Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday 28.2: Step-ups, hspu, t2b

Thursday. Step-ups, handstand push-ups, toes-to-bar & knees-to-elbows.

My plan for Thursday was not to do heavy strength training nor a hard core metcon. This was an easier day for a while. I still wanted to give some pressure on my legs and shoulders. My workout's main ingredient was step-ups with a barbell in my back. I added some spice to it by doing hspu's, T2B's and K2E's between sets. This workout was not for time but for quality, skills and technique.

Step-ups, 90kg

Workout. For quality.
  • 10 step-ups, 82.5kg, alternating legs
  • Max effort handstand push-ups, 8 reps
  • 10 step-ups, 82.5kg, alternating legs
  • 10 toes-to-bar + 10 knees-to-elbows, hold on to the grip from start to end
  • 10 step-ups, 90kg, alternating legs
  • Max effort handstand push-ups, 8 reps
  • 10 step-ups, 90kg, alternating legs
  • 10 toes-to-bar + 10 knees-to-elbows, hold on to the grip from start to end
  • 10 step-ups, 90kg, alternating legs
  • Max effort handstand push-ups, 6 reps
  • 10 step-ups, 90kg, alternating legs
  • 10 toes-to-bar + 10 knees-to-elbows, hold on to the grip from start to end
I began the training session by rowing for a while, opening my hips by squatting with a pvc pipe, doing inverted holds and skin the cat with the rings. Then I took some long sets of back squats and tried to go as deep as possible, over 90 degrees to increase mobility. My sets were around 60-100kg. After getting properly warmed up I took two sets of 60 & 82.5kg step-ups. Why 82.5kg? Because there was another guy doing his squat sets as well so I figured that weight is alright for me as well. After couple of sets I added it to 90kg.

All together I did 6 sets of step-ups with 82.5 - 90kg. Between sets I did something totally else. Every other set was max effort of handstand push-ups (hspu) and every other time I did 20 reps of first 10 T2B and then 10 K2E by holding on to the pull-up bar continuously, not dropping down and adjusting grip in the transition stage.

My handstand push-ups rolled well. On the first set I did 8 reps (PR, previously 6 reps) through kipping method. On the second try I also did 8 reps but I changed the approach so that I tried to do as many reps as possible strict before kipping. I managed to do 6 strict ones, then adding 2 kipping versions to reach a total of 8 reps. On the last one I got 6 total reps (4 strict + 2 kipping).

On the pull-up bar the number of reps was no problem. I believe I'm rather solid with toes-to-bar and knees-to-elbows. It's the grip that sometimes becomes an issue. I decided to do 10 T2B reps, then change it to 10 K2E on the fly with the same grip. A total of 20 reps. It was nice to do these two movements, it's been some time since previous reps. This was the first time there was 90kg on the step-ups and it felt just fine in my back.

My training partner Toni took a rest day. In the evening I'll have some floorball with my team.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday 27.2: Elizabeth

Wednesday. Elizabeth. Time 10.28

Elizabeth, she was tough. I took over another benchmark girl to accompany the others. I've had this in my calendar for a long time but for several times but now I finally got the chance to prove I can do it. There have been a lot of cleans and c&j lately and my technique has taken a giant leap so it felt natural to give a shot at Elizabeth. Toni did snatches and Tabata training.

Warming up
Elizabeth. Time 9.28
  • 21-15-9
  • Squat cleans, 60kg
  • Ring dips
In a long workout like these girls tend to be, you must have a strategy. If you don't have one, it's gonna eat you alive. If you start pushing 110% from the very beginning, you're gonna get gassed very soon after starting. My plan was to do 3 sets of 7 cleans in the first round. It went something like that. On the second one I planned to do 3x5 and on the last set I hoped to do it in two sets. It didn't go exactly as I planned but close. On the ring dips I had a steady goal and implementation, 5 rep sets all the way except on the last set when I did 7 unbroken and then the remaining 2 reps.

