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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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'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.

  • 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

  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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!


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.

  • 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!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday 16.10: Push press, Hspu

Thursday. Barbell, push press 3x3 (70kg). Gymnastics, emom, 8 hspu x 9 min.

Clearly a lighter day. Putting the most pressure on upper body this time. I was thinking about doing heavier presses but both of my elbows were a bit sore from those heavy squat triples from yesterday. I guess they were in a lot of stress during that squat hour. After push presses I decided to hit some hspu's emom style. Me likey!

  • Push press 3x3 (across 70kg)
We were doing work together with Joni who was focusing on clean & jerk action. Took some sets with lighter weights at 40, 50 and 60kg. The movement pattern itself felt good but the weight brought burden to my elbows and it didn't feel great to move it up overhead. Joni gave some tips later in the session on wrist position when barbell lays in the front rack, got to try to obey those tips more next time.

This was light weight and I got hungry to work on my shoulder strength. There was no need for a freaky metcon today so it was natural to work on my skills being inverted. Next station: hspu's.

We simply love avocados with Pauliina, just bought 4.5kg of them today =)

  • Every minute on the minute
  • 8 handstand push-ups, for 9 minutes
We were speculating the reps and minutes with Pauliina before I jumped on the wall. We had something like 6x8min and 7x7min on our minds to hit a total of approximately 50 reps but then I decided to just get the first set going and go by feeling, 8 was gonna be the absolute max though. The first set was very light so it seemed like a good plan to do couple of sets at 8 reps per min. Pauliina suggested to do 8 reps for as long as possible in that one minute time cap. Something similar as to "death by" workouts.

Sounded awesome so that was my goal for the next minutes. It was easy for about 4 minutes. It took about 12 seconds to finish those reps so my pace was rather fast. On 5th minute I realized we are close to hitting a wall in about 7 minutes or so, but it was still okay.

7h round was manageable, had to reset at the bottom position before finishing the last rep, it still got through in about 16 seconds. 8th round was the first round I wasn't able to do unbroken, as the last rep was a single after 7 t'n'go reps. This caused the rest time diminish down a bit and at this point this was crucial. Last round was too painful on shoulders to go ub, and it was something like 4-2-2. There was about 15 seconds left in the clock after 8 reps so I stopped there. My goal was to hit about 50 reps and I went up to 72 so this was a success.

Noah Olsen visiting Cal Strength

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday 15.10: Squats

Wednesday. Strength, Smolov, back squat 10x3 (137.5kg).

At times it felt like this day would never come. The end of Smolov's squat program. I knew this wouldn't be a walk tin the park. I filled in my one rep max at 145kg - even though I wasn't sure if I would have got that up before the program - and the excel showed me what to do on each training day. I had taken my PR long time ago and it felt like I wasn't quite on that same pace in the late summer. Today it was time to take another hard core set of 10x3 at heavy weights. Now I'll pass these squats for a while and test my one rep max in a couple of days.

Getting work done

  • Smolov, back squat
  • Sets at 10x3
  • 1st-8th sets 3x137.5kg, 9th set 2x137.5kg, 10th set 4x135kg
I looked at the excel and it said the load should be 137.5kg. For 10 sets of triples. I was about to lose my mind at this scenario. Then again, the only option was to dig deep in the back of my head and talk myself up to be a strongman. You can do this shit. Don't think about it too much, do what you can do best, don't over think it, just do the work. I kept telling myself I can do these heavy sets. I left the door a little bit open to nail them as 135kg sets if 137.5kg would be too much.

Took warm-up properly and couple of sets with barbell at 70, 105, 125kg before jumping to 137.5kg. First set was a fair game, I got it without problems even though I felt it heavy on my back rack. It was a good boost on confidence level as it felt a ton on my back but once I went down and started pushing back up, it felt fine. I understood my legs and entire body is ready for today. Second set felt the same. On third it started feeling heavier.

For fourth set I asked a pal to spot me just in case. It was better to have a friend to secure the lifts and somehow it makes it easier to finish strong on the reps. All sets between 4th and 8th were similar, weighed enormously but from somewhere I was able to gather extra strength to get the required reps down. On 8th set my spotter laid his hands on my ribcage to guide me back up on the right tracks. That was much needed help and simultaneously it might have gone under my skin.

