Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday 26.3: CF Open 12.3

Thursday. CF Open 12.3, 18min amrap of: 15 box, 12 s2o (52.5kg), 9 t2b. Result, 288 reps (pr).

We were going to a a theater with Pauliina and a great friend couple. It was a show called Speksi, a traditional theater organized entirely by university students, this time it was medical students, future doctors. It was once again a blast, great show and awesome dancing too. We've hit it couple of times with Miia and Jake earlier too, they rock! =) Had to sneak in for a short workout. I dug in some old Open workouts and went after one of my favorites, Open 12.3.



CF Open 12.3. Result, 288 reps (8 rounds, PR). Compare to 12.6.2014
  • 18min amrap of:
  • 15 box
  • 12 shoulder-to-overhead, 52.5kg
  • 9 toes-to-bar
This is probably the longest Open workouts there is in the field of Crossfit. At least the longest I've seen and done. For a while the feeling was great and fresh, quite soon though it becomes a little unpleasant (in a good vibe way). And at some point it starts to burn your guts from the inside, then it's just about pushing through and ignoring the voices in your head that tell you to slow down. I felt like a king after this workout! Got a better result than ever even though I've had e running nose for days now and my plan was to take it a notch easier than normally.



Strategy was to pace myself on the box jumps, unbroken but no need to have a panic mode pace on those. Just keep the body moving. Boxes kept my heart rate up and legs warm. I took a break before touching the barbell. This is where the difference is done on this workout, those shoulder-to-overhead's. It's a good question whether you should aim to go unbroken or break the sets.


I've tried both. Once I did those unbroken but that resulted in me having to get myself together before moving on. Plus I had to pause after boxes before getting my hands on the barbell. On another time I made those sets in two attempts. Today my strategy was clear. Box and t2b unbroken, and s2o's in 7-5 each set. And I stuck to that plan every round. Also on the first round even though it wasn't heavy at this point. It was important because that might have fatigued my shoulders too early on.




Yesterday I pressed / jerked for 5k of iron overhead and today was similar amount of weights being moved from front rack to overhead. My shoulders still feel great. T2b's were the easiest part of the entire workout. Awesome workout every time I've done this, and I felt like I deserved the show for the evening in good company!



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday 25.3: Overhead complex, Ohs, Push jerk

Wednesday. Overhead complex, 5 sets of: 1 push press, 1 push jerk, 1 split jerk (max 80kg). Ohs with a pause, singles (max 75kg). Workout, 3rds of: 2min push jerk (60kg), 2min rest. Result, 20 reps each set.

My head is still full of snot so metcon didn't find itself to my program this Wednesday. After work we went with Pauliina to check out one new gym that opened its doors last Friday. It was sick. Kind of a crossfit Box without with the possibility to come and go however you want, and whenever you want. The place was filled with Rogue and Eleiko bumper plates, squat racks and pull-up bars. They even had a 20m grass where you can pull / push sled, handstand walk or do farmer's walk. Basically whatever you want. We're going to train there one day and check it how it feels like.



Overhead complex.

  • 5 sets of:
  • 1 push press
  • 1 push jerk
  • 1 split jerk
  • Sets @ 70, 75, 80, 80, 80kg

Today I still went to the old gym to workout. There's a lot of restored energy benchmarked for metcons. Had to postpone hardcore versions to future though. I kept it light today on the barbells. My left shoulder wasn't feeling great so there was no chance of going to limits.

First it was a complex for developing overhead strength. Complex work are awesome, I really enjoy those every single time. It's a different style of stimulus brought to the body. I've done similar combination of movements at about 85-90kg. The most difficult of these is traditionally the push jerk. There are some mobility issues which make push jerk more challenging. On lighter weights it doesn't have any issues.



Ohs.

  • Overhead squat singles with a pause
  • Weights @ 40, 50, 60, 70, 75kg

This part was just for fun. Wanted to smash couple of overhead squats, and especially with a pause in the bottom. On 40kg and 50kg I took couple of reps but then on the heavier ones just wanted to feel it once and I was done.

Last one was tough and fell a bit forward in the bottom. I was able to save it anyway. Those lighter weights were okay stuff. Overhead squats usually don't feel in my legs at all. It's light weight considering my squats but my shoulders always feel a bit tense and I should focus on having my shoulders externally rotated and armpits forward each time. That is the focus, it's just so darn hard because my shoulders are tight.



Workout. Result, 20 reps per set

  • 3 rounds of:
  • 2min amrap push jerk, 60kg
  • 2min rest

Didn't come up with any better idea so I put on 60kg on the bar and put the clock running. Just simply do a 2min amrap of push jerks, then rest 2 minutes, and repeat for a total of 3 rounds. I've done this in the past maybe 2-3 times in the past 3 years. Stolen from Mikko Salo, the champ. This time I didn't gas out from the beginning. Just worked through 10 reps, racked the bar, then took 2x5 reps to finish each set at 20 reps.

