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.


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.



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday 31.8: Rings, Rowing, Pistols and Pull-ups

Sunday. Skills, ring muscle-ups. Metcon, 5rds of: 500m row, 10 pistols, 15 pull-ups. Not for time.

Today my body was tired all the way. Felt good wearing my gear and hitting the gym. But once I started moving around, it was obvious pretty soon that this is not going to be one of those days that you remember as an old grandpa. I still got some work done in the metcon that left a good feeling. Plus the mobility session afterwards was from heaven.



Skills.
  • Ring muscle-ups
Last ring muscle-up session was the best I've had ever in my life. It felt so natural and the most effortless it's ever been. Today was quite the opposite =) There was some frustration in the game too as it didn't go the way I had imagined in the morning. Didn't wanna stay and bang my head against the wall so I took 3 singles and left it there. Better effort next time. It felt like this tired body wasn't ready for this technical movement.

New mobility toy

Metcon.
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 500m row
  • 10 pistol squats, alternating
  • 15 pull-ups
Prior to this workout, I worked for a while on shoulder presses and push presses with light weight barbells. Just kept it at 40-50kg to activate my upper body. This workout was the main thing of this Sunday. I've had pistol squats in my head for a while, and just waited for a good opportunity to throw it into a metcon. This was "Mary"-style action, replaced handstand push-ups with rowing. This was not for time but it took me about 20 minutes. That means to say my rowing was 1.47 on the first round, the next two 500's were 1.48, fourth 1.50 and the last one 1.53.

My goal on the bodyweight movements were to go unbroken, and that was accomplished. Pistol squats went okay. I have no problem knocking them. Form might be better but the movement itself is a pleasant one. My left pistols are clearly stronger than the right leg ones. It might be because of the ankle mobility. I played floorball as a goal keeper for years and my style improved exactly my left leg / ankle much more than the right one. I always played with my left leg under my butt so there's much more flexibility because of that.

Pull-ups were definitely the most challenging part of this workout. I wanted to go unbroken on each round and I'm happy I was able to do exactly that. I believe I could have done 1-2 rounds unbroken on pull-ups too if needed.

This workout was not a timed one but it took me about 20 minutes to finish this one. Didn't rush between stations, but I moved with a purpose still. It was great to have pistols, it's such a good movement. I'll try to remember writing more of those in my metcons.

Recap

Mobility.

Yesterday as we spent the day in the city we happened to wander in couple of sport stores and bought a new mobility toy. We experimented it yesterday for the first time and today it was in heavy use after the workout. Both of us with Pauliina felt like our bodies were hammered from the past days' training so we pounded each other's body with this thing, don't know what to call it =) Maybe it's a "mobility stick".


I just laid on the ground relaxed and Pauliina smashed my quads, hamstrings, calves, traps, lats, arms and basically everything you can massage. Then we changed roles. It felt great after this session. I tried my widest stance in air squat position and it was probably the widest I've ever had. As you can see from the pictures, it's quite the normal of an average Joe but for me it's almost double the regular stance. This was success.


Miami vs. New York





Saturday 30.8: Squats, Team Series Event 4

Saturday. Strength, back squats 5-5-5-5-4 (max 125kg). Metcon, 30 cal row, 30 bar-facing burpees, 30 hang power clean (60kg). Time 6.27.

It was a late Saturday night workout this time. We spent the day downtown, enjoying the late summer or more like early autumn day. It was a great weather, sun was shining and the temperature was around 20 degrees. Still, we needed jackets, it's obvious that the fall is coming with full throttle. Anyway, the training session took place somewhere around 7-9 pm, much later than normally. Had the opportunity to take a nap after our stroll in the city, loved every minute of it. It was time to squat and do the Team Series event 4 that was just released.



Strength.

  • Back squats 5-5-5-5-4 (100, 110, 120, 125, 125kg)

I'm feeling a bit confused on my back squats. It feels like my front squats are in better condition currently. There may be something to the way how the weight is distributed through my body. It feels like the weight is a little too much in front of me, whereas it should be on my heels. Therefore I can't transfer the strength all the way to the bar. I really feel like I could nail heavier kilos as I've squatted 140kg for a triple earlier this year.


I started with 100kg, that wasn't too bad, and it definitely shouldn't be at this stage. When there was 120kg on the bar, I felt the burden way differently. The weight went too much to the middle / front of my leg and that caused some technical problems. I was hoping to lift heavier weights but this day wasn't the best of days in that sense. What to do in the future? Squat more. Simple answer.



Metcon. Team Series Event no: 4. Time 6.27

  • 30 calory row
  • 30 bar-facing burpees
  • 30 hang power clean, 60kg

This was a lot of fun! The workout was not written by me, instead it was stolen from Crossfit's Team Series, Event number 4. It looked like a perfect workout for this weekend and I decided to give it a shot. For some reason it was very difficult for me to understand how much time this one would take. It was surprisingly short workout.




Therefore it was also difficult to think about the strategy how to head towards this piece. I reckoned not to gas out on the rower, then pace myself on the burpees, keeping a steady pace, and then go by feeling on the cleans. Haven't done that much hang cleans in a workout, they have mostly been from floor in metcons.