Elizabeth (last squat clean & last set of ring dips missing)

It felt very exhausting during the workout. I had to take some breaks during the squat cleans. That movement took my energy and made my guts burn. I hoped I could have gone more unbroken but that wasn't the case today. Maybe I could sometimes take sets of 10 unbroken touch'n'go squat cleans, hang cleans or something like that. Or then simply do 30 reps as fast as possible to test how quickly it can be done. I haven't done many workouts like that. Not a bad idea.

Elizabeth worked perfectly for its purpose. A hard core metcon that I needed for today. This week has consisted of good training this far. Monday's thruster ladder was awesome and deadlift strength training rocked. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Elias was also at the Box for another crossfit training. Today his program consisted of Tabata training of ring rows, sit-ups and dumbbell clean & jerks. He fought bravely!

Toni's workouts. Snatch, sets of 3 reps. Tabata training (db snatches, push-ups, double unders).

  • Snatches 5x3 (40, 40, 40, 45, 40kg)
  • Tabata dumbbell snatches, 15kg (12, 9, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10 reps)
  • Tabata push-ups (10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 7, 7, 6 reps)
  • Tabata double unders (15, 10, 15, 13, 17, 15, 17, 14 reps)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday 26.2: Deadlift

Tuesday. Deadlift 5-5-5-5-5-1-1 (max PR 180kg).

Yes, I took over deadlifts and proved myself that previous record I did in the last day of 2012 would come up anyday. My focus for today was deadlift fives as strength training and then my plan was to do a metcon of DL's and box jumps. However, I slept a bit late and didn't have time for that good workout. Have to take it another day though.

Deadlift, 180kg, PR

Strength. Deadlift 5-5-5-5-5-1-1 (120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, PR 180kg). There was a time in December when my elbows were hurting pretty much every other day so because of that I did squats and deadlifts way more than normally because they didn't cause any pain. Since then, I haven't been deadlifting a lot. That's why I took sets of 5 reps today together with Toni. After warm-up and some lighter lifts of 60/100kg I began my sets. I put more effort in my technique today, my focus was constantly in pressing my heels to the floor, maintaining good back posture and heading chest up first before shooting my hips to the air.

I managed to go further with a better technique than normally, up to about 140kg. Then, my form started to collapse, which led to my hips shooting up first, only then my back followed. Okay, I have enough strength in my back to bring the barbell up even though there's heavier loads but I should do some tricks to maintain that good package all the way from floor to full extension. I'm sure that would lead in some tremendous success with heavy loads.

Deadlift, 130kg

Toni's workouts. Deadlift 5-5-5-5-5 (110, 120, 120, 120, 120kg).

Toni also did deadlifts, heavy sets 5x5. He also didn't have enough time to do a metcon in addition to strength training.

Deadlift, 120kg, Toni

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday 25.2: Thruster ladder

Monday. Thruster ladder. Time 9.30.

My goal was to get my breathing flow fast and also test my strength level at the same time. Probably the best movement with a barbell for this one is thrusters. As if my shoulders weren't already smashed after this I took a cashout in the end to burn them even more. Toni's training today consisted of squats and a box jumps / ring push-up metcon.

Elias doing sit-ups

Ladder. Time 9.30.
  • Complete the following thruster ladder for time
  • 10 x 40kg
  • 10 x 50kg
  • 10 x 60kg
  • 10 x 70kg
I can't think about a more comprehensive movement than thrusters. Well, okay maybe snatches as well. I took a ladder consisting of 10 reps at each weight, completing 4 weight steps, starting from 40kg and finishing at 70kg. First set went unbroken in short time. I took my time to change the plates in no rush because I figured hurrying with this one would cause troubles later on in the workout. The set of 50's went unbroken as well. Same thing, I didn't rush with the plate changing operation.

Thrusters, 60kg

The third set - 60's - went in two parts, 6 reps and 4 reps. This went well too, my time at this stage was 4-5 minutes. I had thought about this beforehand that this set should not bring troubles but I also knew it's gonna take at least two attempts to finish it. The last set with 70kg on the barbell was naturally the toughest. However, the clean part of it was surprisingly easy, this really boosted my confidence! Each time I had to bring the bar back up to my chest, I had no troubles with it. It was clearly the press part of the movement that I had difficulties with. I completed the set with 3 reps to start with, followed by something like 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 1. I took one failed attempt at some later stage of this set.