Push jerk amrap at 60kg

There was 20+ seconds left in the clock in the first 2 rounds, but this last one burned my shoulders more so there was only 10 seconds left in the timer after 20 reps. This is a great workout for building up shoulders. Today these 20 reps were enough for me. That was a clear goal as the timer hit 3-2-1-go.





Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday 24.3: Front squat, C2B, Burpee

Tuesday. Strength, front squat doubles (max 130kg). Metcon, 3rds of: 10 c2b, 10 front squat (60kg), 10 burpee. Time, 5.07.

My throat was still sore so I wasn't in the best shape at all. Yesterday's missed squats popped up in today's agenda, and I was hungry for them. There had to be some sort of metcon too and I got this one from competitorstraining.com from couple of days ago.




Strength.
  • Front squat doubles (90, 100, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130kg)
  • One single @ 135kg
There were no huge expectations for these squats but I just needed to get them done. It's been too long since squatting heavy and my legs were waiting for these big time. I thought they might be heavier but for some reason these felt great all the time.

It happened to be a good day of training. It's been a while since going to very heavy loads. And I got a double at 130kg which I believe has not happened before. My 1RM is 135kg so I cheered for this double for sure. After that I took one single at the shared pr number.

2x130kg


Metcon. Time, 5.07
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 10 front squat, 60kg
  • 10 burpee
This was obviously supposed to be a sprint from the first second. My face wasn't normal with nose and throat feeling a bit of a flu (not bad but something anyway) so I took it a little easier. My barbell was located far away from the pull-up bar which was probably not the best decision time-wise. There were a lot of people at the gym and I had not chance for this.

My strategy was to break the c2b's every round, drop down and quickly get back up to complete more reps. Didn't try to go unbroken in any round. Front squats definitely unbroken, and then pace the burpees, keep the same steady pace all the time. And walk between the barbell and pull-up bar to cool down the breathing. This worked well for today.




Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday 23.3: Clean, C2B

Monday. Power clean build up to a heavy single (max PR 100kg). Emom x 10min: 2 power clean @ 90kg. Skills, every 90sec: 15 c2b. Squat therapy and mobility.

There were high expectations for this Monday. I knew beforehand there wouldn't be no need to rush so I would be able to work my ass off. Schedule showed there were front squat doubles, maybe high rep back squats as well as cleans for barbell work. And then a very intense style metcon in the end. However, my throat feels like there's a piece of cactus right now, that's the feeling I've had all day. Don't have a flu though but this just doesn't feel right so I had to take it easy.

Meal prep for the week


Pulls.
  • Power clean, build up to a heavy single
  • 3x70, 3x80, 2x85, 1x90, 1x95, 1x100kg
Yesterday got me thinking what my max load for power clean would be. Max before this day as been 95kg and it's quite recent too. I have traditionally taken all heavy cleans with a squat. This part of the session wasn't that serious, just wanted to put some weight on the bar and pick it up on the front rack.

All of these cleans felt very good. Barbell's touching point on my thighs was quite high, and there actually was a short time when the bar was weightless as I turned it over. The last rep was 100kg which is 5 kilos more than I've ever power cleaned. I'd like to say it wasn't my max load. Well, it was but there definitely is more potential. I didn't try any heavier loads this time. Left some for next time.





Emom.
  • Every minute on the minute, for 10 minutes
  • 2 power clean @ 90kg
As these cleans were solid I threw in a workout of emom training. Doubles of 90kg, kinda heavy. But for some sick reason these felt very good too. There was a psychological effect. I had just lifted 100kg up so dropping 10kg back was a lot lighter mentally.

I felt like a superman lifting that 90kg for doubles every minute. Okay, not a super heavy weight for some people but for me 2 reps of power cleans at this weight is no walk in the park. Squat cleans would have been a different thing.

Clean 2x90kg


Skills.
  • Every 90 seconds:
  • 15 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Pull-ups - and especially c2b's - are always something that should be on the agenda of improvements. I just bought "natural grips" from Rogue at the same time with my rope, so they got to test on these c2b's. They felt very good as I put them on but unfortunately they didn't stay on place on the pull-ups. For 2-3 sets they were okay but at least the last one was a bit frustrating. I need some protection on my hands with the pull-up bar. At least on this bar as someone has taped it and there's a lot of friction with hands every time. I'm not a huge fan of rips and tears. And those tend to come very easily on my hands.

First set of chest-to-bar's was easy. Second one was a lot tougher. Third one was impossible to get through unbroken, I guess it was 10 reps on the first try on this set. And last set was a lot of pain. Focus was to get as many reps as possible on the first attempt, then finish the set as quickly as possible because there was that 90 second time window.