It took about 1:20 to finish the 30 calorie row. Don't know what that means as per 500m pace. It was about one stroke and one calorie. It took me too about 15 seconds in the transition between rowing and burpees. I was messing around with gloves before putting my chest on the ground for the first time. For some reason I wore gloves on the rower.




Burpees took about 2:00 in total. These were bar-facing burpees. There are lots of different variations of burpees that are on the field. Bar-facing burpees, lateral burpees, burped box jumps, box over burpees, and those box versions might sometimes be done with dumbbells in both hands. I've tried them all but this bar-facing burpee stuff is rare. There was a couplet of bar-facing burpees and thrusters in the Crossfit Open this year, that was a cruel combo!



This is some technicality in play. As you see in the video I took the first burpee with poor technique. As I jumped up from the floor my feet landed too far away from the bar and cause me to take an extra step before hopping over the bar. I realized this immediately and decided to use my hips more to make my feet land so close to the bar that I can jump over it in one continuous movement. These are small things but they make a big difference in the long run. This was a short workout so maybe not that big of an issue but it's better to make it right in every workout.



It was good to testify from the video that the feeling I had was true. Burpee-pace was steady all the way. It was around 40 seconds per 10 burpees. These are way slower than regular burpees. Plus they eat more energy reserves. Anyway, it was good news that my pace remained the same throughout the burpee section.



Once again it was 15-20 second transition between stations, before grabbing the barbell for cleans. It took about 2:45 to get the cleans done. I took the cleans in sets of 5 reps, total of 6 sets. For the first 2 sets I did them touch'n'go, the rest of the sets I reset after every rep. I don't know how they should have been done, because usually my hang cleans are for strength purposes and I do reset after every rep.

Video of the metcon


The recovery between sets was 15+ seconds which might have been a little too much. Ideal would have been 10 seconds, that would have made it about half a minute faster in total time. I've noticed there's a big difference if I'm able to hold hook grip on the bar. Probably no news to anyone but it saves a lot of grip strength. That's been mind blowing to witness. I'm still learning this new style grip. Might have pushed a little harder on this one. It was taxing, no doubt! I'd like to believe there was a little left in the tank as the burn in muscles and lungs was tolerable right after the workout.





Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday 29.8: Snatch, Hspu, Box

Friday. Metcon, 12min amrap of: 3 power snatch (50kg), 6 hspu, 9 box. Result, 147 reps.

We were in a bit of a hurry with Pauliina and she gave me all 30 minutes of quality time at the gym after work, including warm-up. So it there was time to hit a short workout, and it seemed like there's just enough time for a 12min amrap. I gathered my thoughts and was able to come up with a combination of snatches, hspu's and box jumps.



Metcon. Result, 147 reps (8 rounds + 3 snatch)
  • 12min amrap of:
  • 3 power snatch, 50kg
  • 6 handstand push-up
  • 9 box jump
This workout turned out to be great. I've felt good on the snatches lately. Haven't done them that much in the summer time but lately there have been couple of workouts where my technique has felt solid and confident. Today I took a quick warm-up, still didn't give any slack on it because a good preparation equals a healthy body. I don't wanna rush through warm-up but cut on the work time instead because I don't wanna take any injuries in vain. My body felt good after some mobility time and snatches at 40-45-50kg.

I went unbroken on each of the three stations each round. Result was 8 full rounds + 3 snatches on the 9th round, totaling 147 reps. That equals 27 snatches, 48 hspu, and 72 box. Difficult to say which movement was the toughest. Programming of this workout was good because they felt equally good / bad. I got them done unbroken except for some falls of the wall on the handstand push-ups. However, I jumped right back in there.

Box jumps started to burn my legs and it was a great combo of all muscles being in flames. It didn't get easy on any of the movements and not too heavy either. Round times were on 1:30 on average, the first being 1:03 and the slowest being 1:42, most of them around 1:30 anyway. It was a great workout!

Another game between Philly and SanFran





Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday 28.8: Push press, Thrusters, Pull-ups

Thursday. Strength, push press 3-3-3-3-3 (max 85kg). Metcon, intervals of 15 thrusters (40kg) + 15 pull-ups.

I've enjoyed this training week a lot. For some reason I feel very satisfied on the workouts that's been written in my program. Today I continued to strengthen overhead positions through push press triples. Plus there was something close to Fran-ish as a metcon, combination of thrusters and pull-ups is always a suck up. But at the same time, there's some sort of pleasure in all that. I've taken more mobility stuff in my evening routines. Usually I do some foam rolling on my lower body and back but shoulders have not been mobbed that much. And that seems to be some sort of issue considering overhead squat / squat snatch end position so I asked for shoulder mobility stuff from a colleague and got good tips.



Strength.
  • Push press 3-3-3-3-3 (80, 82.5, 85, 80, 80kg)
Got to get my shoulders stronger, overhead strength is what I'm looking for. Jerks and presses are the answer to this one. Just checked what I've done lately and it looks like there's been push press / push jerk / clean and jerk / thrusters in about 3 days cycle. This has been intentional. Today it was time for push press triples.