Thrusters, 70kg

Why haven't I done more thrusters? Maybe because they are horrible =) Should do them though because they are not nice but they develop me as an all-around athlete. This workout showed me something. It wasn't my breathing that hindered me from going faster but it was my shoulders that were burning. I consider this rather good thing that my metabolic conditioning should be at a rather good level currently. I was ready with the set of 60's after 4-5 minutes and it took about the same time to finish the last set. I had to keep a bit longer breaks because I didn't want to take any failed reps in between.

Cashout. Unbroken double unders and wall climbs.
  • 5 x 20 unbroken double unders
  • 10 wall climbs
In the end I wanted to do 5 sets of 20 unbroken double unders. My first set was 12 reps, lack of concentration. Then I finished the workout straight away without any stumbling. The last thing I wanted was to give that extra pressure on my shoulders and wall climbs are just a perfect way of doing that. 10 reps and I was done. Good training day!

Toni's workouts. Back squats for strength and a metcon. Time 6.11.
  • Strength: back squats 7 x 5 (100kg each set)
  • Metcon, 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
  • Box jumps, 64cm
  • Ring push-ups
Back squat, 100kg, Toni

A friend of mine - Elias - is recovering from a knee injury and wanted to enhance the heeling by doing crossfit workouts. I planned two workouts for him for today. We had to be careful with the movements as his knee is still loose and can't take any hit. What a brave guy as normally people would still be laying in the bed but this dude is at the Box giving his everything! This movements do not stress his knee too much. A little pressure is only a good thing =) I'm proud of this man!

Workout 1.
  • 5 rounds of
  • 5 bench press
  • 5 shoulder press
  • 20 sit-ups

Workout 2.
  • 10min amrap of
  • 10 kettlebell swings
  • 10 hand release push-ups
  • 10 dumbbell snatches, alternating hands

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday 24.2: Rest day

Sunday. Rest day.

It was a beautiful sunny winter day in Helsinki. We took it easy today with Pauliina and headed downtown to stroll around and relax. No sports today for both of us. Let's see if Toni goes to the Box, he had some thoughts about back squats and clean based metcon.

If you're interested in professional crossfitters' programming, take a look at Chris Spieller's blog.

Josh Bridges is back, ready to win the title

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday 23.2: OHS, front squat, back squat

Saturday. OHS 2-2-2-2-2 (max PR 60kg), Front squat 2-2-2-1-1 (max 125kg), Back squat 2-2-2-2-1-1 (max 140kg).

This week's training has been hard. Starting on Tuesday with 7x5 back squats, followed by heavy clean & jerks, Mary on Thursday and weighted bodyweight movements yesterday. Especially that Mary really feels in my body. Every time I do 100+ pull-ups in a workout, I feel it in my upper back the following day. Also my hands from elbows up have taken their share. This week I intentionally didn't do that many metcons because of a flu on the previous weekend, Mary was the first one this week. I wasn't sure if I would hit it heavy today or just take a light version of technical training. Once I got warmed up I got excited and started piling plates on the barbell. Results were good!

Split jerk behind the neck, 55kg

Overhead squat. 2-2-2-2-2 (40, 45, 50, PR 55kg, PR 60kg). I had an idea of doing 5x1 ohs, 5x1 FS and 5x1 BS. However, the first time I jerked the barbell to the sky, I naturally went for a double rep. From then on I was aiming for 5x2 on each of the squat movement. Overhead squats are not the most natural and suitable movement for me, there have been some mobility issues to say the least. I find it difficult to bring the bar straight overhead and then lower myself to 90 degrees. When I concentrate in pressing my heels to the ground I'm able to do them but for some reason at times I forget it and the outcome is that I can't go deep enough.

Today was a good day and I hit a PR twice! First with 55kg and right after it followed by 60kg, which was my goal of this year… How would it be possible to snatch 60+ kilos if you're not able to overhead squat it as well? I believe when I will get my technique together I'm able to do "much" heavier weights. That jerk behind the neck (BTN) was a new thing for me but it felt quite natural from the very beginning. I'd like to practice that one as well. At our gym it's not ok to drop the bar from the top so it makes it a bit difficult to train max loads with jerks / snatches. Anyway, the overhead squats today were perfect for me!