Mobility.
  • Squat therapy
  • Resistance band stretches
  • Overhead squats with a pause in the bottom
  • Snatch balance with a pause in the bottom
  • Lacrosse ball work
I still wasn't ready even though it felt like there wasn't much I was able to do. So I grabbed a pvc pipe and worked on overhead squats and snatch balances and staying in the bottom position for seconds. Also did it with an empty barbell. Those extreme positions make good for mobility purposes.

Squat therapy's results were absolutely positive. Never thought I could get as close to the wall as I did today. It took multiple attempts, starting from much farther, and then every attempt was an inch closer. Finally my toes were about the length of my middle finger plus 1-2cm away from the wall. That's success!




Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday 22.3: Muscle-ups, CF Open 15.4

Sunday. Skills, muscle-ups. CF Open 15.4, result 71 reps.

Yesterday was an easier day with just couple of rope climbs in the books so I really wanted to get back in action. It was time for the weekly doze of muscle-ups. Plus the CF Open that was released couple of days ago seemed like an interesting workout so I decided to throw down for it. First Open wod I've done this season.


Skills.

  • Muscle-ups

Instead of just knocking muscle-ups for fun I paid more attention to how my feet work on those repetitions. They traditionally go here and there which is absolutely not efficient. And if I ever want these to be a strength of mine, that's not the way to do muscle-ups.


So I tied my feet together with a resistance band and hoped that would make a difference. This is something I might do with bar mu's as well. My technique on them is already much more solid than on the rings. Someday they'll maybe match. Hopefully… :)


It felt awkward to have that band preventing my feet to go apart from each other. For sure it made good things, and maybe I can deceive my body and muscle memory this way to think that's they way to do them.



It's freaking awesome that I have muscle-ups in the first place, even though there's tons of work to be done. And I felt immediately that this place was more difficult than the one I practiced on last weekend in Klaukkala. Only because this place is little too low. The ceiling is not as high as I'd like to. Unconsciously I keep my legs a little bent because I'm afraid they'll hit the floor. And those rings can not be set higher, otherwise my head will be hitting the roof or the pipes hanging from there. Yes, these are all good excuses. Just do the work, don't bitch about it.



Anyways, those  muscle-ups kind of got to my left elbow for some reason and it got sore. Almost dropped the Open workout before it even started. Cleans were okay. Heavy but okay. But hspu's felt tough in the warm-up. That elbow bothered me a little.




CF Open 15.4. Result, 71 reps (5 hspu's in the round of 18's)

  • As many rounds as possible, in 8 minutes of:
  • 3 hspu + 3 clean, 85kg
  • 6 hspu + 3 clean, 85kg
  • 9 hspu + 3 clean, 85kg
  • 12 hspu + 6 clean, 85kg
  • 15 hspu + 6 clean, 85kg
  • 18 hspu + 6 clean, 85kg
  • Continue the pattern as far as possible



This really looked like potentially a great workout. And it was. Mixing handstand push-ups and cleans has never been a bad idea. One thing was a bit intimidating on this workout. My squat clean is rather strong with 115kg but then again 95kg is the heaviest I've power cleaned ever.


So it was obvious those might turn heavy after couple of reps. Hspu's are something I'm confident with normally. Now the pain in elbow was a little disturbing but I wasn't gonna bail because of that. The rep scheme was cool too. Usually these come in identically but this was biased for hspu's. Better that way because the bar was rather heavy.

CF Open 15.4

You can see the video above of the workout. I'm happy on the way I performed. If there is something I'd do better, it's hspu's. They felt heavy early on as I already explained. Plan was to go by feeling but my expectation was to do the round of 9's still unbroken, and then cut it to smaller sets. It would have also been awesome to drop the barbell after every rep but this gym wouldn't take it too good. Small difference but mentally that's big.



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday 21.3: Rope climbs

Saturday. Skills, rope climbs

It surely was an awesome party yesterday evening with a bunch of colleagues. All 400 of them. It went late and I got to sleep at 4am. Even though I was enjoying water all night (okay one glass of red wine) it affected the body because of the quality of sleep. I slept late, ate a huge breakfast, watched couple of crossfit videos and went to have a nap.

Saturday night set up

This day was perfect for a rest day or at least active recovery. But just sitting on the couch watching TV makes a human lazy so I went outdoors to search for an opportunity to get to play with my rope I just got in my hands. It turned out the same place where I can do ring muscle-ups is ideal for rope climbs too.



I hung the rope there on the stairs and worked on this specific skill. Not a metcon, not a workout, just having fun and getting used to this stuff. It was sick, I love this! My fingers got a little numb on the climbs.



There is definitely lots to improve on my technique so that it gets more effective and doesn't consume me that much every rep. I reckon it might be a great workout to have a bunch of rope climbs (10-20?) for time. Or then combine it with either running, wall balls or kettlebell swings. These are elements that I can easily mix with this one.