Wasn't sure to what I would be satisfied beforehand. Afterwards as I thought about it, I was very pleased. Not sure where I've been lately with triples. But this must be very close to the best results I've ever been. 90kg is my 1RM this far with push press, not that I've really tested it in about a year though. Usually these triples have probably been between 70-80kg, but this is pure speculation 'cause I don't remember exactly.

There were some reps I wasn't entirely satisfied, some technical flaws. But the big picture is that it went great!

Here's the match between Washington and Philly


Metcon.
  • At 0:00, perform 15 thrusters (40kg) + 15 pull-ups
  • At 3:00, perform 15 thrusters (40kg) + 15 pull-ups
  • At 6:00, perform 15 thrusters (40kg) + 15 pull-ups
  • At 9:00, perform 15 thrusters (40kg) + 15 pull-ups
This was painful. The combo of thrusters and pull-ups makes a painful mixture. I wrote this in interval style. Total of 60 reps of both movements, thrusters at 40kg. The goal of the workout was to redline each interval, that means balls to the wall - style, as Jason Khalipa would phrase it. It took me about a little shy of one minute, I walked couple of meters from pull-up bar to the timer and it stated 58 seconds both times so it was probably close to 55sec in real life.

On the third set some gal went stretching under the pull-up bar which forced me to do the pull-ups in a thick square support beam as strict pull-ups. That wasn't optimal but I tried to concentrate and hit the reps anyway. After 8-10 reps the pull-up bar became free so I jumped there to finish the set. This back and forth action took me a little longer. On the 4th and final set I dropped from the pull-up bar after 10 pull-ups, then finished it. All thrusters went unbroken, my shoulders were burning a lot from the very first set. Those push presses definitely had their effect. I'm happy I grit my teeth to push through the pain anyway.





Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday 27.8: Weighted ring dips, Du's and T2b's

Wednesday. Strength, weighted ring dips 5-5-5-5-5 (max 30kg). Metcon, 100-80-60-40-20 du's, 30-25-20-15-10 tb2's. Time 11.45

Decided to work mostly on bodyweight movements this Wednesday morning. However, it seemed like a good idea to get some ring dips for strength as well. It's been ages since I did them last time and it simply felt great to knock couple of sets. The metcon of the day was something I stole from Pat Sherwood who in turn took it from the champ himself, Rich Froning Jr. It was as good as I had thought it might be.

Next level snack late at work. Classic smoothie, yammy!

Strength.
  • Weighted ring dips 5-5-5-5-5 (10, 15, 20, 25, 30kg)
It was a big mystery how much weight could be put on the belt. I remember having done them with 15kg weights in the past. Had no idea I could push it this far. My last set was at 30kg. The sets were all 5's, starting from 10kg and coming up in 5kg jumps. Had I known 30kg was my max load I could have tried to do all sets at around 20kg.

This was a great exercise and probably something I should do more often. It can directly be transferred to ring skills and shoulder strength. Once I started loading the plates on the weight belt each set felt like I have to do work and concentrate well to get the reps done. Still, it always felt like there's room to add some weight so I did just that. And ended up with 5x30kg set.




Metcon. Time 11.45
  • 100-80-60-40-20 double unders
  • 30-25-20-15-10 toes-to-bar
When done Pat Sherwood / Rich Froning style, the reps were a little higher. Total of 450 du's and 150 t2b's, that's a lot! Got to say Pat brings up perfect workouts in his IG pace. You could pick up awesome workouts on a daily basis just by following him. I scaled this one to 300 double unders and 100 toes-to-bar. Figured there's more sense considering my fitness. It's a bit different thing when the fittest of the fittest do their workouts.

On the first du set - 100 - it was a little insecure action, had to take couple of sets and there were also some misses involved. Wasn't that happy with my performance. It actually wasn't that bad but I hoped to finish it better. On the 80's I took 4 sets of 20 reps, just wanted to release the tension in my shoulders between attempts. The round of 60's went in 30-15-15, and these were intended breaks. Actually my only misses came in the first set of 100 du's. I wouldn't have forgiven myself if I had more misses. Set of 40 was done in 20-20, and the last one unbroken. I didn't wanna burn my shoulders in the beginning and try knocking the sets unbroken or even close. I know what I'm capable of and tried to stick to my game plan.




Toes-to-bar was quite consistent all the way. Towards the end my abs were close to cramping but it got avoided, luckily. First set was 10-10-10, then 10-8-7. Set of 20 was probably 8-6-6, then 7-5-3 and last set was something like 6-2-2, with minimum rest. On the earlier sets I dropped from the wall, took couple of steps away from the pull-up bar and returned for another attempt.

I believe my core will be a little sore tomorrow, we'll see about that. It's still gonna be another training day on Thursday. These workouts this week have been great and there's no sight they would be worse later in the week!



