Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday 31.10: Cleans, Front squats, Metcon

Friday. Strength, clean singles (max 107.5kg), front squat triples (120kg). Metcon, 12-9-6-3 of: squat clean (60kg), burpee box jump. Time, 6.08.

This Friday we had scheduled some boys night out in the evening with Toni and some other friends. Before that we went to the gym where Toni focused on coaching and mobility. He's suffering from a back injury, hopefully just a minor one and we'll see him back in action soon. My focus was on heavy cleans and front squats. Don't know if that was the smartest thing as my legs were already smoked =) Metcon was a short but intense one, brutal on legs.



Strength.
  • Clean singles 1-1-1-1-1-1 (100, 102.5, 105, 107.5, 110f, 100kg)
  • Front squat triples 3-3-3-3 (100, 110, 115, 120kg)
I put it on my calendar that I'll go after heavy cleans but not max out. It turned out that my max today was anyway at 110kg. Toni was giving tips after each rep and trying to fix my early arm pull. It has gotten 10 times better than before but still there's something like that visible to my eye. Got to go after these heavy cleans, I love them. It might have been a great idea to hit something like 7x1 at a fixed weight at around 100-105kg to focus purely on form under heavy weights. After one failed rep I dropped it down to 100kg for an easy single.

Took some recovery in this pool and sauna combination in the evening

Combination for strength consisting of cleans (& jerks) and front squats work very well together. It's been something like 2 months since previous front squats. I've been back squatting my ass off because of Smolov program and tried to minimize all other squatting. These felt rather heavy today but still okay solid. Nothing to worry about, kept knocking the weights up and down for triples. Max was at 120kg.




Metcon. Time 6.08
  • 12-9-6-3 of:
  • Squat clean, 60kg
  • Burpee box jump
My legs were killed already before this training session and cleans + front squats didn't help either. Entering this workout - that I took from Pat Sherwood - was brutal  on my legs. I took the first round of squat cleans unbroken, then on the second set I had to do mostly singles, never saw that coming. Burpee box jumps are a total energy-eater and today it showed me once again why they are used in the crossfit community.

Chilling out in the patio with Toni

There was a little much enthusiastic in the beginning and I choke myself in the very beginning of this metcon. Both movements sucked. Cleans were easy but the squat was tough. Same with the burpee boxes, it definitely burned my legs big time! They were great but smoked be big time. This was a great training session, no doubt about it. Awesome to have Toni and also Joni with me there.




Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday 30.10: Snatch, Rowing Nancy

Thursday. Technique, snatch. Metcon, Rowing Nancy, 5rds of: 400m row, 15 ohs (42.5kg). Time 15.13.

Today's star moment was written in my calendar as being benchmark workout Nancy, rowing version of it. Before hitting the actual metcon I had planned to do either clean and jerks or snatches. I felt a little beaten up, especially in my lower body already in the warm-up section. Legs got tired pretty soon so the barbell play time was kind of short and light weight, concentrating in technique and form rather than big loads.



Barbell.
  • Squat snatch technique at 30-40kg
This is something I've got more and more enthusiastic over lately. I wanna get the bar path nice before trying to force heavier loads. I have readjusted the grip width recently to match better to my body and it has helped me in the "first pull". I can make the contact with bar and body in correct height on the hips. That is great news. The bar tends to still go a little too much forward instead of traveling straight up vertically.



This snatch session included power snatches from ground and from hang position plus squat snatches from both ground and hang. Finally I took some snatch balance work. That seems to be the most natural part of this movement. And what is extremely positive thing is that my mobility is on a level that I don't have to use that as an excuse for not working on this movement. The weights were not playing big role this time, just playing with the bar and getting familiar with the movement.



Rowing Nancy. Time, 15.13. Compare to 22.4.2014
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 400m row
  • 15 overhead squat, 42.5kg
Nice, Nancy is always a great workout. I've hit this one twice before as described. This ought to be a running workout spiced with overhead squats. Run one lap on a track for 400m, then complete 15 ohs at 42.5kg. Well okay, no need to use a track, distance is the defining factor. Repeat for a total of 5 rounds and you're done. I've done this once together with Toni in Liikuntamylly and then once on my own in the same place. That is one of those rare venues where I can hit this one and it's been an eternity since I've had the chance to train there. Need to have a holiday or a day off to get there. Magnificent place by the way.

I was bitching a bit to Pauliina about having some pain in my right wrist. Probably nothing big but it's feeling very tight without any reason. Haven't injured it anywhere, just realized it maybe yesterday that it's super tight. So I was thinking about just rowing easy and doing some ohs but Pauliina put me back in my place and made me work hard for this benchmark wod. Thanks for that!




Rowing pace was somewhere around 1:45 for the first round, then 1:50 and at some rounds closer to 1:55, there were pace per 500m, that's what the digits show on the Concept2. I knew the difference would be made on the squats rather than rower. I could win just seconds by rowing harder so the bar movement would make a bigger influence on the final time.

Previous time I managed to get all rounds unbroken on the ohs. Today my legs were jello after first round. That was kind of awkward, couldn't figure out why but that made me drop the bar on the second round after 10 reps. On the rounds of 2-4 I did the sets in 2 attempts, either 10-5 or 11-4. On the last round I grit my teeth and pushed it unbroken again. I'd thought my shoulders would have bailed on me before legs but it was the other way around. Sick.