Actually the only time there's been rope climbs in my workouts was when we hit a partner wod together with Toni some time ago, earlier this year at the Box where he practices all the time. That time it felt like I had the ropes within me, today those felt much harder.



By the way, the Crossfit Open 15.4 was released Friday morning Finnish time, and it looked like a great wod. Heavy power cleans and handstand push-ups. I'm happy Tommy Marquez pointed out Dan Bailey's superhuman hspu abilities, I'm expecting him to show big numbers on this one!



Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday 20.3: Squat, Snatch, Box, Run

Friday. Strength, back squat triples 5x3 (130kg). Metcon, 3rds of: 12 snatch (45kg), 20 box, 400m run.

Today was a dream come true type of day. Early Christmas or whatever you wanna call it. I ordered a climbing rope from Rogue Wednesday night and it arrived at noon today by UPS at my work place. I was having lunch while the delivery guy called and made my day. I had chills during the lunch before I was able to pick it up. And it was freaking awesome. All 7.6 meters of it! Today there's no chance I can try it out anywhere as couple of hundred of my colleagues are gathering in Helsinki for a party so let's see if the weekend brings another chance to try out this new tool.



Strength.
  • Back squat 3-3-3-3-3 (across 130kg)
Today was strongly focusing on legs and breathing. Total of 5 sets of triples at the same weight @ 130kg. Prior weights were 90-110-120kg for triples. These felt good all the way. First two sets were easier than the last three ones. And the last rep was obviously the toughest on each one of these. Had to be mentally in the right place to get these up stylishly.




Metcon. Time, 11.53
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 12 snatch, 45kg
  • 20 box
  • 400m run
We were supposed to do a partner workout with Toni but my training partner left the gym 15 minutes after he entered it because his thoughts were not there, he was already in the party that was gonna take place in couple of hours =) Haha, so he had to go and seek for a pre-party. Thus, something had to be written down for metabolic purposes. It turned out to be snatches, box and running.



Great workout. Snatch is definitely not in my wheelhouse and is never a wrong move to add it in to a metcon. Box jumps and running seemed like a good combination to get heart rate up so this really had its grip on me. It took me seconds shy of 12 minutes to finish it. Snatches slowed down a little each round but other than that I believe it was kind of similar in all rounds.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thursday 19.3: Zimmerman

Thursday. Hero wod Zimmerman, 25min amrap of: 11 c2b, 2 deads (142.5kg), 10 hspu. Result, 220 reps.

There were couple of options how to approach this Thursday. Had to listen to my body and what it needs to get done today. Snatches were one option, squats were on the table too as well as a chipper style clean and jerk / bodyweight combo. All good and different workouts but a hero workout was the winner.



Zimmerman. Result, 220 reps (9 rounds + 2 deads)
  • 25min amrap of:
  • 11 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 2 deadlift, 142.5kg
  • 10 handstand push-up
This is a newcomer for me. It's been in my phones notes since January, and I've promised myself to give it a try someday. Friday is already a classic for deadlift but I took it one day earlier because this seemed to feel my mood of the day perfectly. Pull-ups were very intriguing and I had to get them done.

Zimmerman is a long amrap, 25 minutes of elements that are not that easy. Pull-ups are chest-to-bar versions, deadlifts are semi heavy, and the number of hspu's per round is high. So it was difficult to comprehend how this is going to turn out. My strategy was to go by feeling. I know my body and that there would be no point in rushing through the gates early on because c2b's would kill me later on. And traditionally people think that once hspu's are gone, they really are gone.



I cut the pull-ups in pieces already in the first round. I wouldn't gain anything by trying to be a hero and aim for unbroken sets. Instead it was 6-5 or 7-4 in the first rounds. For most of the last rounds it was 6-3-2 reps, to release the tension in my lats and forearms. The amount of volume was huge for me. Total of 100 c2b's is no joke. I've done 100-150 pull-ups in a metcon but c2b's are next level. And hundred of them is about 100% more I've ever done in a workout.

Deadlifts would not create any problems. They were semi heavy but totally manageable. This was the easiest part of the workout. Focus here was not just to pull it but maintain good and solid form all the way. I believe it absolutely stayed as planned.



Hspu's were a mystery beforehand. How would they go? No idea. I'm very comfortable nowadays on them but if the volume would grow over 60 reps that would probably slow down. There was a total of 90 reps of these in the end. I'm extremely happy I was able to get through each and every set unbroken!


This hero wod was tough especially on upper body, not that bad for breathing. Consistency is a word that describes my pace well today. On the 7th round my heart was taking some extra beats so I had to wait for a while, that's why it took a bit longer.



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday 18.3: Row, Burpee, 12min metcon

Wednesday. Emom x 14: odd min 15 cal row, even min 15 burpee. Metcon, 12min amrap of: 5 power clean (70kg), 15 box, 30 hr push-ups. Result, 205 reps.