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday 26.8: Cleans, Front squat, "Black and Blue"

Tuesday. Strength, cleans 3-3-3-3-3 (mostly at 95kg), front squats 4-4-4-4 (110-115kg). Metcon, Black and Blue, 5 rds of: 10 power clean (60kg), 10 burpees. Time 7.31

Another great training day! I was looking eagerly for getting my hands on barbell with the intention of heavy cleans. What suits perfectly with squat cleans is front squat as my legs are already warmed up and it's easy to put some load on and hit couple of sets squatting. The metcon was a nerve-racking idea. Got the idea from Competitorstraining.com where I saw this one some weeks ago. Toni had also done this one sometime in July.

Lots of veggies getting ready!


Strength.
  • Cleans 3-3-3-3-3 (90, 95, 95, 95, 95kg)
  • Front squat 4-4-4-4 (110, 115, 115, 110kg)
This was something I was looking forward to. Heavy sets of triples on the cleans, naturally squat cleans as the weights got bigger. These were not touch'n'go style which I usually prefer. This time I took singles, dropped the bar, reset, and took another lift. Three in a row, then some rest before hitting another set. Total of 5 sets. First set was at 90kg, the remaining of them with 95kg.

I'm extremely happy on the way I was able to perform today. Often when I go over 90kg they tend to be singles because the load is simply to heavy for multiple rep sets. There might have been one case where I did 2 reps in emom workout with 90kg. Other than that this was probably the second time I got this many heavy reps in my system in any other way than singles. And my technique stayed solid all the way. Don't remember there would have been any awkward lifts during these sets. Below is one clip with 95kg.

3x95kg cleans

Front squats are somehow a natural continuance to squat cleans. I've done this combo couple of times. I need my legs to be prepared for squats and in this way they always seem to be well prepared. Took a double at 100kg just to make sure my legs are ready to hit it. That was an easy double so I took it up to 110kg for a triple. That was tougher but there was still room to up it. It was time to adjust the bar to 115kg and go for another set. That was challenging as my 4th rep was some sort of battle. That's why I decided to stay with the same load and repeat. Last one was again with 110kg because I didn't wanna miss a rep. That was then a bit too light. These 110-115kg bars were good for my purposes.



Metcon. Black and Blue, time 7.31
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 10 power clean, 60kg
  • 10 burpees
This was a bit intimidating at first. I saw a video of this posted by Ben Bergeron in his site competitorstraining.com. It was in the first days of July and it caught my attention right away. We talked it over with Toni back then and he went after this one pretty soon. He told me it went way up in his category of bad ass workouts. No wonder. It's simple and beautiful. I could see this one burning lungs big time.

I was about to scale this one to 5 cleans and 10 burpees but then again, I fought that thought away in seconds. No point in doing that. Couldn't find anything good in that version. My legs were pretty hammered from the strength portion, that's why this popped into my mind for a second or two. Fortunately I did this rx'd!

This is how it should look like


On the cleans I went unbroken on the first round, then the remaining rounds it was 5-5 in each set. I'm in the transition stage whether to use hook grip or regular grip. On this one I figured my forearms are gonna burn so I ended up in hook grip. And it must have been a good call since my forearms felt okay all the way. Burpees are burpees. What can you say? =) Love and hate relationship still exists. They make me breath heavily, and burn legs, shoulders and arms. After them power cleans are not that tempting but that's what you're gonna do anyway. So just grab the bar and suck it up. You're gonna feel like a king after the workout.

This was classic crossfit. I liked it a lot. It hurt but you could still keep moving. My time was 7.31 which means to say my work time as such was okay but occasionally I had to stop to breath. Practically it was the transitions between the two movements where I tried to cool down the breathing.



Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday 25.8: Ring mu's, Presses, and Metcon

Monday. Skills, ring muscle-ups (PR 3 reps). Strength, 7 sets of bar complex of: 2 push press + 2 push jerk (70-80kg). Metcon, 3rds of: 10 hspu, 20 power snatch (40kg), 30 box. Time 14.24.

It was great to get back in action after a bit of a slack in the weekend. Don't remember when I would have had 2 recovery days in 3 days. But it might have done good to this body, I definitely hope so. At least I got PR in ring muscle-ups! Strength part consisted of overhead work with a barbell. Finally my metcon was continuous high-rep stuff with couple of movements. Those hurt the body in different nature than low-rep stuff. I also got some good tips from one co-worker regarding mobility on my upper body as I'd like to see my shoulders get more flexible, especially for overhead squat / squat snatch positions.




Skills.
  • Ring muscle-ups (PR 3-2-2-2 reps)
C'mon, I finally got 3 unbroken reps on the rings!!! This is something that's been in my sight for some time but I haven't been able to nail it this far. Entering the gym I was a little nervous about doing muscle-ups because it seems it's been a while since last ring mu session. I've been knocking those bar muscle-ups with good success though.

I grabbed the rings, took a good swing and flew up over the rings. That was easy. I got confident right away and decided to go for more. I've been watching those Grid League professional matches and those muscle-ups in some event looked so easy and effortless that I thought why wouldn't they look as easy when I go after them. With this in mind I dropped down and did another continuous swing and put all in to get over the rings. Check, why not go for the third one. And I got that, what a relief! It felt simply great to get that third one in the books.