The nature of this rowing version was different than when running. Running got my heart beat higher and more miserable on lungs. Rowing got my muscles more fatigued. Different kind of burn on these two. Both rocked and were pure crossfit workouts, hands down! This workout finished one week of some sort of benchmark workouts. On Saturday I repeated that one crossfit.com workout, then one of the Open workouts, Christine, Cindy-ish, Helen and Nancy. Some sort of version of these benchmarks saw the daylight, maybe a little modified for one reason or the other but I can definitely feel these in my body right now. It's been great to hit these classics!




Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday 29.10: Rowing Helen, Gymnastics

Wednesday. Metcon, rowing Helen. 3rds of: 400m row, 21 kb swing (20kg), 12 pull-ups. Time, 8.50. Gymnastics, handstand hold, deficit hspu's for quality.

Another benchmark lady was ahead of me today. I've done Helen once - in the beginning of my cf career - over 2 years ago. Today was a repeat workout but instead of running I went rowing. Afterwards I concentrated in bodyweight stuff, basically hanging upside down, doing static holds and hspu's. Later on Jouni arrived to the gym and we practiced front squats with him for the first time.




Rowing Helen. Time 8.50. Compare to 8.8.2012
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 400m row
  • 21 kettlebell swing, 20kg
  • 12 pull-ups
Helen was one of the first benchmark workouts I ever did, back in August 2012, that's also about when I started writing this blog. We did it together with my bro at Kauniainen's sports track. The difference with this and that was running versus rowing. Plus kb swing 2 years back were merely Russian swings, barely even eye level. Bell was same in weight. Originally it should be 24kg but I don't have access to that. I have one 20kg at home which I used 2 years ago. And the heaviest bell at our gym is also 20kg so I used that one today. I've also done a combination of DT and Helen with kettlebells last year, 25.12.2013.


This guy looks a bit different 2 years ago =) I've come a long way


This was by no means rx'd version of the workout because I rowed and the bell was 4kg too light. I understood beforehand this is gonna be rather fast workout so there's no time to start whining but just go and rip it out. On rowing I went something like 1:45 on the first round, around 1:50 on the second and a little slower on the last round. The difference between running and rowing is that you got to set yourself on the rower before you get moving. When running you can drop from the pull-up brand set off right away on that same second.

Kettlebell swings were light, I don't usually do work with anything else than 2-pood bell, that is 32kg. Completed all 3 sets unbroken, and those didn't cause any issues. These were American swings, haven't done Russians probably after the first Helen =) This naturally takes more time as the bell travels higher overhead instead of eye level.

Swings weren't that bad themselves but they consumed some of my energy on upper body so that I couldn't pull off the pull-ups unbroken. First round ub, then  8-4 and last set was 6-3-3. My grip was gone and just couldn't hold on to the bar. I tried to use much more legs in rowing to save my grip and arms for the remaining 2 movements. I was surprised the pull-ups felt that tough but that was the name of the game. Recoveries were short. Transitions were also as short as possible, and round times were 2:46, 2:58 and 2:55, pretty consistent. Great workout! As benchmark workouts tend to be =)


Gymnastics.
  • 3 sets of: handstand hold (0:60, 0:45, 0:30sec)
  • Deficit handstand push-ups for quality
Today's agenda was solely Helen and I had no other strictly planned workouts. I decided to throw myself in inverted position and took static holds in handstand position. First set was for one minute, second one 45 seconds and the last attempt for 30 seconds. This was useful training.

Secondly, I wanted to play around with handstand push-ups, climbing it to deficit hspu's. I didn't count them that precisely but it was basically triples at different heights. Took off with just one plate under each hand, making the deficit for about 5cm, or whatever the plate's width is. Then plate by plate I went up to 4 pieces making it somewhere between 20-30cm deficit, for a triple. I took 3 sets at this deficit. This was fun play in the end.





Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday 28.10: Clean and jerk, Snatch balance, 20min emom

Tuesday. Clean and jerk, 3rds of: 1min amrap at 60kg, 3min rest. Technique, snatch balance (max 55kg). Metcon, emom x 20min: 1 round of Cindy.

Had no need to rush this through, took plenty of time to rock it. After getting my body warmed up and ready to rumble it was time for some clean and jerk action, then I took a moment to get my technique better for snatch. Used a complex focusing mostly on snatch balance. Finally something of a mixture between Cindy and Chelsea took place. Great session, felt good!



Clean and jerk.
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 1 min amrap of clean and jerk, 60kg
  • 3 min rest
  • Result, 13-13-13 reps
This popped into my head from last Saturday's workout where I worked for 12 minutes between power cleans, burpees and rowing, each for a total of 4min in a row. This got me thinking of doing high intensity clean and jerks for a while, then recover and hit it again. C&J is a tough movement, gets heart beat hit the sky and muscles burn from lower body to shoulders, especially in a high-rep version. So that got me thinking about the time frame.

This time it turned out to be 1min of work, and 3min of rest. That rest was enough to get me back on track and ready for another sprint. On the first round I completed 8 reps in a row, then brought the bar down, took another set of 4 reps and finished with one single in the end, total of 13 reps. I had time to think between sets and I decided to approach the next set differently; 5 reps, release the tension, take another 5 reps, reset and take the last 3 reps. Was able to stick to this plan, it burned a lot but I got it.

For the third and last round I entered with same plan as for the second. Forced myself to grab the barbell after short recoveries between those sets. So it was 5-5-3 this time too. This got me to the limits for sure. Looks easy on paper but implementing this was a different story. Very useful to say the least!




Snatch complex.
  • 1 power snatch
  • 1 overhead squat
  • 4 snatch balance
  • Sets at 20, 30, 40, 50, 55, 40kg
On Sunday I took squat snatches for the first time in eternity, and realized my mobility is on a level where I can actually do the movement with proper standards and form. I get below parallel and shoulders are in correct position. That was mind blowing moment for me to understand there are no restrictions in my mobility. At least it's getting to better direction, clearly.