Overhead squat, 60kg, PR

Front squat. 2-2-2-1-1 (80, 90, 105, 117.5, 125kg, 130 failed). I continued to front squats right away. I took two light sets (maybe too light) with 80 and 90kg before adding the number of plates. I wanted to get my body prepared for what's coming, that's the reason I started so easily. I got that 125kg up, you'll see the video below. My current max is at 130kg and it frustrated me tremendously that I failed to got it up today. I have no words to describe the feelings after the attempt. You can find that attempt plus other lifts on my Youtube channel from today.

Front squat, 125kg

Back squat. 2-2-2-2-1-1 (100, 115, 122.5, 130, 135, 140kg). After having my legs do some serious work the last piece of the combination was to do back squats. I started with doubles up to 130kg after which I took two singles. The weights at this stage felt lighter than normally. My confidence level was good and I was sure to hit my shared PR. There were a total of 6 sets here because I wanted to nail that 140kg for the second time in my life. Once I successfully got it up, I felt nothing but joy!

Back squat, 140kg

Having completed all possible squat variations and receiving good results in all of them, including a PR, my training for today was nothing short of good and I'm proud of being able to do this well after a tough week. My upper body is burnt and probably lower body will share the feeling tomorrow =)

Toni's workout. For quality, something a bit different. Adding skiing to a metcon.

  • 1km skiing
  • 30 push-ups
  • 30 squats
  • 100 push-ups
  • 100 ohs air squats with skiing stick

Pony starting to ski

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday 22.2: Metcon with a vest

Friday. Metcon with a weighted vest. For quality

After a tough week of training I wanted to leave the barbells alone and train with bodyweight. Okay, I added the weighted vest I got from Pauliina earlier this month. I had some training buddies with me to concentrate in strength training. Toni stayed home today.

Weighted dips

Metcon. Not for time.
  • 3 rounds of
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 burpees
  • 10 ring dips
  • 10 dumbbell snatches, 20kg, alternating hands
  • Wear a 9kg weighted vest during workout
My clock was not running but I still made it without resting more than normally. Three rounds with 9kg vest on me, all but on the last set of ring dips. Four different movements each round. Push-ups weren't too bad, burpees felt odd as I dropped my chest to the floor with that extra weight on me. I managed to do these unbroken but I really felt that weight.

I didn't think about how bad the ring dips might turn out to be but they were quite burning on my triceps and chest. On the first round I completed them in 5+3+2 but on the second one I had huge problems and completed them almost totally in singles. That's the reason why I took the vest off on the last set of ring dips, which turned out to be a good decision. I completed the last set of dips pretty much the same way as the first set.

Those dumbbell snatches are my thing. I love them, got to keep on doing those and add weights. That 20kg was too light I'd say considering the amount of reps. Either add kilos or reps.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday 21.2: Mary

Thursday. Benchmark wod Mary. Result 213 reps.

Another day with a benchmark workout, I have increase the amount of these ones lately. They are pretty horrific and awesome at the same time. The distusting feeling comes in quite early in the workout but the closer to the end you get, the better you feel as you realize you've pretty much done it through. The feelings during the workout vary from side to side. I believe I managed this lady well today. This was the first metcon after a couple of days "flu-ish" feeling. Toni also went for a 20min amrap, good job man!

Pistol on a box =)

Mary. Results 213 reps, 7 rounds + 3 hspu.
  • 20min amrap of:
  • 5 handstand push-ups
  • 10 pistol squats, alternating legs
  • 15 pull-ups
When you look at the movements in this workout, you probably realize it's not the most pleasant one. Handstand push-ups, one legged squats (a.k.a pistols) and pull-ups. I had no idea of how far I would be able to go through Mary because I haven't done pistols in a workout ever, also the amount of hspu was a bit scaring. I remember a couple of times having done them in a workout and when the wall comes, it comes quickly and the barrier is difficult to overcome. Another thing was that it's a bit difficult to breath heavy because of that damned cold I had for some days.