Wednesday's session was two-metcon workload. No strength part as such. Rowing and burpees are horrible as a combination, no doubt about it. It took me some time to get my s**t together. Then I threw down for another metcon we wrote together with Toni earlier.



Conditioning.
  • Every minute on the minute, for 14 minutes
  • Odd min, 15 cal row
  • Even min, 15 burpee
  • Total of 105 cal / burpee
Yeah, it seemed much easier on paper and it actually was pleasant for couple of minutes. Tide turned pretty quickly due to burpees. Rowing was a bit nastier every round but the beef in this workout was definitely the burpees. It took me about 38 seconds to pull for those 15 calories. I had the dumper setting at about 8, which is quite regular setting on the Concept 2-rower.

This was a 7-rounder in total. Seven sets of 15 burpees, which also took about the same amount of time as rowing, little less than 40 seconds. Those 20 seconds slipped away quickly. My pace stayed the same in every single set and that is victory for me. I was going to a darker and darker place towards the end but there was enough strength to battle through. My goal was to have that 100 cal / rep barrier broken.





Metcon. Result, 205 reps (4 rounds + 5 clean)
  • 12min amrap of:
  • 5 power clean, 70kg
  • 15 box
  • 30 hand release push-ups
It took some time to walk the pain away after the last burpee. I went to cheer on my baby for a while, chilled out and started warming up for the barbell action. Cleans felt good so I piled up for 70kg which was the original plan. After the first workout the thought of 70kg on the bar was a distant dream. I got them rolling pretty well and with good technique in my opinion.

The first workout probably had its effect on the second one because my legs were jello from rather early on. Cleans were okay, had to shake my legs though before taking the first box jump. Did those unbroken as there were only 15 reps anyway.




Hand release push-ups were tough. Originally I had written the rep scheme a bit differently but it was a good call from Toni to build the amount of reps high for push-ups. That was definitely a high-rep set for me, and those would not be done unbroken for sure. I did these in a similar way every round: 10-8-7-5 reps.

Great to get some heavy breathing under way in the form of these two workouts. Even though there wasn't strength portion I liked the idea of incorporating semi heavy cleans in the metcon.




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday 17.3: Skills, Push press, Ohs, Pull-ups, Du's

Tuesday. Skills emom x 10: odd min 8 hspu, even min 12 t2b. Strength, emom x 8: push press 3 reps @ 70kg. Metcon, 15min amrap of: 6 ohs (45kg), 12 pull-ups, 24 du. Result, 261 reps.

Huh what a day at work. It was kind of a seminar and it was sitting all day long. Yesterday's cleans and front squats really felt in my legs, and just sitting down most of the day didn't help in recovery at all. Especially my quads were sore and getting more sore all the time. I wan anxious of hitting the gym right after work to get it out of my system. And it sure was a great training session. In only 45 minutes I was able to get a really good combination of workouts, and it was very effective.


Mikko is the King, 10x440lbs (200kg), for a total of 4 sets…


Skills.
  • Every minute on the minute x 10 min
  • Odd min, 8 handstand push-ups
  • Even min, 12 toes-to-bar
This was a good warm-up for push press. I have my regular warm-up routines but today I threw them in the trash bin because of the time table at hand. There simply wasn't enough time to do everything. I got shoulders prepared for hspu's and then reckoned core and lower body would be activated in the course of t2b's. And I was pause squatting / lunging with bodyweight during some of the sets to activate the entire lower body.

Handstand push-ups were easy. Sometimes I take 'em for granted but now as I look back on the development of this movement it definitely hasn't always been this way. For quite a long time it was a goat for me but then one beautiful day I promised myself I'll fix it. And I did, by tripling the amount of volume on the movement. Didn't take too long to make it a moderate skill but nowadays I feel very natural being inverted pushing myself up against the wall.

Toes-to-bar were in this one to engage core and prepare for this way for the push press. These were also kind of light stuff. Had I continued this for multiple rounds they might have been tougher. Or if this was a metcon for time without the recovery between stations it would obviously be another case.




Strength.
  • Every minute on the minute x 8 min
  • 3 push press @ 70kg
Overhead strength is something I've been mentally struggling lately. It's been on the back of my head to improve this element. No matter if it's shoulder press, push press, push jerk, split jerk or snatch but having a barbell overhead is somehow brutally beautiful, and I want to be okay in that sense.

These were triples in emom style. Only 70kg, shouldn't be a problem. And it wasn't. The only problem was that my left shoulder took some pain in the last rounds. Don't know the reason but it was around 4 rounds went perfectly and then it was a little difficult to straighten my left arm fully because there was a stabbing pain in the shoulder. Probably something that will go away on its own I'd say. No biggie, I managed to work through the rest of the repetitions.