As it felt so good I decided to try multiples in the following sets too. I went on by feeling and took a double on the next set. Same with the rest of the sets. This was clearly the best ring muscle-up session ever in my crossfit career. Might sound lame for you guys who can do multiple ring mu's just like that, but for me this was success and boosted my confidence a lot. I realized the same small things that led to my bar muscle-ups proceed to next level brought me to this point. I had the same patience as with bar mu's. Hopefully I get a chance to work on bar mu's as I need to find a pull-up bar with plenty of space. Can't do them at my regular gym. Those bar mu's clearly transfer to some benefits on rings as well.



Strength.
  • Bar complex of:
  • 2 push press + 2 push jerk
  • Sets at 70, 80, 75, 75, 75, 75, 75kg
This was classic overhead strength. I wasn't sure what weights would suit for me. That's because of the push jerk. It's kind of awkward that my push press is actually a little better than push jerk. I remember pressing 90kg overhead but push jerk max is maybe at around 85kg, and a little shaky version for sure. Can't find perfect technique for that movement. So this was both strength and technique training at the same time. Then, on the other hand my split jerk is at 105kg, taken from floor as c&j. There are big differences depending on the way the bar is lifted overhead.

Anyway, I decided to do 7 sets of this complex. First one at 70kg, there was extra room to add the stakes so I put 10kg more weight on the bar. That felt a bit wobbly on the jerks so I dropped it to 75kg and finished the remaining sets with that load. Those felt good all the way. Maybe I could have done this with push press / split jerk combo to make it with heavier loads but on the other hand, it was good to practice on that push jerk technique simultaneously. On lighter weights (around 60kg) it feels great but on heavier sets it's more challenging technique-wise.



Metcon. Time 14.24
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 10 handstand push-ups
  • 20 power snatch (40kg)
  • 30 box jumps, 61cm
I wrote having in mind that I need to get those workouts done too where yo have to do more linked reps in a row. Don't know if you can ever call anything "traditional" workout because I try to mic it all the time but normally if I have these movements in a workout, the amount of reps is lower on each of them. This time I added the repetitions to amounts that I knew would be challenging to push through unbroken.

On hspu's the first round was easy, the workout had just began so it was obvious to go unbroken. On the second one I did 5-5, intentionally. I could have pushed them unbroken but that would have eaten the energy of my shoulders. Last round was 6-4. On power snatches I used hook grip which turned out to be a wise decision to save forearms. I'm in the learning stage of hook grip. Sometimes I use that, on some cases not. Took the clean PR last week with hook grip but it's mostly a feeling thing. At the moment there's it's not that black and white. This time it felt natural to go for hook grip. First round was 8-6-6, second 6-5-5-4, last one 6-6-4-4, pretty consistent and my form stayed solid all the way, didn't compromise that at any moment. Felt proud of that.


This is match number 3, I'm kind of hooked on this league!


Box jumps after burning my legs a bit on the snatches felt bad. Got the first round unbroken, then on the second and third round I took some rest periods on top of the box. Plus I had 2 missed reps that I usually don't have at all. The fatigue hit my legs and coordination was more difficult than normally.

This was a great workout and the entire training session actually! Felt super to get those unbroken ring mu's in the beginning and shoulders are always worth training for. I also enjoyed the nature of the metcon. This was a good start to the week.








Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday 24.8: Rest day

Sunday. Rest day.

Another rest day for this weekend. This is weird. But somehow it felt right today. No surprise I had something in mind for this Sunday but we arrived home late in the evening and I had put on the movie "No country for old men" which turned out to nail me in my seat. Couldn't switch it off and therefore I felt good enjoying my time at the sofa doing nothing =)

What this means is there's no other option but to hit it hard the upcoming week. I have created good workouts, I know that already now. At least they look good in my eye, on paper.

This might be a good drill for me too on the lockout



Here's the second match in Grid history. The first one between L.A. and N.Y was exciting to watch! This one's between DC Brawlers and Phoenix



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday 23.8: Squats, Thrusters, T2B's + Running endurance

Saturday. AM: Strength, back squat singles (max 135kg). Workout, thruster ladder emom style (40-60kg). Gymnastics, 4x15 unbroken t2b's. PM: Running endurance workout, total of 6.000m running.

Pauliina left to host a bridal shower for her close friend who's getting married in October. I drove them to couple of places but other than that the day was dedicated to training on my behalf. I dropped the girls downtown in the morning and headed to the gym afterwards. My goal was to do squats and thrusters, lots of weight on the bar in total. I spent the rest of the day in Klaukkala and after eating for couple of times I headed to the track and field.




Strength.
  • Back squat singles 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 (105, 120, 122.5, 125, 127.5, 130, 132.5, 135kg)
  • Half squat 5-5-5 (140, 150, 160kg)
  • 5 x 100kg regular back squat
My intention was to hit it heavy and maybe get somewhere over 140kg. Every time I intend to do singles, I end up lower compared to hitting for example triples and then couple of singles at the end of those triples. Somehow my legs probably aren't as fresh and warmed up as they are after sets of heavy squats. These singles felt heavy from the very beginning and it was a battle to stand up with the load.