That encouraged me to hit this movement again but with different approach. Coach Burgerner is always swearing in the name of snatch balance, and I decided to obey the man. The weights were light, this was more for technique. Took the barbell from ground, threw it overhead, completed an overhead squat, and then the actual diamond of the complex, snatch balance.

I built it up gradually to 55kg. There were 4 snatch balance in every set except of the 55kg where I lost concentration and stupidly dropped the bar in front of me. That was a bummer as the bar wasn't heavy but it was purely a technical mistake. I took another set with lighter weights just to complete the last set with perfection. Muscle memory thing.

Funny thing was that snatch balance felt much more natural and right compared to overhead squat. It was kind of like I found the tracks more easily there, and the path down was great. At the moment I'm feeling like there's been huge steps in my snatch so maybe this will trigger me into practicing it more in the future.

Coach with Dave Lipson


Metcon.
  • Every minute on the minute, for 20 min of:
  • 1 round of Cindy (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats)
Wanted to get the blood flowing in this body, and there's been lack of pull-ups lately in my workouts so this seemed like a good idea. Emom training, for a total of 20 minutes. This was a combination of benchmark workouts Cindy and Chelsea. I kind of went by feeling all the way. I have intentions of bringing pull-ups back to the level where they used to be. Adding volume is on my mind. This workout got me a chance to get a good number of reps done. They were easy, and should have been with just 5 reps at a time.

Push-ups were the thing on this workout, and has always been on Cindy and Chelsea likewise. I got them unbroken ever round but they started to feel fatiguing at around 13 minutes. I've completed Chelsea once before and hit 22+ rounds on Cindy. Both of them have been good pain caves. It took me exactly 30 seconds to finish one round of this emom training, thus leaving exactly 30 seconds to recover before the next round.

This was a good day of training. Was able to work on clean and jerks, and snatch progressions. Plus this grande finale was also a good choice. Liked the entity a lot!



Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday 27.10: Squats and Christine

Monday. Strength, back squat 6x4 (130kg). Benchmark workout Christine, 3rds of: 500m row, 12 deadlift (bodyweight), 21 box. Time, 9.58 (PR).

Working out with Jouni. He was giving wall balls, burpees and lunges some hard time and my focus was on getting legs stronger plus knocking one benchmark workout called Christine. She's a bad ass lady and get to the very core of posterior chain and heavy breathing. Awesomeness!



Strength.
  • Back squat 6x4 (125, 130, 130, 130, 130, 130kg)
This time I had decided on the reps beforehand and that was a smart move =) The bar felt heavy-ish on the 125kg but I still decided to push it through a little heavier load. Most sets were at 130kg. Warm-up sets took place at 60, 90, and 115kg, couple of pause squats and regular squats at these weights. The working sets were good for today, I got every rep done with style without compromising form or anything else.

But simultaneously, the last reps were definitely tough! I wanted to have more reps at these heavier weights. Smolov squat strength program has brought a huge load of confidence on bigger loads, there's no doubt about that. Guess I'll take some front squats next time because it's been a while since previous time.


Looks like a great workout!


Christine. Time, 9.58. Compare to 21.12.2013
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 500m row
  • 12 deadlift, bodyweight (80kg)
  • 21 box
She's great! This was the third time going after this one. As you can see, all three stations bring a lot of burden on lower body / posterior chain. I remembered this should hover around 10 minutes so it's something you got to attack rather fiercely but can't get too jumpy in the beginning because otherwise legs are gonna call it off too soon and the rest of the wod is miserable.

On the rowing I went something like sub 1:50, which is not fast but getting too quick on this one would have probably brought issues on the other 2 elements. Winning 5 seconds here would have probably been lost somewhere else. At least that was my reasoning this time. Plus I tried to pull more with my hands compared to normal case where I try to put more stress on strong pull with my legs. This strategy I chose today was based on saving my legs for deads and box. Worked well.

Deadlifts were obviously unbroken, the load was such a light version and the number wasn't huge. I would have been disappointed if this wasn't the case. For the first time in a metcon I used clean grip (with hook grip) on deadlifts, it felt only natural to grab the barbell with this style. I'm hoping this will bring good things on cleans and snatches in the long run. Even though the barbell was loaded at bodyweight (80kg), of course it started to get the hamstrings heated up.



Box jumps after rowing and deadlifts is not that awesome =) First reps were the toughest, then my body got accustomed to the movement. Nailed all jumps unbroken, with a steady pace, not stopping at any point. My focus in general was to have a solid pace in all three stations and not get fatigued over time. I kept telling myself this is only about 10 minutes, so keep on going.

I'm very pleased on how this workout turned out. First round was about 3:14, second was 3:27 and the last 3:18. That means to say it was a steady ride all the way. This is exactly what I'm looking for in every workout. Good intensity with the engine rolling continuously. Plus I was ably to force myself to take the first stroke on the rower on second and third round as quickly as possible. There's no point in stopping and catching breath. Better take that first pull no matter what the pace is, this enables you to get the boat rolling and you save time.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday 26.10: Squat snatch, Metcon of snatch and du's

Sunday. Barbell, snatch (max 60kg). Metcon, 12min amrap of: 15 power snatch, 30 du. Result, 278 reps.

