version but still the idea was the same. It was awesome to witness these guys are ready for some serious work! Great attitude.

After I had done my share of the workout I checked how the original post stood at and the idea actually was to rest 5min and then repeat the whole thing. Well, I gotta redo this as rx'd some day.

I got all kb swings unbroken each round and paced myself through the burpees with quite a steady pace. Haven't done this heavy kb snatches a lot, maybe once or twice before. To my surprise they weren't that bad. Clean and jerks felt a little tougher. Goblet squats burned my legs. As if they weren't already smashed from squatting two days in a row.

This was a great workout to be done outdoors and I think I'm gonna do this again in the future. That time with the prescribed rest after workout and then redo the whole thing.

Take a look at the following link below, an interview of Rich Froning, four-time Crossfit Games Champion: Article of the Games champion.

"Kettlebell Hell"

Old school stuff of Mikko Salo

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday 5.9: C&J complex, Hang cleans and Back squat

Friday. Bar complex 1 hang squat clean + 3 split jerk (max 95kg). Hang squat clean singles (max 105kg). Back squat 3x9 reps (across 90kg).

My pal Jouni entered the cave again this Friday. I went to pick up Pauliina after work and hit it at the gym for another training day. I was a bit nervous about the training because my shoulders felt a little tired but I still decided to give it a shot on my original plan of hitting jerks. I love working for overhead strength, there's some brutality in that. Jouni took his first presses ever, then some deads and 5k row for time, great to see this man progress to a better fitness level!!!

  • Complex of: 1 hang squat clean + 3 split jerk (60, 70, 80, 85, 90, 95kg)
  • Hang squat clean singles (100, 105kg)
  • Back squat 3x9 (all sets at 90kg)
We are heading to the countryside for the weekend so I needed to get some barbell work done before that. This kind of bar complex that I did in the beginning is simply great. Why not go for pure clean and jerks? This type of complex work is a great way to work on the weaker part of c&j movement. Mine is clearly the jerk, there's about 10kg difference in my max lifts between cleans and jerks. Getting the bar to front rack position is one move, and I need to develop my shoulder-to-overhead movement even more so I took jerk triples for that purpose.

Some core work at the end of the session

Warm-up was done for a little longer than normally because I felt like that's in place today to get this body properly ready for these lifts. It's definitely worth it in order to get good lifts done. For some reason I took all cleans from hang position instead of pulling from floor. It felt great and light so why not improve this movement at the same time. I've always taken my hang cleans as "tall cleans" or "pocket cleans" meaning the bar's starting point is at a very high position. Earlier this week Toni came to do a workout with me and we worked on our technique and he taught me how to do hang cleans from above-knee position. That rocked my world and obviously it's been a lot easier since then on hang cleans in general.

Those jerks felt good too and I was able to climb up well on the weight ladder. And they were decent in technique too! There's nothing I was left to think about that I'd like to change. They went as planned, no matter the weight. I remember having done a heavy triple like this at 90kg but 95kg was definitely a new max weight. I'm very happy on this one, some sort of record is in the books!

After having done that last 95kg lift I decided to let the jerks alone and take couple of hang cleans because it rolled well. There was 100kg on the bar next time and it felt great. Had no other chance but to add weight. I took 105kg up as well and to say the truth, that was not the max. This is sick if you compare the weights I've moved before. I believe previous max hang clean was either 90 or 95kg.

Yesterday was a pause squat day and that was more than enough to get these legs done. However, I read a lot about Smolov squat program in the evening and was enthusiastic about that theme. I don't like to follow any programs because that's as far away from crossfit as possible and I strongly believe you gotta keep the body guessing when you go to your Box. But why I got into studying this thing more is the high probability to increase leg strength remarkably. Don't know how to incorporate those into crossfit so probably I won't do that. Just wanted to get a feeling of squatting on back-to-back days. Felt good!

Froning's team hitting Team Series events

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday 4.9: Pause squats and 15min amrap

Thursday. Strength, back squats with a pause 7x3 (max 115kg). Metcon, 15min amrap of: 5 front squat (70kg), 10 pistols, 10 pull-ups, 10 box. Result, 6 rds.

Strength for lower body. Answer to this was pause squats today. I like 'em. After my legs were killed from the squats it was time to put the clock running and start giving my body a hard time, especially on lower body.