Metcon. Result, 261 reps (6 rounds + 3 pull-ups)
  • 15 min amrap of:
  • 6 overhead squat, 45kg
  • 12 pull-up
  • 24 double under
It was great that these two previous parts were emoms so I had time for a good old school stuff in the end. Ohs, pull-ups and jump rope, good combo. Why these? Because overhead squat is not a strength by any means, and doing it in nanos is even more challenging due to mobility restrictions. Secondly, pull-ups are such a basic element in crossfit that I prefer it as a strength rather than a weakness. If you're not good in pulling, there are going to be issues in metcons. Du's seem to be periodical, sometimes they roll very well and in other cases they are moderate. So I wanted to practice them in a metcon under higher heart rate.


Kara Webb 15.3


Ohs went great. Especially in completing them without weightlifting shoes I always consider it a success story. Had no problems in going well under parallel. In weightlifting shoes I hit the bottom on a regular basis. Pull-ups went unbroken even though they got heavy towards the end. I could have probably knocked out more reps in this workout had I cut the pull-ups (and had the barbell close to the pull-up bar instead of walking around the gym) but I really wanted to do 'em ub to practice hanging in the pull-up bar under tension.

Double unders had some tripping there but I blame it on the surroundings this time =) I had to do the jumping in such narrow places that I was constantly afraid of the jump rope hitting something or someone. That probably went under my skin and I lost concentration for a while at times. This was a very good and efficient training session and I'm very happy that there was enough time to push through each part of it!




Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday 16.3: Clean, Front squat, Bar mu's, Wb

Monday. Emom, clean singles. Start at 60kg, add 5kg until 100kg. Then add 2.5kg per min. Result, 115kg. Strength, front squat 4x4 (max 122.5kg). Metcon, 5rds of: 5 bar mu's, 20 wb. Time, 12.30. Cashout, 50 wb and 2km run.

This day was awesome! First I got some strength work done at the gym in the form of emom cleans and regular front squats. Then I changed clothes and headed to the nearby Pirkkola sports center for an outdoor metcon, something similar to CF Open 15.3. Same elements, now I know what the fuzz is all about.



Pulls.

  • Every minute on the minute
  • Clean singles
  • Start at 60kg, add 5kg per minute
  • After 100kg, add 2.5kg per minute
  • Result, 115kg

This hit me like a lightning last week that I wanna do this. Emom workouts are the best I know. The ideology is like normal strength training with the exception of having the recovery periods short in between. In some cases it's compulsory to have good breaks, let's say when you're knocking 5x5 heavy back squats. Wouldn't happen with less than minute of recovery.

Today I began with light weights. Took doubles in the end to warm up and did some pause squats also with 60-70kg weights. It was light stuff up until somewhere around 100kg. My focus there was to bring the bar as high as possible and not hurry with the pull. That was the focus, not necessarily the desired outcome =) I liked to have these on tape to analyze them more closely but that was not gonna happen today 'cause there were plenty of people taking care of their fitness.



After 100kg my only target was to get under the bar as quickly as possible and to ignore the talks in my head of not having the time and courage to get under these loads. Basically all my missed lifts in clean are due to lack of courage to drop under the bar. Weights over 110kg are intimidating as hell. Those missed lifts look more like deadlifts as I don't drop down at all.

This is actually the reason why I started doing deep squats on both back and front squats, as well as pause squats (starting from last autumn) because that would help me have the balls to be under big loads in the deepest position possible in cleans. And that has really helped. Today was a big day in this sense. I never thought about being crushed under the bar, and I had the nerves of dropping down, even for a PR attempt at 117.5kg. Wasn't able to get it nicely in the front rack position and it fell forward but I take it as s huge step forward as it was the first time being able to have a sense of how it feels to have the bar on front rack in the bottom with this heavy bar. Today was the second time I had 115kg successfully up.



Strength.

  • Front squat 4x4 (110, 115, 120, 122.5kg)

Front squats are natural continuance to cleans / clean and jerks. Body is already warmed up so you can jump to real weights practically right away. The first set felt rather heavy at first but then again I had decided to go up anyway so I put on 2.5kg plates more, and took another set. That felt as heavy but squats are mysterious to me. They often feel heavy but there's still more in the tank.

So I didn't think about it that much, just kept on adding weights on the bar, next stop at 120kg. Before coming to the gym I thought this might be the end of these sets but as it came up okay, I realized there's more in these legs and core to get one set more with slightly heavier load. 122.5kg is the heaviest I've ever had for 4 reps. Not bad. I'm very happy!

4x120kg


Metcon. Time, 12.30

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 5 bar muscle-ups
  • 20 wall ball, 9kg
After barbell play I changed clothes, jumped in my car and drove five minutes to Pirkkola which is a great sports park. The reason I went there is bar muscle-ups and wall balls. There was a big desire to get those in my system. The weather has been so beautiful that I wanted to take advantage of the spring and nature coming to life again after long winter.