My back is sore from Friday's heavy deadlifts. That was a bit of a surprise factor for today's workout. Could I be able to snatch with that muscle pain reminding of itself constantly. The answer is yes. I was able to throw in probably the best squat snatch technique session of my life. Then something close to CF Open workout 11.1, thought I did it but afterwards it looks like it wasn't exactly the same. Anyway, back feels better than before the session =)



Barbell.
  • Squat snatch
  • Random reps, more with lighter weights and fewer with heavier
  • Climbing up to 55kg for squat snatch, finished with 1x60kg power snatch
I really had no big hopes for today's snatches. Just need to get something in my system to remind the body how it's done. Squat snatches were beyond my dreams. Some months ago I wrote I'm not gonna try any squat snatches because my mobility is not at a level that would allow me to go even close to parallel with smooth technique. Got to admit, I wasn't too optimistic of getting better at that element. Being 35 in a week I'm the strongest I've ever been, have the best mobility I've ever had (even though I was a floorball goalie in my previous sports life) and have the best condition I've ever had. Got to be happy for every single day I'm able to train with this intensity.


Thought about doing power snatches just to get them done but then again I tried to do squat snatches and felt better than ever on those. Plus there's one huge thing. I've narrowed my grip on snatches remarkably. I'd say it's almost 10cm from both ends. I used to have my hands in the extreme ends. This is something beyond words. That means to say my shoulder and back mobility have taken next steps. And even though Smoloz squat program wasn't cool at all times, it has made miracles to my lower body mobility. Thanks to that guy!

Today I took random reps at different weights, adding plates after having finished successful reps. It ended to at 55kg for a double. And I can proudly say these were the best squat snatches I've seen myself do on camera. Usually they stay above parallel so they actually aren't squat snatches at all. On 60kg I wasn't able to stabilize the movement and I had to drop the bar. On second attempt the previous failed attempt got under my skin and I didn't have the balls to drop under the bar. Had to retake it as power snatch just to show the barbell who's in charge. Got to work on this squat snatch technique and free the movement on the catch position to create confidence.

Recap


Metcon. Result, 278 reps
  • 12 min amrap of:
  • 15 power snatch, 35kg
  • 30 double unders
Yep, I thought this would be one of the CF Open workouts from past years. I remembered it was something like 15 snatch + 30 du's. The order of them was supposed to be reversed and the time frame was also wrong :) Well done mister… Whatever, it was very good workout! And that's the main point, high intensity. At times it feels like this crossfit thing is tough stuff. Then on the other hand, training sessions like yesterday evening - bench press etc. without intensity - gets me bored. Today's session was the exact opposite. And I was pumped about it!!! This is what I need to get in my system. I enjoy every workout, intensity is what I live for.


I get so much more out of a workout if breathing gets heavy and you can test the limits of your body. Sometimes body is feeling tired and that's only natural but the main thing is I do this because I love working out. I've been doing sports my entire life and I don't recall a time I would not have liked to do sports. Floorball took my time for about the last 10 years and now it's time to do crossfit, looks like it's here to stay. I wanna be in shape and in good health for the rest of my life.

Back to the workout. This is metabolic condition workout for sure. Snathes were light, just 35kg on the bar. And du's gets heartbeat sky rocketing always. The combination of these movements is toughest on shoulders. I remember we did this same wod just a while ago with Toni as a partner workout. That time I was able to do all rounds unbroken because there was one athlete working at a time. One round at a time. The recovery while Toni was doing his part was enough to allow me to go full throttle at all times.



Today I got first round unbroken on the snatches, then the remaining rounds were 9-6 all the way. Double unders brought no issues and I completed them without pauses or misses. Hook grip is a must in a high-rep snatch workout like this. Awesome metcon!



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday 25.10: C&J, Burpees, Row + Skills and Bench

Saturday. AM: Barbell, clean and jerk 5x5 (max 80kg). Metcon, with a 12min running clock, 4min power clean (60kg), 4min burpee, 4min row. PM: Skills, double unders (300 reps). Close grip bench 5x5 (max 85kg). Ring dips, 60 reps.

I'm having a free weekend with little being planned so that means lots of sleep, eating loads of protein and veggies, plus surprisingly, working out and taking care of my body. In the morning we went together with Pauliina. Main focus was on the cruel metcon, 12 minutes of pain. In the evening I dropped my baby to her friend's place as they were planning her upcoming wedding. That opened up a time slot for me for another training session. Morning's session was so tough on my lungs that I promised to myself this would be more skills and meathead oriented.



Barbell.
  • Clean and jerk 5's (60, 70, 80, 60kg)
I just went by feeling and the feeling was the weights were heavy. From the get go it was a bit on the heavier side, no matter the load on the barbell. So I climbed up and tried to focus on good form at all times, not rushing at all. Purpose was not to just get the reps done but to focus on power clean technique and then strong lockout. Afterwards looking I'd say my foot work was a bit off, should have been able to create more stability by throwing the front foot more forward. Power cleans felt light and easy today!




Metcon. Compare to 2.3.2014
  • With a running clock for a total of 12 minutes:
  • 4 minutes of power clean, 60kg (45 reps)
  • 4 minutes of burpee (50 reps)
  • 4 minutes of rowing for distance (975m)
This was a nasty one! I've done same wod with clean and jerks earlier this year. Today my body was not ready for those jerks at all. This workout was drilled in my thoughts for couple of days so there was no other option but to carry it out somehow. I only changed the c&j's to power cleans, with same weight though. Now as I look at the past workout, I realize rowing and burpees were in reversed order but that's probably not a big deal.