Thus, I had some doubts beforehand about completing the workout. However, I was determined and once I got it going, it went on quite well. First round went unbroken, also second one. On the third round my handstand push-ups faced problems, I believe I did them in 3 parts. At this point I had to think what happened. Did I run out of strength, was it a mental wall I hit, or was there something else? On the fourth round I understood it was a technical issue as I did the 4th, 5th and maybe 6th round as well unbroken =)

With pistols I went unbroken for 2-3 rounds, then it went approximately in 2 sets, something like 6+4. Considering this was the first time with pistols in a wod, they went perfectly. I remember having done them twice after a workout, just a few reps for fun.

Pistol squat

Pull-ups today went well. First 2-3 rounds unbroken, then in sets of 10+5. It felt easy for the first 2 rounds. From then on, I felt the burden after 10 reps. I didn't want to burn my upper back and hands by trying to go further but willilngly stayed at 10 reps per round, short break and another 5 reps to complete the set.

I took a break between each round to catch my breath and strength in upper body. Had I moved forward immediately to handstand push-ups, I think I couldn't have done those many in a row. I believe this strategy was the best for me today. All in all, this workout was as tough as I thought it might be beforehand. Sometimes benchmark workouts don't seem as nightmarish when you look at them on paper. Only once you start doing them, you're surprised about how challenging it is and when you're finished, you wonder what the heck just happened =)

Box jumps

Toni's workouts. Result 179 reps, 6 rounds + 5 deadlifts.
  • 20min amrap of:
  • 8 deadlifts, 100kg
  • 6 pull-ups
  • 15 box jumps, 64cm
We did the workouts almost simultaneously so I had no possibiilty to see how my training partner nailed this one. I only saw the last 2 rounds from his workout. Tony, let us hear what you thought of this one. There were a total of 53 DL, 36 pull-ups and 90 box jumps. At least it's good you got a number of reps with pull-ups. Just remain consistent with their training. How did you perform considering the broken / unbroken aspect? Were the weights on the barbell right for you? How about 90 box jumps?

Toni is done!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday 20.2: Clean and Jerk

Wednesday. Clean & Jerk (max PR 82.5kg).

It was about time to go for clean and jerks. I love this movement a lot. It's only been one week since last time but I'm all constantly looking forward to doing c&j again. There was about one month break in December that I didn't do them at all because of minor injury. Once I got back in action, it's been a pleasure! Today I accidentally hit a PR =)

Strength. Various sets, max PR 82.5kg
  • 5 hang clean + 5 jerk, 40kg
  • 5 hang clean + 5 jerk, 60kg
  • 5 x clean & jerk, 70kg
  • 3 x clean & jerk, 75kg
  • 1 x clean & jerk, 80kg
  • failed clean & jerk, 85kg, twice
  • 1 x clean & jerk, 82.5kg, PR
I started the workout by doing 5 hang cleans and 5 jerks after that without adjusting my grip in between. For starters I did it with 40kg and 60kg. Then I started to do regular clean & jerks, 5 reps with 70kg, 3 reps with 75kg, probably never done as many reps with 75kg I suppose.

I was fizzing around for a while and collected my confidence and went for my old record of 80kg. It has traditionally been quite a struggle but today that was surprisingly easy so I decided to add load. I asked Pony whether to add 2.5kg or 5kg. He thought 85kg would come up, and so did I. I was so sure it would come up at least to my chest. The first attempt was a bit pathetic but the second one came well, not as high as it should have so I couldn't turn myself under the barbell. Take a look at the attempts in Youtube. Here's the successful 80kg lift.

Clean & Jerk, 80kg
Because the 80 was rather easy, I wanted to add stakes anyway even though 5kg was too much. As a compromise 82.5kg was a successful lift all the way up, clean and jerk. A new max was created! The jerk part of it wasn't a beauty, it came up through a mental battle but hey, it still came up, everything counts =) It felt damned good!

Clean & Jerk, 82.5kg, PR

In the evening I had floorball with my team.