This combination was a real shoulder killer. I did both movements unbroken each round. Wall balls were easier but right after each set the shoulder burn occurred. I walked between these two stations and didn't hurry because I really wanted to get all muscle-ups done in one set without dropping down in between. They weren't all beautiful but it was great to have 'em unbroken all 5 rounds.


Metcon


Cashout.
  • 50 wall ball shots
  • 2km run

After chilling for a while the wall ball was shot to the target 50 reps more. It was 2x25 reps with recovery between sets. My shoulders had it for today. Dropped the gear in my car and headed for a cool down run in the woods of Pirkkola. The track seems to have some snow still there but it will probably be no time and it's all good for 400m sprints. Hopefully so!





Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday 15.3: Run and Gymnastics

Sunday. Run 4km. Gymnastics, ring muscle-ups (PR 4 reps).

We spent the weekend in Klaukkala and my mood was great. Of course the company was good with my fiancé and her parents, plus the weather was so freaking beautiful as it has been the past couple of days. It's been months since I've seen sun so the difference is huge. Okay, I might be exaggerating but it's been dark and wet for some time. We had the possibility to eat outside on our terrace so it really was warm.



Run.
  • 4 kilometer run
There was a wall ball in my car too but it stayed there for the entire time. Yesterday I was just chilling out. We made sushi in the evening, and it was the first time in my life. That was kind of cool thing. My rolls weren't the most beautiful ones but they tasted delicious =)




So we were both anxious with Kari to go outdoors for a training session. He's been running like a maniac in the nearby nature for the entire winter so he took me for a run on one of his classic routes. It was a 4km run, easy pace, but it felt good. It was awesome as birds were singing, and sky was clear blue all the time.



Gymnastics.
  • Ring muscle-ups
  • Complete 15 reps (including 4 rep PR!)
This was the main part of today's training session. I was anxious of searching a spot where I could hang my Rogue rings and hit some muscle-ups. There is something cool in doing this stuff outdoors. No matter if it's gymnastics, sprints, kettlebells, weightlifting or bodyweight training, I just love it outdoors. Weather is neither an issue, but it sure as hell is a positive push if the weather is like this!




I was a bit afraid we wouldn't find a perfect spot but luckily this one was very close to the in-laws house. Maybe 100 meters from there, not bad. Kari brought ladder with him and sawed off one useless tree branch which seemed to be on our way. The hight of this branch was exactly on spot so that I jumped a little to reach the rings and thus I was able to keep my torso straight all the way without stressing my feet hitting the ground. That's the situation at the gym because the rings are too low.

Ring skills


First rep a single, and the purpose was just to get used to this environment. After that one neighbor that we hadn't seen before came out and started talking what's happening here. Luckily he was just interested and wanted to see how things are done. I got a little positive pressure there and took a new PR with 4 consecutive reps! That was a big thing!



I've taken 3 reps once in my life. Those have mostly been singles and doubles. Today I got 2x3 reps and once 4 reps. This was beyond my dreams. Having a place like this where I can use my entire body is essential. It has to be high enough. My sets today were 1-4-3-2-3-2 to reach a total of 15 reps. My technique definitely needs improvement but at this point I'm happy on every single rep I'm able to perform!



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday 14.3: Rest day

Saturday. Rest day

Today didn't go as originally planned. We were supposed to travel to Tallinn, Estonia with a bunch of colleagues for the entire day. It would have definitely been a blast (and seemes like so from the pictures the crew sent me!) but my passport expired in January and I realized that two days before the departure. What kind of a person does this? It was a bummer but no can do.

So we hooked up with the in-laws instead 'cause we haven't seen in a while and went to spend some time together and plan the future wedding and stuff. I had all kinds of training thoughts in my mind but I'm actually very happy I didn't do anything but relax. Let those gains settle in. Yesterday my body felt like it has taken a good beating lately so this recovery day suits perfectly!

Tomorrow's a good day for another grind to be a fitter human being. Hopefully the weather is as beautiful as it's been the past days because I'm about to train outdoors!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday 13.3: Deadlifts, Row, Jerk, Box

Friday. Strength, deadlift 7x3 (mostly 160kg). Metcon, 5rds of: 500m row, 7 jerk (60kg), 14 box.

Classic Friday pulling was in schedule today. Wasn't too pumped up about squatting this time as I usually do just before deadlifts. So I paid more attention to lifting, then took a metcon with rowing as main ingredient. Mixed with shoulder-to-overhead and box jumps.