Took the cleans in sets of 5 reps from the very beginning on purpose. It was obvious they are gonna burn at some stage so it'd better be small sets with short breaks in between. They really got to me at some point but I was able to make it till the end as planned. Hadn't thought of any certain number but I wanted to make those 5's all the way and got up to 45 reps in total.



Burpees were the second element. I stopped the last clean about 2 seconds before the time cap of power cleans and it took me 10 seconds to get back on track before hitting first burpee. Had no plan, decided to go by feeling because this was gnarly. After 12 reps the first minute had come full and I decided to rest for a couple of seconds. Like that would help anything =) In burpees it really doesn't but that was a mental break at least. My pace was around that 12 reps per min, then on the last 2 minutes I sped up with 1 one more burpee to make it 13 reps in the both minutes. I wanted to get 50 reps done.



It's not 1 or 2 seconds after last burpee to get seated on the rower. I took my first stroke after about 15 seconds had passed on the clock. My pace was 1:55 throughout the entire row. It felt tough all the time and my lungs were screaming for help. After the time ran out I was happy to finishing this whole thing. It took some time to get a hold of myself. My lungs hurt couple of hours after the workout still. Something you'd experience after giving your all to a workout. Fran brings this kind of sentiments to me every time.



Skills.
  • Double unders
  • Sets of 30-50, for a total of 300 reps
In the evening I decided to let the breathing be rather steady and work on skills plus do some strength I don't usually do, bench press, but with a close grip to work more on triceps that I find more useful in all kinds of presses, jerks and hspu's, rather than just chest. I know, this was old school gym stuff, and definitely not my favorite thing but it felt right for today. It started with double under skills training and that was fun, of course. This is a movement we used to struggle with my main man Toni when we started our crossfit journey in the beginning, about 2 years ago.



At some point we decided to correct this flaw in our system and skipped rope in every single training session for warm-up. We performed in turns and tried to give each other some clues how to get it smoother. It took months to get the skills to a level we would later on be proud of. It was a long road but worth doing. It's actually a cool movement, and demands the entire body to be in control. Today I did unbroken sets of 30, 40 and 50 reps to reach a total of 300 double unders. Felt solid.



Barbell.
  • Close grip bench press 5x5 (70, 80, 85, 85, 80kg)
It's ben some time since doing any sort of bench press. It's a different move whether you have a close or wide grip on this movement. I'd think in close grip you're able to move lighter loads. Or is it depending on the athlete, I don't know. Anyway, this was okay but a little boring. Didn't get sweaty at all. It was kind of cool to get them done but I didn't get anything out of it in the big picture. Can't see myself knocking these on a regular basis



Rings.
  • Ring dips, 60 reps, in sets of 10
In the end there was some action on the rings. Dips are always useful stuff, and something that used to be my goat but nowadays it's on a totally different level. It might be advantageous to thrown in couple of tens every now and then in the cool down section. After having done strength / metcon, just work a few sets of ring dips to get comfortable with them. Today I did 60 reps, definitely not for time. The entire evening session was slow tempo training.

It was a great day of training in general. Especially the morning session took my breath away, great crossfit stuff, general physical preparedness.






Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday 24.10: Squats and deadlifts

Friday. Strength, back squat, build up to a heavy triple (max 140kg). Clean grip deadlift, build up to a heavy single (max 200kg).

Today was a day off from work which was great. We spent the day downtown with my baby and then headed toward the gym in the afternoon as Toni and Jouni were planning to enter as well. It was great to have Toni there to speculate some deadlift grips, and Jouni was smashing Karen with a 15kg bumper plate as there's no possibility to throw a wall ball. There was no metcon this time, just pure strength.



Strength.
  • Back squat, build up to a heavy triple (5x70, 5x90, 3x110, 3x130, 3x140kg)
  • Clean grip deadlift, build up to a heavy single (5x110, 5x150, 5x170, 3x180, 1x190, 1x200kg)
To be honest, I had no idea what to do when I came to the gym. Okay, I had an idea of squats and deads but it was very vague. I'm not sure about those reps in 110kg back squat and 170kg deadlift, might have been the other way around on the reps but at least the weights are correct. Anyway, at some point of squatting it came to my mind it would be cool to squat 140kg for a triple.


In the warm-up I always took one 5 second pause squat (up to 90kg), then banged some "speed" squats, as quickly as possible. They were not as explosive as I'd like to see but the point is to have good control in both downward and upward motion, and move with dedication. Squatting 130kg was moderate weight, it was awesome to understand that weight is no issue anymore. I'll take that any day nowadays. Plus a triple at 140kg, hmm… I've taken it once before in my life and the depth of the squats was not on the same level as they are currently. So there's no other possibility but to thank mr. Smolov for those unrealistic amounts of squatting lately.



After hitting that triple at 140kg I thought it's about time to get serious with deadlifts. It's probably been months since I've had my hands on a barbell for heavy deads. On the first sets I used regular mixed grip just like always before. For some reason it felt awkward and it was more natural to utilize hook grip in a similar way as I would do cleans. So we talked it over with Toni and he had similar feelings. So I figured let's give it a shot. It was instantly natural so I used that for the rest of the lifts.

200kg dead, hook grip

I'm having difficulties in choosing how to work in the future. Is it gonna be hook grip or classic deadlift grip in future sessions? Don't know the answer but today I built it up to a heavy single, and was able to knock a 200kg lift in the books. This was probably the first time I did clean grip deadlifts ever. There's a chance it transfers better in to cleans and snatches where hook grip is always used.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday 23.10: Calisthenics, Thrusters

Thursday. Skills, calisthenics. Barbell, thruster emom, 5 rep per min (30-50kg), for 15min.