On 9th set I probably didn't get mentally strong enough and the possibility of not making it through got to my head. And that's pretty much a definite thing it happens once you let it slip in your head. So I took a double of which the second one needed some guidance from my spotter too. At that moment I decided to go down with 2.5kg to 135kg sharp. That's a small drop but mentally it was huge. The last set was a piece of cake. That probably indicates this squat business is largely a psychological issue too.

As it was such an easy piece it came to my mind right after racking it that I should finish strong and make up the one rep that was lost on the 9th set. I waited for half a minute and completed the last one like it weighed 120kg. This made me smile and it was an awesome finish to the training session. Had no time for a metcon today but tomorrow's another day of crossfit.

This Smolov squat program definitely was hard but it was also worth walking through it. Positive side effects. My mobility in hip lower body has improved tremendously. It's beyond words how good my hips feel currently. Being constantly under this kind of pressure and tension has brought miracles to my hips. Squat form has also taken steps. I feel like my reps look the same, no matter the weights. There's been so much repetitions, about 130-140 heavy reps per week that it has to make good. Naturally my strength must have gone up as well. At this point I can say these set weights have definitely gone up. Gotta test that one rep max too soon.

Toni jerked 110kg today for a 10kg PR, huge man, congrats!

On the negative side I'll say in the beginning I was a bit hesitant to do tough metcons because I thought it would make harm to this program. Later in the program I started doing regular workouts too. Not maybe at same level but at some point this has hindered my traditional crossfit training methods. I've tried to let my legs rest a bit more. Some of these squat days have taken a lot of time at the gym so I haven't had time to go after metcons.

All in all, it was a good call to finally try it out as I had been thinking about it for months. What happens from this point on, I don't know. Time will tell =)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday 14.10: Clean and Jerk, Pull-ups

Tuesday. Strength, clean and jerk complex: 1 power clean + 3 split jerk (max 90kg). Metcon, 5rds of: 7 push jerk (60kg), 15 pull-ups. Time 7.09.

Another day of training with Jouni, c'mon! He's taken it up a notch and is focusing on deads, squats and presses currently. Plus naturally metcons to finish it every training day. For me, between squat days it's natural to go after some overhead strength and / or metcons. I'll try to write the sessions so that my legs wouldn't burn too badly. Today was heavyish jerk action and the metcon was a tough one for upper body strength.

Strength. C&J complex
  • 1 power clean + 3 split jerk
  • Sets at 70, 80, 85, 85, 90kg
My max clean is around 115kg and jerk at 105kg. I haven't been able to jerk from blocks and rack jerks are a rarity so my that 105kg PR is actually a clean and jerk. Anyway, that is a clear indicator that my jerk needs more work than clean. Ideally they would be about the same. Having this kind of complex is created to work on the weaker one of these movements. Plus I took the clean as power clean to work on that technique. That's close to my max power clean from ground if I recall it right. For some reason I've been able to take 4 or 5 reps at 90kg for hang power clean, hmm…

I felt solid on this complex today. Lately the use of chalk was forbidden at our gym (which is insane) so I had to pay a lot of attention to my hook grip to prevent it not to slip. Barbell was "light" up to 80kg, then on the 85kg I wanted to take the same load for another time just to focus o the technique another time. Last set was at 90kg. Had no troubles in getting the reps done. I just did some time ago similar type of session, that time I climbed up to 95kg. Plus couple of days ago it was 1+5 session for up to 85kg. It would be freaking awesome to being able to hit 100kg reps for multiple reps. Maybe I just need to try them out I guess. I would feel more safe if there was a possibility to drop the weights in case it's not under control.

Metcon. Time 7.09
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 7 push jerk, 60kg
  • 15 pull-ups
This got inspired from the workout "2007" if you know what I refer to. In 2013 Crossfit Games we saw a workout called 2007 which was a tribute to the first ever Crossfit Games and actually the very first workout that year. Back then 60kg was considered a heavy weight for men but last year it was like a toothpick. The development of these human weapons is huge. The rx'd version of the workout was 1.000m buy-in, then 5 rounds of 25 pull-ups and 7 push jerks. The number of pull-ups is too much for me, the intensity would go down and the dividends wouldn't yield as well as I'd like to in this kind of metcon.