  • Back squats with a pause
  • 3-3-3-3-3-3-3 (100, 110, 110, 110, 115, 115, 115kg)
I'll try to alternate between front squats and back squats on a regular basis. Front squats tend to work very well as a friend with clean & jerk work. Back squats are something I do prior to pure metcon work. On these days I like to do a workouts that put more stress on lower body in general like today as well.


These felt good today. I got two video clips of these sets, the first one is from warm-up sets at 80kg, the latter one is maybe the last set or the one before that, at 115kg. The sets were good for today, not max effort, I believe there was a little room to add weight but had I gone higher I wouldn't have been able to do this many sets. This was my call this time to do multiple sets at weights I knew I'm able to move.


Metcon. Result, 210 reps (6 rounds)
  • 15min amrap of:
  • 5 front squats from rack (70kg)
  • 5 pistol squats, left leg
  • 5 pistol squats, right leg
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 box jumps, 61cm
This was kind of created on the spot. I had in mind knocking some front squats and box jumps in a metcon, the rest of this were impulsively born stuff. But I'm satisfied on the workout, not the best one but I'll take it. My legs were a bit smashed of the pause squats so going ruff on legs was a little questionable when I come to think about it afterwards.

Took the front squats from rack without having to clean the barbell. There's a difference on picking the bar from floor / from rack. Obviously floor is tougher. I did this metcon with Nano's on so those pistol squats felt a bit more challenging in the beginning because there wasn't that elevation in heels like weightlifting shoes have. I've usually done pistols with those on so this was different. I got them done though.

Team Series Update Show

Pull-ups were easy, the easiest part of this workout. Box jumps felt awkward on the first round, kind of like my legs weighed a ton but then they got the rhythm on and it was just another day of training box jumps. My pace was on average at around 2:30 and it was actually quite steady pace all the way. First round was quicker, the rest were just seconds away from each other. I didn't rush between stations and there was actually some walking that had to be done during the workout because pull-up station was apart from all the other stations.

This was a nice workout and my legs were doing some serious work. At the end of the workout I wasn't that gassed though. Didn't have to put elbows to knees because the pace was moderate all the way. It was a good training day in general, got those squats in my system and metcon for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday 3.9: Hspu, Handstand, Burpees

Wednesday. Gymnastics, hspu max reps (PR 22 reps). Finish up to 50 reps, for quality. Skills, handstand. Metcon, 40-30-20-10 burpees with 3-2-1min rest between sets. Time 9.56 (including 6min rest).

This day was dedicated to bodyweight movements and gymnastics. Wanted to go light this time, at least regarding weights. It felt like a great opportunity to test out max effort of handstand push-ups, then I took handstand for couple of sets and finished the training session with a burpee fiesta to work on my engine. Took some 15 minutes of mobility after training, felt very good on this body.

Real time was 9.56, it took me couple of seconds to stop the clock running

  • Max effort, handstand push-ups, PR 22 reps
  • Then finish off to complete a total of 50 reps
Did a good classic warm-up drills to get myself ready and took couple of hspu's to get this body prepared for what's up next. Then it was time to throw myself inverted against the wall and give it my best shot. Previous PR was 18 reps and I felt like it's time to crush this one. First 10 reps were easy, at 15 reps it got heavy, and at 17-18 reps I had to stop for a second at the bottom position. I was able to push through the worst and just kept going until 22 reps. Then I came off the wall, didn't get a no-rep but it felt like the wall was there. This left something to dream of still. 25 reps will be there in the future. This was a good meter to see where I am at currently with hspu's.

After recovering for a while I took another set of max reps and got 14 in a row. Third max set was 12 reps. That equalled 48 reps and I took couple of reps before the first set so let's say there was about 50 reps, a little over. I'm very happy, not only on the PR, but also on begin able to put out numbers like 14 and 12 reps in second and third set.

  • Handstand
It's been while since I've tried handstand. For some odd reason I've forgotten this one. Not intentionally, just haven't remembered to practice this skill. There's not much space at our gym, you've seen it in video clips, but that's not a good excuse. Currently as my handstand skills have improved I know the space is enough for me. And it was today as well. I tried to stay as still as possible in a good hollow position but in reality I had to take small steps with my hands to find balance. The first attempt was the longest, I feel like I stayed inverted for eternity. The following attempts were shorter in nature but I probably stayed better within couple of hand steps.