Today was supposed to be entirely gymnastics type of day without any weights at all. I started with in a similar ways as on Monday, except for the ring skills. Mainsite's workout tickled my crossfit senses throughout the day so I took a short test on that one. My shoulders felt everything but ready for that so I did it only for a while. Today was anyway scheduled a barbell-free day.



Skills.
  • Calisthenics
These holds that I did on Monday felt awesome and it was cool to witness the control over my own body has takes huge steps forward, and I wanted to see whether that was one-time luck or was it actually true. Frog stand is easy now, I can stay there forever, and the planche progression holds are also coming together.

New thing I went after was headstand in a way I was taught earlier today. Difficult to explain but my wrists and elbows were both in contact with the floor, pointed straight forward. Well, at least they were not together which means to say this demanded much more from core and shoulders to find a good solid pose. Regular headstand is a piece of cake nowadays, no challenge there but this was something totally different, and put my body to a test. Cool stuff, I like to play around with bodyweight.



Barbell.
  • With a continuously running clock complete 5 thrusters every minute
  • From 0:00 - 5:00, 30kg
  • From 5:00 - 10:00, 40kg
  • From 11:00 - 15:00, 50kg
Yes, this was crossfit.com's workout of the day on Thursday. Pat Barber and Wes Piatt threw down on this one so you'll see their video below. It's a good workout and you get warmed up while you're doing it. That's because it starts light and you have plenty of time to get ready for the heavier weights. I bet it's gonna hit you like a wall at some stage.

My shoulders were not feeling prepared for barbell action today so I did this one for 15 minutes only. I was figuring I'd be somewhere around 70kg on this one. 60kg thrusters shouldn't be impossible. It's not nice but they're doable. Don't know what the reality would be though. This seemed like a good workout, better try it out some day.


Had plenty of training pals today at the gym but I had to take just a short session of gymnastics stuff and thrusters. Toni and Joni were working on some oly lifts, Jouni dominated the deadlift scene and Jasper also hit it just when I had finished my thrusters. Pauliina had active recovery type of session this time.




Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday 22.10: Snatch, 21-15-9

Wednesday. Barbell, snatch complex: 3 power snatch + 3 snatch grip push press (max 50kg). Technique, overhead squat (max 60kg). Metcon, 21-15-9 of: hspu, front squat (70kg), bar-facing burpees. Time, 12.22.

Went to work later in the day so I had time to hit a workout in the very morning. It's been an eternity since working on snatch so it was about time! Didn't wanna go after max numbers though, just getting the feeling back with a complex. Then, some progress on ohs too. Finally, the metcon was a bad ass version to get some pure crossfit in my system.



Barbell.
  • Complex 3 power snatch + 3 snatch grip push press behind neck
  • Overhead squat singles for technique (40, 45, 50, 55, 60kg)
I had thought about doing presses with snatch grip but then again, why wouldn't I practice the actual snatch too. I looked for the correct width on the grip so the barbell would hit the correct hight before touching my body. The reality was I had to get the hands more narrow than I've thought they should be. Only now I understand where they must be located. Another thing I focused was the starting position. Same as with cleans. Start from low enough by sitting down.

In my opinion I got the touch point to a correct place. It's another thing how well I was able to utilize that to bounce the barbell in a beautifully vertical path. There's more work to do for sure. Doing squat snatches is a different ball game, especially with this more narrow grip. It makes it much more difficult to get below parallel with the barbell overhead. I have never been able to squat down with a narrow grip.

Today was the first time in the history of squat snatches / overhead squats that I got below parallel by having my grip so that my hands are not in the very end of the barbell. This was a huge success story for me. This means to say there's still hope that some day I'll be able to do squat snatches with good mobility. I've done some extra stretches for shoulders every single day lately. I have a broom at work place and from time to time I use it as a pvc pipe for mobilizing my shoulders. On the overhead squats I took just singles, going down slowly, staying in the squat for a while, then coming back up. Just to make sure I can do the movement.

Recap of training session


Metcon. Time 12.22
  • 21-15-9 of:
  • Handstand push-ups
  • Front squat, 70kg, from ground
  • Bar-facing burpees
Huh, this was tough. Bar-facing burpees are always a pleasure, not! =) They're totally different than regular burpees. The jump over and turning around makes it a lot more taxing. On hspu's I managed well. Took 15-6 on the first round, then something like 6-4-3-2, and the last round was 6-3. Even though I had to cut them in couple of sets on the round of 15's they felt solid all the way. It took some time in the transitions between movements.



The bar was at 70kg so it didn't feel tempting to grab it right away. I should have pushed myself a bit more in the squats. At the moment it felt heavy but with common sense says it should have been able to gone in bigger sets. First round was 11-5-5, second round 9-6 and last one unbroken. The first round should have easily been done in 2 sets. My legs could have tolerated that. First instinct was that I got to save my legs for the bar-facing burpees somehow.



Those are tough. Would I do only things I enjoy, bar-facing burpees would never be part of my programming. But they are because these bastards are useful. Awesome movement for metabolic conditioning. Gets breathing very heavy plus it kind of forces you to use the hips because you want to make the movement strong so you jump over the barbell right away without having to step close to the bar before jumping over.


Lauren Fisher



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday 21.10: Clean and jerk, metcon

Tuesday. Clean and jerk, emom @ 60kg, 5 reps per min, for 8min. Metcon, 5rds of: 15 box, 12 s2o, 9 t2b. Time, 11.05.

Mmm, this was great. Hard core training for me. Clean and jerk in emom style, making me gasp for air. After resting for couple of minutes, I changed the weights and worked another metcon of box, presses and core. This was the essential of crossfit. Constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.