First round of this one was easy, the barbell was light and pull-ups went unbroken. I intentionally kept a short pause between movements because I've done this type of stuff before, similar couplet, ad I know my body. Took me 0:51. It wouldn't have been a smart decision to go all out from the gates. Second round, still unbroken on both movements. Barbell still okay, pull-ups got tougher. Took me 1:10 for this round. On third round the barbell wasn't that pleasant anymore and pull-ups probably broke after 10 reps. I dropped down and finished the 5 remaining reps. Time on 3rd was 1:35.

Fourth round got naturally tougher. Jerks still ub even though those felt heavy. My legs started to burn too, and shoulders were getting fatigue. Hmm how were the pull-ups? Probably 9, then 2 sets of 3 reps. At this point I tried to keep the recovery as short as possible because there was only one more round to go. It still took me 1:51 because I had to drop down from the pull-up bar.

On last round I was able to speed it up just a little bit (1:41). All jerks during the metcon went touchn'n'go all the way. The last 2 reps were tough on this one but manageable. Legs were on fire at this time, and shoulder of course. Pull-ups were "the thing" in this workout. Last round was 6-4-3-2 but the rest times were as short as possible and they actually were because this was quicker than the 4th round.

This is a challenging workout, at least for me. I like it, it's tough, mentally and physically. Having that row in the beginning would mix it up a lot too. Don't know why but there have been less pull-ups in my training than regularly. Got to keep adding reps on my training for sure. Anyway, I'm very satisfied to this training day!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday 13.10: Squats, 8min amrap

Monday. Strength, Smolov, squat 7x5 (130kg). Metcon, 8min amrap of: 5 hang power clean (50kg), 10 box. Result, 140 reps.

I was waiting anxiously for this day. Another heavy day of squatting. These heavy strength days for legs are getting me nervous because I know it ain't gonna be easy. I listened to my body closely and was making it sure I was ready for 35 reps of bad ass squats. Jouni joined me at the gym and he seems to be pumped up and ready to talk me up so that definitely eased the mental game. He was my spotter of the day. He worked on some deadlifts and then we hit a 8min amrap together.

Evening stroll with Pauliina ended up in Eltsu =) Just checking it out though

  • Smolov, back squat 7x5 (130kg)
Lots and lots of mental preparation to make sure these weights would come up as planned. I looked back on all the sets and weights I have moved in the past weeks of this Smolov squat program. Last week 130kg triples were very tough so that made me a bit insecure of hitting 5's today. Then again, I was able to move 7x5 at 125kg a week ago and 5x7 at 125kg just last Saturday. That boosted my confidence and I decided to build it up with doubles and singles up to the load of the day: 130kg.

Last single I took up was 120kg and it didn't feel heavy. Still, I wasn't sure how 130kg would feel. It weighs a lot in back rack but then as I went down it felt okay and it got me pumped up for the first set. For some unknown reason I was more confident of hitting these 5's than the 3's last week with the same weight… I got mentally strong before every lift plus Jouni was my back up man so there was no other option but to man up and do the work.

None of the lifts were light. But the real work was done during the last 2 reps of each set. At times it felt like the bar stopped the upward motion but I guess it was moving all the time. The most important thing was that I got them done, and they looked pretty similar to each other and to the previous squat sessions as well. Didn't have to compromise technique at all. Here's one of the sets, either second or third. Last 2 reps of them. As you can hear, they were not light =) I wanna take this opportunity to thank Jouni for encouraging me on the lifts and spotting all sets. Thanks man and great job on your lifts too!

Squat 5x130kg

Metcon. Result, 140 reps
  • 8min amrap of:
  • 5 hang power clean, 50kg
  • 10 box
Okay, legs were smashed potatoes after the strength portion but recovering for a while and thinking about the metcon brought the strength and stamina back to the body. We decided to hit it together with Jouni, at least for the same time scheme. He did burpees, lunges and dumbbell presses instead during those 8 minutes.

I didn't wanna have the barbell too heavy, this was light instead and brought me no troubles at any time. Afterwards thinking, it could have easily been heavier while still being "light". After first round I realized one set of cleans and box would be quickly over so there would be a lot of rounds during this short amount of time. My pace was consistent which pleases me a lot, it hovered around 50+ seconds all the time. First 2 rounds were sub 50 sec though. I just clicked the "round" button on my cell phone and continued moving around. It was great to have Jouni working beside me all the time.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday 12.10: Two 7min amraps outdoors

Sunday. 2x7min amrap of bodyweight movements, created by Pauliina.