I'd still like to see my legs have become stronger. In front squats I just got a PR and my clean has come up steadily on which I partly give credit to my legs. Same with the deadlift. Just need to get used to heavier loads on my back. That's the reason why after singles I overloaded the barbell and took these squats that look stupid and kind of feel too, but the point is to get used to having this much load on back rack position. Half squatting those give hope of getting them one day up atg-style.




Thrusters.
  • With a running clock, in every 2 minutes complete the following:
  • 8 thrusters, 60kg
  • 8 thrusters, 60kg
  • 8 thrusters, 60kg
  • 10 thrusters, 50kg
  • 10 thrusters, 50kg
  • 10 thrusters, 50kg
  • 12 thrusters, 40kg
  • 12 thrusters, 40kg
  • 12 thrusters, 40kg
This was great! It was kind of every minute on the minute style workout, with 1 min rest between. So more like "1min on, 1min off". I decided the reps scheme before starting the workout. On the first minute I id 8 thrusters with 60kg, second minute was recovery, third minute same 8x60kg, fourth minute rest, and one more set with 60kg on the fifth min. During the 6th minute I took 10kg off the bar and continued with 10x50kg sets. It took a total of 18 minutes.

Those sets felt tough, as they were ought to be! It was the point =) It would have sucked if it was a walk in the park. 60kg thrusters are always a pleasure. Hero workout Seven includes 49 reps of those, done it couple of times. Eight reps were okay, the third one was bad.

After I dropped to 50kg I added the reps to 10 at the same time. It was clearly lighter but those 2 extra reps were noticed by my shoulders. They burned about the same as with the first weight class. The last load - 40kg - is something you sometimes see in a workout and was obviously a good thing to be part of this workout, and not only heavy thrusters.




Gymnastics.
  • 4 x 15 reps, toes-to-bar
Some core work in the end. This is a good movement and teaches body control as well. If you don't manage your body well, you end up swinging back and forth without a destination. I took 4 sets of 15 t2b's. Easy work, nothing too taxing. The thruster session was already a real pain cave.



Running.
  • 1.200m moderate, 200m slow, 400m hard, rest 3min
  • 1.000m moderate, 200m slow, 400m hard, rest 3min
  • 800m moderate, 200m slow, 400m hard, rest 3min
  • 600m moderate, 200m slow, 400m hard, rest 3min
  • Total of 6.000m run. Plus 1-2km jog before and after workout
The weather was disastrous at one point, it was raining like it hadn't rained ever before. It lasted for couple of hours and then all of a sudden, the sky was clear at points and it was brisk air, easy to breathe. Perfect for outdoor training! I headed to the local track and field place.

I saw the workout at NC Endurance IG-page. Those are mostly created by the man I've talked before. Man behind NorCal Crossit's endurance programming, Chris Hinshaw. Every workout I've done written by him have been awesome. This was great too. Purely running. Definitely not a strength of mine. I used to he an okay runner back when I played floorball. That's because we used to run before every training session, about. Since starting crossfit, I've neglected this element way more.


The pacing of this workout was more like a subject of conscious. It's difficult to determine for example "moderate" pace. Slow was like recovery jog, moderate was probably like a good metcon pace. And then hard was something close to a final sprint in a long running metcon. In the beginning running felt more sticky but I got loose after the first round. Had a huge cramp in my left thigh after first round but I was able to manage it away.









Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday 22.8: Rest day

Friday. Rest day.

Had some schedule issues and therefore didn't have time to practice at all. To be honest, I didn't mind it all, I really needed this rest day for recovery. My body feels fine, no soreness anywhere. Guess I've stepped up my game and recovery is quick nowadays. That allows me to do workouts this often. Last full rest day was sometime in June. But generally speaking, I felt tired yesterday. Nothing special, just felt the weights were kind of heavy-ish.

So one day of recovery and I'm back in action tomorrow. Here's the Update Show of the Team Series. First event is announced for teams, and that's a familiar one, this time completed in a team.


Plus here's the entire 2h sesh of the professional Grid League match, first match ever, between LA Reign and NY Rhinos. You can find the individual events in this piece or then by going to the Grid's Youtube channel (National Pro Grid League) and watching them event by event.




Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday 21.8: Clean and Jerk complex, metcon

Thursday. Barbell, complex of 1 clean + 3 jerk (max 85kg). Metcon, 2rds of Cindy, then 5 c&j (60kg), 1min rest. For a total of 5 sets.

It was a tough day. I mean it felt heavy from the beginning on the jerks and I didn't quite get it going at any moment as I wanted. My work day was not cool at all. We were in a long seminar day and there were no possibility to stand up pretty much at all during the day. You should never have people sit down for a whole day. Huh, that wasn't great for the body, especially as I'm used to move all the time during day. Anyway, I went home, ate with my baby and then headed to the gym together with Pauliina.