Pony hitting a workout with me today, lots of oly lifting for him


Barbell.
  • Clean and jerk. every minute on the minute, for 8 minutes
  • 5 reps @ 60kg
It's been some time since doing high volume clean & jerks, touch'n'go style. This was an emom workout, meaning it's more like a metcon, at least with these reps and weights. The load itself wasn't huge, Grace-weight, but it's totally movable load. Complete 5 reps on top of every minute, and rest for the remaining minute, then start another set. That means there's not that much time to recover and breathing kind of stays relatively high and my forearms started to burn. Didn't use hook grip at all, I don't feel natural doing t'n'g reps of c&j so I have open grip.

This was cool for 3-4 minutes, then it started to get tougher. Okay, the time frame in this one was 8 minutes so it shouldn't be that bad to knock 40 reps in that time. At least when I compare this to Grace (30 c&j for time) in which my PR is 2.50. Still, the last 2 sets were nasty and definitely not a sunshine all the way. Good workout in my opinion!



Metcon. Time, 11.05
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 15 box
  • 12 shoulder-to-overhead, 52.5kg
  • 9 toes-to-bar
This was another great workout. I've done something like this before and had the same feeling that time too. It was like my guts would burst out of my body and my shoulders were burning, same with the legs. That equals fun time.

Kevin Ogar hitting it hard


I've done this as 18min amrap before for about 7+ rounds. This time I went for 5 rounds for time (about 11min). Every round was a bit slower than the previous except for the last one where I was able to speed up couple of seconds. This means to say the rounds varied between about 2:00-2:30. Box and t2b's unbroken. Box burned my legs, t2b's were definitely the easiest of the three. Those push jerks were the most challenging. First 2 or 3 rounds were unbroken, then I cut it to 8-4 for the remaining rounds. I did them in push jerks all the way but those started to put pressure on my lower body too so it was kind of a tough decision whether to do push presses or push jerks. This time I went with jerks anyway.

Definitely a workout worth doing, for everyone. If you'd ask me randomly for a workout, this would be on top of the list. Very well-rounded workout, and does expose weaknesses in engine or muscle endurance on shoulders on s2o's and lower body on boxes.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday 20.10: Gymnastics day

Monday. Gymnastics

This was a great training day. For a second I thought it might be a rest day but then again another option hit my mind. Why wouldn't I practice on some skills and keep it light, kind of active recovery style. Well, this wasn't quite that but not that heavy either. I worked on some body control movements and had a blast at the gym!

Great article, guess I should work more on ankle mobility


Gymnastics.

  • Ring muscle-ups
  • Skin the cat
  • Frog stand
  • Planche progressions
  • Weird breakdance moves

For starters I don't recall when was the last time I did muscle-ups on rings. It was about time! There was some anxiety up in the air when I walked to the gym and realized some work has to be done on the rings. Luckily my skills had not vanished just like that and I was able to hit couple of reps, one double and then singles. Some additional ring skills were ahead of me in the form of skin the cat. It really got to the core and my shoulders felt tight in the end of the motion.



There is something fascinating in human's ability to control his body. I enjoy movements like handstand, hspu's and muscle-ups on pull-up bar and rings. In all of these you need to be aware of how your body works, otherwise it's gonna be no good. It's been ages since I've done any kind of body control moves or poses but every time I do, it's freaking awesome. And because it's been such a long time I realized my skills in controlling body have increased a lot. That was super inspiring!

I did different kinds of static hold positions, don't even know what to call all those moves. There was a colleague of mine who's a dancer to give some additional tips on breakdance style poses. My point is I enjoyed every minute of these bodyweight things and I'd like to witness me doing these more often in the future.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday 19.10: Kettlebell and bodyweight metcon

Sunday. 3rds of: 20 kb swing, 1rd of Mary, 20 box, 1rd of Cindy. Time, 14.45

There was an option thrown in the air of us going to train outdoors but the weather was as ugly as it gets with rain and fogginess. It was by no means tempting so we packed our gym bags and headed to the gym with Pauliina. It seemed right to take the 2-pood kettlebell with me, and spice the metcon with bodyweight movements.



Metcon. Time, 14.45

  • 3 rounds of:
  • 20 kettlebell swing, 32kg
  • 1 round of Mary (5 handstand push-ups, 10 pistol squats, 15 pull-ups)
  • 20 box jump, 61cm
  • 1 round of Cindy (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats)

My body was a bit beaten up so main focus was on bodyweight movements, kettlebell was the only weighted element. This was a good and tough workout. Don't know how much it had an effect that I wasn't fresh but my legs got steamed early on in the metcon. I wanted mix those benchmark wods Mary and Cindy into something of my on creation. It turned up to the above described combo.


It was cool to swing that bell around the gym after having a break of working out with this guy. I was able to manhandle the bell well and all sets unbroken, no problems with this one. Usually I work with kettlebells out in the nature because carrying those around is a workout in itself =) So normally I don't carry it with me to work but weekends are an exception when I might have it with me at the gym.


Mary is probably my favorite benchmark wod, consisting of hspu's, pistol squats (a.k.a. one-legged squats) and pull-ups, with the classic 5-10-15 rep scheme. Handstand push-ups are coming to be some sort of a strength of mine, which is awesome as I think about the early steps when they used to be a big time goat.


Pistols have been non-existing for quite a while and it felt good rocking them, alternating legs after each rep. These are much harder without the weightlifting shoes as Nano's don't have that elevation in the heel section. I stood on the edge of one of those gym mats to get something below my heel for more stability.