Rob O smashing huge numbers on thrusters

Metcon. Time 9.56 (including 6min rest periods, working time 3.56). Compare to 25.9.2013
  • 40 burpees
  • 3min rest
  • 30 burpees
  • 2min rest
  • 20 burpees
  • 1min rest
  • 10 burpees
This kind of workout is great, interval burpees, huh… This is the second time I've done this kind of hardcore burpee sets. It's almost precisely one year ago, the difference was that the descending ladder back then started from 50 reps, totaling 150 reps. Today's set was 100 reps. The nature of the workout is tough. Normally in a metcon it's impossible to go "out of the gates" with burpees, a.k.a. at full speed all the time. In this kind of interval stuff you gotta go with all you got.

40 burpees as fast as you can. I got 26 reps in 60 seconds and 1:37 to finish the 40 reps. If you look at the picture above, cut about 2 seconds from each interval because I had to click the round-button after each set. Three minute rest was enough to get recovered. I felt it in my upper body before dropping my chest to the deck for the second set (30 burpees). At that one I had to grind through the last about 8 reps. Pace stayed pretty much the same, I tried to look at the clock after 26 reps and it was 20 reps again. That means to say the pace was identical. The last reps were tough but I tried to forget it and keep going.

Third set  - 20 reps - was mentally easier but the recovery period was cut shorter too. So the last reps, maybe 6 of them, felt bad but there was no option but to push through. I guess it took me about 46 seconds so the pace was once again the same. It helped a lot that a friend of mine was cheering me on the last burpees. Last set was the easiest, it was 10 reps only so just don't think about it, just go up and down. It was something like 20 seconds, maybe a little more. These might have been the quickest reps I got in this workout.

It was a great way to get lungs to work at max effort. It was also pleasing to get a PR on bodyweight movement and the hspu's rocked very well in general too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday 2.9: Snatches, Team Series Event 1

Tuesday. Strength, power snatch (max 60kg). Metcon, Team Series Event no: 1, with Toni: 12min amrap of: 30 du, 15 snatch (35kg). Result, 399 reps.

It was another day at the gym with awesome training partners. Toni just spent 2 weeks on a holiday in Thailand and his affiliate is having a reload week so he's entered the gym where it all started from, 2 days in a row. It was as big a thing that Jouni - who just started his crossfit career - joined us for a great training session. Jouni tried his first deadlifts ever, and happened to pull 130kg for multiple reps, haha what a gift of nature! He absorbed every tip we tried to share with Toni and utilized them right away on his lifts, great job mister!


  • Power snatch, 5x40, 5x50, 5x55, 5x55, 1x60, 3x60kg

As Toni was at the gym too I needed to take advantage of his eye as a coach. Once again he had things to correct, this time especially in my starting position on the snatch, and the way my knees behave on the first pull from ground. Great tips and I was able to change some of the things he pointed out.

The bar felt lighter than normally. I've never taken a triple with 60kg which is phenomenal. I've taken them as singles regularly. Don't know if I've ever even taken a double. Plus there were 5's of 55kg. This was great! I feel like I was able to pull back exactly on the way coach Burgener instructed on the video I posted yesterday. Take a look, short and simple clip. Anyway, great session to say the least. It took some time as all three of us did our strength alternating and talked the technical things over in a group to get the best outcome of the brainstorming.

Metcon. Result, 399 reps. Compare to 24.1.2013

  • 12 min amrap of:
  • 30 double unders
  • 15 power snatch, 35kg
  • One athlete completes one round, then sets off the second athlete

This workout is something you have come across if you've ever done Crossfit Open workouts. This was the first workout in both 2011 and repeatedly 2014 (11.1 and 14.1). I've done it once about 1.5 years ago, together with Toni, as individuals though. Today we did as a team, exactly as described in the Team Series Event 1. That means 12min amrap of the same movements. One athlete works at a time, completes one full round, then change turns.

I started the workout, stumbled on the double unders for some awkward reason 2-3 times, even though we are talking about 30 reps. That was a little odd but I got my s*it together and didn't make any mistakes on the upcoming rounds, they went unbroken all the way. Snatches went unbroken too. Beforehand we talked with Toni it would be great to get 2-3 rounds unbroken so it was an awesome feeling to get the whole workout done without putting the bar back on the ground. It definitely burned a lot, no doubt about it, but I had strong mental game and didn't give any slack on myself.