Barbell. Clean and jerk complex
  • 1 squat clean + 3 split jerk
  • 60, 70, 80, 85kg
Had something a lot heavier in mind but it simply felt a little to awkward from the beginning and I couldn't find my technique in place. Cleans were light all the time, as they should have been, but the overhead party was too shaky even with light weights. Maybe it was just lack of concentration here, I admit that. Took just couple of sets with moderate weights.


Barbell work and maybe last 2 rounds of the metcon


Metcon.
  • 5 sets of:
  • 2 rounds of Cindy (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats) + 5 clean & jerk, 60kg
  • 1min rest between sets
My thoughts were on a "twisted Cindy" consisting of normal Cindy with clean and jerks in an ascending ladder every round. However, my energy wasn't quite there so I did a lighter version of the same movements. This was a good interval action of about 1:40 per set. There was a 60 second rest period at the end of each interval. The idea was to being able to go hard at every set.

I had to break the last set of push-ups, other than that I guess I pushed them unbroken. Pull-ups were like feather light, squats started to make my quads and hammies heavy but I did them unbroken too. Clean and jerks went in touch'n'go style all the way.

There's not much to be told to the future generations about this workout. Barbell complex was off track a bit so I just basically wanted to get my lungs work well and I reached that goal. I was gassed after the interval work. Great workout by the way!



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday 20.8: Snatches and Box jump overs

Wednesday. Strength, power snatch 3-3-3-3-3 (across 55kg). Metcon of power snatches and box jump overs.

It was all about snatches today! This is not one of my favorites and I admit I don't do them that often. It's very technical movements and it kind of bugs me that my mobility doesn't allow me to do proper squat snatches. That is probably one reason I tend to focus more on clean and jerks, squats and other strength movements. Today I focused a lot on this movement, first on strength and then on a metcon.


Strength.
  • Power snatch 3-3-3-3-3 (across 55kg)
I was very satisfied with this strength session. It was simultaneously technique training for this olympic lifting movement. Main goal with this one was finding a good bar path, and to be able to move proper weights. The load was good, I'll take it for now. About the bar path, it was okay for now but it definitely should travel closer to my body. There's way too much distance between body and path at the moment. I try to pull the back of my head fiercely backwards to open space for the bar to travel directly vertically. However, I should do it better because the bar runs away a little too much forward

Snatch strength


Metcon.
  • 3x3 min amraps
  • 2min rest between amraps
  • A) 3 power snatch (45kg) + 6 box jump overs (result 5rds + 3 snatch)
  • B) 2 power snatch (50kg) + 6 box jump overs (result 5rds + 4 box jump overs)
  • C) 1 power snatch (55kg) + 6 box jump overs (result 6rds + 1 snatch)
This was great! Got the inspiration from NC Lab. This was a good metabolic conditioning plus my legs started to burn big time. The set-up was so that you complete 3min workout (as many reps as possible in that time frame), then rest 2 min before hitting another 3min amrap, then another 2min rest before the last 3min amrap. The number of repetitions dropped by one rep on the snatch in every amrap and simultaneously the weights went up with 5kg. The last was supposed to be challenging but I got them done much better than I thought.


Snatch + Box jump overs


Had no idea how many rounds I did every round, had to check it from the video. I got a little further every round. It started from 5+ rounds and ended up with 6+ rounds. I had my thoughts about the loads but I had decided those beforehand and decided to follow the plan. This workout was supposed to be of the nature where you can keep on moving constantly so that's the reason why I was thinking whether I had set the kilos right on the barbell each round.

I enjoyed this training session a lot. It was cool to go for snatches and they felt good. I used hook grip on the strength portion. This is something I've tried to learn little by little. Got it also in cleans, occasionally.





Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday 19.8: Jackie, 3-Rounder and Tabata Rowing

Tuesday. Benchmark workout Jackie, time 7.24. Metcon, 3rds of: 10 hspu, 20 t2b, 30 squats. Time 7.07. Metcon, Tabata rowing, result 944m.

Tuesday was practically a non-barbell day. Okay, had an empty bar for Jackie, which is by the way a workout I've never hit before. After recovering for a while, I tried to fix my overhead squat position with my training partners, then went after another bodyweight workout, created on the spot. Chilled out a bit, then jumped on the rower for Tabata workout, also first timer. Usually I don't have time to do any mobbing afterwards, I tend to do it before the workouts, but this time I sacrificed about half an hour to stretch out and other mobility stuff. And it felt great!



Jackie. Time 7.24
  • 1.000m row
  • 50 thrusters, 20kg
  • 30 pull-ups
Alright, first date with Jackie. Every now and then this one pops up into my head but for a reason that I don't know this lady has stayed in the background and has never been done. This sounds rather easy, and I want to emphasize the word "emphasize". Had no idea how to approach the workout. It was obvious that I couldn't push it through unbroken and that means there's gonna be breaks during the workout. That's the reason why I figured not to gas myself out in the rowing. I took it easy with 1.49 pace. It was exactly 3.38 as I finished the 1k row. Definitely not fast but winning 5 seconds here wouldn't do any good for the rest of the workout. For Games athletes it would make.