3x160kg

Pulling.
  • Deadlift 7x3 (140, 150, 160, 160, 160, 160, 160kg)
It's been a while since doing triples of deadlift with rather heavy kilos. I would have liked to go heavier but there's been an issue with my grip lately. Don't know why but it hurts like hell in my hands / fingers when I pull. If the bar is too much on my palm, it feels like the calluses are gonna pop off and then it's all ripped and bloody and takes a lot to recover, and grip is destroyed for a week. If I place the bar too much on fingers, it feels like they are going to get cut off of my hand, like a knife would cut them just like that. This is kind of an amateur problem as I find it difficult to find a good spot to place the bar on my hand.

Anyway, the bar was light for these triples. I would have definitely done at least 170kg pulls had my hands tolerated it better. My back and hamstrings took it great, easy money. Got to find a solution to this grip thing and pull some serious weight!




Metcon. Time, 17.34
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 500m row
  • 7 push jerk, 60kg
  • 14 box
No doubt rowing sucks =) Especially in a metcon. It was 1:50 pace each round, in the beginning around 1:45. Figured there's no point in pulling my ass off and then wait and recover more than I would had I taken the rowing couple seconds slower. That's the reasoning for me pacing.




Push jerks went unbroken and felt surprisingly good on those all the way. It was quite similar in all five rounds of the workout. Okay, they took my energy somewhat and I couldn't start jumping the box jumps right after the jerks were completed. Those were unbroken also, no need to stop down on boxes in my opinion. Today my energy level wasn't in extreme levels and the combination of these movements was taxing for sure.

This took me something like 3:30 per round on average. First round was 3:19, then it slowed down to 3:30-3:48 for the following three rounds and the last one was the fastest at 3:07. This means to say I wasn't pushing it 100% in the beginning as I was able to top the time in the last round. Good day of training anyway!



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thursday 12.3: Skills, Snatch balance, T2b

Thursday. Skills, emom x 8min. Odd min 12 c2b, even min 12 pistols. Snatch complex, 1snatch balance + 2 ohs. Snatch complex, 3 snatch press + 3 ohs. Cashout, 100 t2b.

Today was mainly a skills / technique oriented training day. Nothing super heavy or tough, but getting better at my gymnastics, working on technique and mobility for the snatch, and then getting some accessory work done for core. I got the biggest kicks of the day when Pauliina hit a PR in back squat =)


50kg



Skills.
  • Every minute on the minute, for 8 minutes
  • Odd min, 12 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • Even min, 12 pistol squats
So this was surprisingly tough in the last 2 sets of c2b's. Okay, let's be honest, all my emom c2b's have been smaller rep sets before this one so it was kind of cool to hit unbroken sets of 12 reps. Only the last set had to be broken down but the first 3 of them went perfectly. Felt very good about those! These skills / gymnastics emom workouts to kick things on in the beginning of the training sessions are great way to break a sweat, get the body warm and fully awake for the work load ahead.

Pistol squats are funny. It was once again witnessed that for my left leg they are easy but right leg ones are challenging. The difference is quite big. Must be the influence of my previous sports career as a goal keeper in floorball. On the first round I did them alternating, and then the rest of the sets I went 6 left - 6 right. That's because I wanted to focus on linking multiple reps with right leg.




Snatch complex.
  • 1 snatch balance + 2 overhead squat
  • Weights 50, 55, 60, 65, 70kg
This one was on my mind in addition to the skills part when I entered the gym. I wanted to build up to a heavy set on this combo. It was no surprise that overhead squats were lighter than snatch balances. On lighter loads I'm able to drop under the bar with speed. Warm-up weights were 20, 30 & 40kg. If I would drop as fast as in those lights it would be freaking awesome. At times I was afraid how quickly I got there haha =)

No but really, there was a difference. The heavier the barbell got, the slower the snatch balance turned out to be. In the beginning I had my feet in the air for a while whereas in the heavier complexes my feet stayed in the ground the entire time and I had breaks on a little. The last one was the slowest on the way down. I probably came up faster than went down.




Snatch complex.
  • 3 snatch grip push press + 3 overhead squat
  • Weights 40, 45, 50, 55, 60kg
This section was not planned beforehand. Pauliina did her squats and I just did some extra work with the bar between her sets. This wasn't heavy at all, the main point was practicing bar paths on both the press and squat. Extending my hips fully in the press and locking out elbows for a stable and solid overhead position.

Then again, keeping it on the heels on overhead squats and hitting it low. I stayed in the bottom position for 2-3 seconds after the last ohs in each set. To sit in the deepest position frequently will definitely increase mobility. And that's exactly my weak point in this movement even though it's gone forward a lot.




Accessory.
  • 100 toes-to-bar
Okay, that was about it. It was time to cool down. I thought about knocking some t2b's just for fun. I took 20 reps at first, then 15 reps, and the rest were 10's and 5's in the end. Once I jumped on the pull-up bar the thought was to complete 50 reps but then again, it felt so good to link those reps together that I decided to go to 75, and finally it changed to 100 reps. I'll take it! My abs were nearly cramping at times at about 70-80 reps but after a little stretching it was all good.