We visited Pauliina's parents this Sunday, and I had no big intentions of working out. Naturally something would come up but the plans changed when Pauliina's dad suggested we'd hit it together, all four of us. That was a great plan and I gave all control to my lady to write up the workouts. She's into short amrap style workouts currently so that was on our menu today as well. It turned to be rather brutal.

Metcon. Result, 2 rounds + 10 burpee

  • 7min amrap of:
  • 10 burpee
  • 15 kettlebell thruster, 32kg
  • 40 mountain climbers
  • 20 commando

Familiar movements were of course burpees and kettlebell. Mountain climbers and commandos are a bit from the strange side to me. This was a scribble by Pauliina while we drove to Klaukkala. It turned out to be a good workout. Breathing was heavy in both amraps, and this one put more pressure on shoulder area as there were 3 movements that included some sort of a push element: burpee, thruster and commando. That last move is where the starting position is a push-up, then you lower your upper body to lean on your elbows, hand by hand, then come back to push-up position. That constitutes one rep. It's a push and core movement.

I was breathing heavily throughout the workout and those thrusters ate my shoulder strength pretty quickly. I didn't know what we would do with the kb's so I only took 2-pood with me. Well, it was actually quite good for this metcon. I had time to go through 2 full rounds and 10 burpees on the 3rd round.

Metcon. Result, 3 rounds + 15 snap jump

  • 15 squat jump
  • 15 snap jump
  • 12 push-ups
  • 30 ab-bikes

This was a killer for legs. This is a free day from squatting and I was hoping to let my legs off the hook this time. This metcon did not agree. It was awful for lower body. My legs were burning after first round. The combination of squat jumps and snap jumps was cruel. Haven't done these "snap jumps" before but they were really effective. For both lungs and thighs. Push-ups and an-bikes weren't that bad but they kept the heart beat up nicely.

Some handyman time afterwards

One round of movements was faster in this latter workout so I had time to work through one more round compared to the first one, it was 3 full rounds and then squat jumps and snap jumps. Just finished the last rep and the clock ran out.

These were both good creations from my baby and it was awesome family time to hit it together outdoors. It's getting chilly outdoors but working out somewhere else than the gym is spectacular this time of the year. There's a lot of oxygen to inhale and it's easy to keep going. It's only mental game, at least you can't blame the weather. Thanks family for this quality time! Respect to you all for pushing through this one!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday 11.10: Smolov squats

Saturday. Smolov, back squat 5x7 (125kg).

Today we were in no hurry at all so we slept till midday, it felt heavenly to get some rest for this body. I slept something like 11+ hours =) regular weekday sleep is around 7 hours so this was a real pampering. We decided to hit it downtown for a date night wit Pauliina and eventually I had time to sneak in some Smolov in the afternoon. Got time only for squatting.

  • Smolov, back squat 5x7 (125kg)
I thought to myself how the heck am I going to nail these squats. It would be 125kg on the barbell and it stood 7's for a total of 5 sets in my notes. Then I comforted my mind by thinking I was able to complete similar sets last week with 120kg. Those were tough for sure back then but I tired convince me of being able to go for these as there was only a 5kg difference.

I climbed up to the set weight by doing some empty barbell squats and then random reps at 60, 90, and 115kg weights. Pause squats and regular reps too. I figured having 1-5 reps with these lighter loads would get me ready for the upcoming challenge.

I realized the cruelty of this day on the very first set. First reps brought me back to reality as I noticed how heavy the weights were. Last 2 reps on each set were as challenging as they were about a week ago when I did similar reps / sets last time.

I still don't know how I managed to pull these off as my legs were jello after 2 sets. Those were tough! It was a mental game all the way. The first set was so heavy I was thinking how hopeless it felt. On the second set the 5th reps was a real battle (you'll see it in the video) and I thought about racking the bar. My legs barely go the 5th rep up but after inhaling and exhaling a bit I decided to give it a shot and nailed the last 2 reps too.

After that I decided to do some crosstrainer for recovery between sets. Just slow pace, keeping the legs moving and active so they wouldn't get all jammed up. I wanna believe that helped a little. After 3 full sets I convinced my head we are always past the midway so just man up and do your thing. I went and did. And felt superb after having done all 5 sets!