From this moment on I had no idea how to proceed. So I took the barbell in front rack position and started moving the bar up and down. I exaggerated the movement so that I went way below parallel, more than needed, because that's the way I like to do my squats nowadays. For this workout this was extra range of motion, and actually not needed at all. For the overhead position I took the Rich Froning approach, meaning I locked it overhead, and got in to a good rhythm of inhaling at the top and exhaling in the bottom position. This rhythm was maybe little too much for this weight, I should have just pushed it through and paced up at this point. Took 35 reps at first attempt, laid the bar down and picked it up for the remaining 15 reps. After thrusters it was about 6 minutes in to the workout.


In the pull-ups I also gave a little slack. It didn't feel like that during the workout but I realized it after the wod that I could have done faster. Took the pull-ups in 10-8-7-5. I got these sets done without huge efforts. My fear was that I would hit a wall had I gone too fast at any given moment. This was valuable info for upcoming Jackies =) The workout itself was funk and somehow the nature was a lot different than for example Fran and Grace which I consider the most classic stuff.

Metcon. Time 7.07
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 10 handstand push-ups
  • 20 toes-to-bar
  • 30 air squats
Jackie took my breath away for a while but the recovery was fast after this one. I wasn't all done so I needed some more work to be done. It turned out to hspu's, t2b's and squats. Got the hspu's done unbroken for the first 2 rounds and fell off the wall on the third one. That was practically ub as well. T2b's were unbroken for the first round and actually felt light. There was room for more reps still.

Second round was tougher, and I got them done 12-8. Third one was done in 3 sets, 10-5-5. Air squats weren't that bad. Or actually they were a bit nasty, especially after toes-to-bar's as my hip flexors were tense in both movements. But I mean I got them done unbroken without any issues, it just got to me flexors more than I had thought.

Post workout meal. Salmon, lots of salad, avocado, and veggies 

Tabata. Distance 944m
  • 8 rounds of: 20 sec work, 10 sec rest of:
  • Rowing
This was the Grande Finale of the training session. Just sat on the rower and started pulling the strokes for these 20 second intervals. Tabata is a great training method for pretty much any movement. I've done it usually on bodyweight stuff with the exception of 120kg deadlift. Works perfectly for air squats, push-ups and sit-ups, why wouldn't it suit for kettlebells, double unders and actually everything!

This was a lot more painful than I thought of. Couple of sets went by nicely but in the middle I was in a lot of muscular pain, and towards the end it was pure misery. Good classic short workout! This day in general was purely focusing on metabolic condition and I liked it a lot. Jackie was a fresh one and I've got to hit it some other day too.

This was nasty!




Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday 18.8: Clean and jerk, Cleans, Front squats

Monday. Strength, clean and jerk (max 100kg), clean singles (max PR 115kg), front squat 10x3 (110kg).

Started the week with pure strength training. Wanted to just feel how the weights feel in front rack position and overhead. The focus was to build up to heavy loads. My legs also got stronger through a lot of squatting in the end of the training session. I had a training partner to work with me, one dude from work called Asser, who pushed me forward on the cleans. I also got good tips on my leg position in the jerk from him. He was destroying rowing Nancy in the end, a pleasure to see someone go through that benchmark wod unbroken, great job man!

It was all about barbells today

Strength.
  • Clean and jerk, 3x60, 70, 80kg, 1x90, 95, 100kg, 102.5kg failed
  • Clean singles, 105, 110, PR 115kg
  • Front squat 10x3 (100, 110, 110, 110, 110, 110, 110, 110, 110, 110kg)
First of all I started with clean & jerks. My mind was set up for them and front squats. Then a short metcon was supposed to take place in the end. However, clean felt good so I took couple of heavy attempts in between, and ended up smashing a new record. I did jerks twice last week and that's why I figured test how clean & jerks would feel like today. First sets were light ones and their purpose was just to warm up the muscles and joints for some big lifting.

Clean PR, 115kg

The limit is somewhere around 100kg at the moment. 90kg lifts are easy, 95kg are doable, 100kg are tough. I had some issues in locking my elbows in the 100kg jerk but I was able to save it without that much problems. Had to stay in the jerk position for a second more just to make sure it counts. The 102.5 clean was easy but the bar felt heavy-ish in the front rack position.

Took the dip and drive, and pushed it with all I got but didn't throw my front leg as much forward as it should have so it resulted in the same issue as with the previous jerk. That is not locking my elbows right away. I tried to save it right away and I got myself straight and held the bar overhead. However, I don't count that as a successful rep because I couldn't hold it still for a second or two. It was a little wobbly so it can't be put in the books as a good lift.

I wanted to work on my legs too through squatting my butt off. A total of 10 sets of triples. First set at 100kg, then the remaining 9 sets at 110kg. Those were semi heavy loads. I guess my 3RM is around 120-125kg currently. Having done 10 sets of triples I was done for the day. It felt like an eternity, I'm not used to squat that many sets. But it's got to be beneficial to keep the body guessing what's coming for it.

Rich Froning, Chris Spealler and now Jason Khalipa are out from individuals