Toni's workouts. rounds + 5 front squats
  • 15min amrap of
  • 5 front squats, 60kg, starting the barbell from ground
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 double unders
There were a lot of people today at the Box which forced Toni to wait for access to the barbell at times. Plus he still feels the weekend's tax on his body / throat. I bet he would have done better if he was in good shape. You'll find one of his front squat sets below.

Front squats, Toni

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday 19.2: Squats

Tuesday. Back squats 7x5 (120kg), tempo squats 3 sets, overhead squats 3 sets.

Back in business! I took it light today with squats. Several 5-rep sets but I didn't go near maxes. After strength training I wanted to try out something I saw from another cf blog, regular light weight back squats with pre-determined tempo. In the end I took some overhead sets. Toni also continued to work after flu and took old school push presses.

Push press, 70kg, Toni

Strength. Back squats 5-5-5-5-5-5-5 (100, 110, 120, 120, 120, 120, 120kg). Even though I'm not in 100% shape those squats felt very good. My goal today was to concentrate purely on form and technique, and complete the deepest squats I'm able to. I was not aiming to the heaviest weights possible. Beforehand I thought about doing 5 sets but it felt so good in my hips and hamstrings that I wanted to do a couple of extra sets =) I believe my form was good, my heels were pushing the ground and thus I found a stable stance. The depth was also good and I'm proud of today's squats.

Tempo squats. 60kg back squats with a tempo 2201. This is something new to practice about. I made the barbell light, only 60kg on it. Tempo in this one means that ideally it would comprise of a slow lowering of 2 seconds, 2 seconds halt in the deepest possible position, explosive rise back up of theoretical 0 seconds, and finally 1 sec rest before completing the same set again.  I did 3 or 4 sets with 10 reps each. I was surprised how deep I was able to go when I was concentrating in it. It was way over 90 degrees, which is astounding. Along with that main focus was in the quick return to standing position. This was a good variation and supportive training.

Overhead squats. Three sets of 5 reps each, max 40kg. Some time ago my form was pretty horrific but I'm finding this one! I don't have similar troubles with this one anymore. After doing that one snatch/overhead squat workout with Toni, some issues revealed to me and now I'm able to correct my stance to find a good overall form.

Toni's workouts.
Push press 3-3-3-3-3-3-3 (60, 70, 75, 70, 70, 70 failed only 2 reps, 70kg).
Toni did push presses after a looooong break. After doing the sets of 60, 70 and 75kg he decided to stick with 70kg until the end. At the second last set he made one failed rep, other than that he nailed that bar upwards each time. At some attempts it was more like a shoulder press but once he concentrated well he took advantage of a proper "dip and drive" method and was able to utilize his legs more than normally.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday 18.2: Rest day

Monday. Rest day.

I'm still feeling the flu so I had to call in sick today and skip training. Can't wait to get back on track. Gonna take on squats first. Below you'll find some real athletes doing their work.

Toni's workouts.

  • Back squats 5-5-5 (80, 90, 100kg)
  • Bench press 5 x 80kg, 2 x 90kg, failed on 95kg & 97.5kg

Rich Froning doing Grace @ 225lbs (102kg)

Rob Orlando going for singles in OHS, front squat and back squat

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday 17.2: 20.000 hits on Don's Crossfit

Sunday. Rest day. I'm having some chills so I'm staying in bed today and fight this flu away so I'm ready tomorrow, hopefully.

On this date, there has been a total of 20.000 hits on Don's Crossfit since its foundation. Thank you guys for following the page actively! I started writing in the end of July 2012 and I've tried to write each day what happens in my crossfit world, whether it's the workout of the day and how I performed it or my thoughts about training during rest days.

Hopefully this blog has brought some inspiration to you. Tony the Pony has also been active in his crossfit training. You can also find us in Facebook and Youtube. We'll both rest today, let's see what tomorrow brings us.

Rich Froning, currently the fittest man on earth, just made a new PR of 300lbs snatch

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday 16.2: Bench press

Saturday. Bench press 5-5-5-5-5-5-1-1-1 (max PR 92.5kg).