Mary's pull-ups consist of 15 reps per round. In a longer workout that is tough, and that's exactly what it the toughest portion of Mary. In today's workout they were challenging too but I got all of them unbroken - in both sections of them (15 and 5 reps). At some point of the workout I had to wear gloves on pull-ups as the friction started to tear the calluses.


Box jumps were for two rounds whereas on the third round my legs were burning a lot but I still tried to keep moving constantly and not stop in vain. Pace was probably slower but the man was moving. Round times were 4:14, 5:12 and 5:18. First round is always quicker because you start the work immediately. I'm happy my third round was consistent with the second one even though it felt horrible at times.

Short recap




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday 18.10: Cleans, 20min amrap

Saturday. Every 30sec, perform 1 squat clean (90-100kg), for 10min. Metcon, 20min amrap of: 10 burpee, 15 t2b, 30 du, 300m run. Result, 5rds + 170m run.

Old school crossfit and I freaking loved it! This was my kind of training day. Heavy squat cleans for barbell work and bodyweight stuff for a long metcon. Breathing was heavy but under control throughout the workout and I was able to move all the time. I went to work for today but afterwards was able to sneak to the gym to get my head straight.



Barbell.

  • Every 30 seconds, perform 1 squat clean, for 10 minutes (20 reps)
  • Reps 1-5: 90kg
  • Reps 6-10: 95kg
  • Reps 11-15: 100kg
  • Reps 16-20: 90kg

This is my favorite thing to do with the bar. Squat cleans, and preferably as heavy as possible. Doing them with just a short recovery is totally another story but this is the way I like it. One heavy lift every 30 sec for a total of 10 minutes, changing the weights after each 5 rep (2:30min). Started from 90kg and ascended to 100kg, then the last 5 reps at 90kg.



My focus point was the starting position. Traditionally my legs haven't been that much bent but now I try to sit down more than before. This engages my legs more on the pull so that would bring benefits to the entire lift. Another thing I concentrated on was activating my lats tightly together for as tight back as possible before the lift. This results in the barbell hitting my quads higher. And that is huge. Thus, the bar should bounce more upwards than front, the bar path is more correct and I should be able to get more power and momentum.

In my opinion I succeeded well on these. It's been ages since I've pulled from ground to a squat clean because I've tried to save my legs a bit the last weeks. That's why it wasn't the smoothest in each lift but it felt great all the way. At times I was surprised how high the bar hit my legs and this in turn made the bar rise higher too. Awesome stuff!

Cleans


Metcon. Result, 5rds + 170m run

  • 20min amrap of:
  • 10 burpee
  • 15 toes-to-bar
  • 30 double under
  • 300m run

The purpose of this workout was purely to breath heavily and keep moving. Burpees felt good all the way. On t2b's I had to break them after 2 rounds. Could have nailed the 3rd one but I decided to cut it in 2 sets (10-5). Last 3 rounds I did them in 2-3 sets. Double unders were easy today. Every time I touched the skipping rope it felt like there's not going to be any issues with the jumps, and there weren't. Unbroken each time.

Recap of metcon


Running had to be taken on a treadmill but that doesn't bother me nowadays. I'm okay with that. I'd prefer to run outdoors for sure but that's not an option here so I'll settle for this. It was almost 6 rounds, I got 170m run on the last round. This was a good breather! No excuses to stop and breath. Only t2b's had to be broken because I just couldn't lift my legs anymore.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday 17.10: Squat, Deads, Metcon

Friday. Barbell, squats (max 150kg), deadlifts (max 150kg). Metcon, 5rds of: 10 pull-ups, 10 ring dips, 15 box. Time, 8.09.

Too soon to try that max load, I suppose. The program said I should wait for a week before testing it out. On the other hand my legs felt okay and I'm a little impatient so there were some squatting ahead of me. Then I took couple of deadlifts just to get used to it after months of not pulling from ground. Metcon was a short scribble, created on the spot.



Barbell.
  • Back squat 3x60, 90, 115, 1x130, 140, 150kg
  • Deadlift 5x90, 4x130, 2x150kg
My warm-up routine was normal and I thought I'd get myself ready for the sets but never at any point during squats did I have a sweat on. Normally my shirt is wet one minute from entering the gym, just from looking at the barbell. This was strange and maybe got under my skin somehow. Anyway, there was a lot of tension in the air as I had the pessure of making new PR's.

I wasn't able to reclaim those expectations as I wanted. Gonna make it rain some other day next week. The bright side is that the 140kg rep was easy and by far the lightest I've ever done with that weight. Jumped right on to 150kg which is something I've never lifted. I got it up but Pauliina had to touch my ribcage slightly so I don't count it as a record breaking lift. That bummed me for a couple of hours. On the other hand, that previous lift was indeed light and with this poorly warmed up body I was still able to hit these numbers. Plus I've squatted 4 times a week for the past weeks and was still able to make it quite solidly.

Deadlifts were just to get accustomed back on the movement, couple of reps at different weights, no big deal. Loads were light! Great movement, got to say.


140 & 150kg


Metcon. Time 8.09
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 ring dips / push-ups
  • 15 box jumps
Felt tired before even jumping on to this workout. Pull-ups, ring dips and box. On 2 different rounds the rings were occupied so I had to sub for push-ups. Should have increased the number of them as push-ups are obviously easier than dips.

My body was overall fatigued and everything felt pretty much the same, didn't matter if it was pull-up bar, dips or jumping around. I got the work done and was happy about that. Tomorrow's another day and it's gonna be a better one!