First reps on the snatches felt light, then at around 8-10 reps I started to feel the burden. I used hook grip - luckily - to save my forearms and that was one of the smartest decisions on this one. It took a little over a minute per round if I looked at the clock correctly, maybe something like 70 seconds. First round was more like one and a half minutes because of those amateur mistakes on the jump rope.

The nature of this workout was different comparing to doing this one as an individual because we were able to hit it as quick as possible. That's because you had the rest period while the other guy was doing his share of the workout. Big shoutout to Toni for doing this workout with me, it pushed me a lot and I didn't want to drop the bar as there was a team mate's effort in play too. Plus there's always something extra when he comes to the gym, thanks man!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday 1.9: Front squats and Team DT

Monday. Strength, 5-5-5-5 (max 115kg). Team DT, 5rds of: 12 deads, 9 hang power clean, 6 push jerk, with a 70kg barbell.

It was a great training day for sure. What led to this? My main man Toni came back to our gym where it all started from. My body felt tired yesterday but today it was all fresh. Good move by Toni to start persuading me to hit a partner workout of the hero wod DT. We did it as a team, first time for me to hit this one. Did some front squat as strength to start the session. Toni went after hang power cleans for strength.

  • Front squat 5-5-5-5 (100, 110, 115, 110kg)
My last back squat session (last Saturday) was not a huge success, and that's been bothering me so I decided to get it out of my system as soon as possible. Changed it to front squats for this Monday, and 5's were in my mind for the entire day. It was a better effort, that 115kg was a tight one but 110kg lifts left a little energy in my tank still. 100kg front squats are too light for strength regularly. There might be days when they seem suitable but at the moment we are at a stage where the bar needs to have more load than 100kg. I'm very happy on the depth of my squat nowadays. Toni said something strange has happened to my mobility. It's been a while since we've trained together and nowadays I drop my butt to the ground every time I squat for strength. That feels like a huge thing for my mobility too.

Team DT.
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 12 deadlift, 70kg
  • 9 hang power clean, 70kg
  • 6 push jerk, 70kg
  • One athlete completes all of the deads, cleans and push jerks, then passes off to the other athlete who completes all the reps. That is one full round
This was awesome. Tough but awesome! I began this partner workout by doing one round of DT, after which I handed it over to Toni and he nailed one similar round. We both did 5 rounds alternating after each round. The bar was at 70kg which was a little intimidating, especially as I don't know if I've ever done heavier hang power cleans than 70kg. My hang cleans have traditionally been "high hang cleans" or "tall cleans", meaning I don't use the momentum of taking the bar from mid-thigh or lower. It's mostly from a still position by initiating the bar from as high as possible.

It was a mind blowing experience hearing some tips on the bar movement from Toni. After we talked about it for a while, I tried his advice and nailed easy 60 / 70kg hang power cleans. That was strange as hell. But when I think about it, it's not such a mystery. When you clean it from lower position, it's pretty obvious you get more momentum and elevation to the barbell. Thus it feels lighter and you're able to clean / snatch more weight.

Those deadlifts were light naturally. The number of them and the movement pattern itself makes me breath more heavily than normally. So I took 11 deads, dropped the bar, caught my breath and moved on to cleans. There I took the last (12th) deadlift to get to the starting point of hang power cleans. Had no idea how many hang power cleans I might take. Something like 5 was in my mind in the beginning. But once I started pulling, it happened out that I took 8 reps in a row, then dropped the bar. Then another breath taking session and regrip on the bar. Take the last hang power clean and put the bar overhead, 6 times unbroken.

That was the game plan from then on. This was ambitious but I was able to stay with this rep scheme all the way for the entire 5 rounds. Practically unbroken sets of deadlifts, hang power cleans and push jerks. I just dropped the barbell between these movements before moving on to the next move. Because I was able to stick to this system, that also kept the round times steady. It took me about 1:30-1:45 each round. It was the recovery time between movements that got a little longer towards the end because of heavy breathing.

I'm thankful for Toni for giving those valuable tips on hang cleans. This was an awesome workout, especially done with a partner. That's why it was possible to keep a good pace on each round. Doing DT as individual would be totally another ball game because of lack of recovery time. The bar is rather heavy for this kind of movement pattern.