Agenda for today was to go for one hard core benchmark workout that would beaten me for sure, no doubt about it. However, yesterday my throat got sore and I'm not feeling 100% because of a in-crawling flu. I didn't want to risk anything by doing a metcon so I concentrated in strength training today. Haven't done bench in a while so it was about time!

Strength. Bench press 6x5 plus additional singles. 5-5-5-5-5-5 (70, 75, 80, 80, 80, 80kg) + singles 85, PR 90kg, PR 92.5kg).

It was also time to PR this one. It was back in Sweden in November. I have done it only occasionally since then. Because of this my goal today was far away from going after personal record. I wanted to do 5x5 with heavy weights. During the strength training I wanted to add the stakes. I started with 70, then 75kg. I decided to stick with 80kg for the rest of the sets. Because it felt so awesome, I wanted to go for another set to finish 6x5. I still felt an urge to go further. I put 85kg on the bar in an attempt of a single rep, which turned out ridiculously easy. My previous max was 87.5kg. Today I skipped it and went straight for 90kg, new PR attempt. Take a look below.

Bench, 90kg

I felt stable and confident and I felt it's coming up way too easy considering it's a PR attempt. I was positively surprised I was able to do this after 30 heavy reps already. Well, I added weights and tried 95kg twice. You find the videos in my Youtube channel. The first one might have come up without help, the other one had no chance. Pauliina suggested to drop 2.5kg and go for 92.5kg and I did. Take a look below, new PR. I'm extremely satisfied for today's effort. New maxes were created and I haven't even been practicing bench for a while.

Bench, 92.5kg

Cashout. Dips and triceps, total of 60 each. For quality, not for time.

  • 5 rounds of
  • 12 dips
  • 12 triceps
My cashout today was a nice addition to bench press. More effort for chest, shoulders and triceps. 60 dips, 60 triceps in 5 rounds. No need to rush, concentrate in quality and unbrokenness. I also had the possibility to train kipping dips in the last two rounds as it started to feel heavy.

In the evening we'll celebrate our one year anniversary with Pauliina by eating at legendary Hard Rock Cafe and enjoying stand up show =)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday 15.2: Back squats, metcon

Friday. Back squats 3-3-3-3 (max 130kg). Metcon 15min amrap of front squats, burpees and double unders. Result 308 reps.

Today's focus was on squatting and metabolic conditioning. First starting off with back squat triples. Some rest in between and then a 15min amrap to get the breathing go heavy. I feel today's training was good and I achieved what I was after. I was at the Box with Hannu, a newcomer who made magic. He PR'd his back squat from 70kg to 100kg, huh, c'mon man!

Front squat

Strength. Back squats 3-3-3-3 (100, 110, 120, 130kg).

Last few times I've done sets of 5 reps so I wanted to go for triples this time and save some energy for the upcoming metcon. These sets were feeling and looking good. No problem in bringing the barbell up. Naturally the last reps were tough. Take a look at the last set.


Metcon. Total of 308 reps.
  • 15min amrap of
  • 5 front squats, 60kg
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 double unders
The idea of this programming was to do lots of front squats and put my heart to test. I was thinking about the weights on the front squat for a while but I decided to take the barbell from ground each time instead of rack. Because I had to clean the bar I put 60kg on it. There could have been more kilos for front squat but the clean part would have then played a bigger role and that was not the target today.

I went pretty much unbroken throughout the metcon. Maybe three stumbles in the double unders, lack of concentration. The further the metcon went on, the more small breaks I had to take. My goal was to do one round unbroken, then sip water and continue. This workout sucked all my juice and I was totally done after the workout. My result was 7 double unders short of 9 full rounds. There were a total of 45 front squats (+9 cleans), 90 burpees and 173 double unders. I'm happy to how I was able to carry out through this one.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday 14.2: Game Day

Thursday. Game Day.

I really wanted to go to the box but waking up that early wouldn't have been a good idea. After a holiday week these early wake-ups are a bit more difficult than normally. Plus, today was a Game Day so I didn't want to risk anything. Tomorrow is a good for crossfitting again. Toni called in sick so he had a rest day. I suppose he's gonna chill tomorrow as well.

Dan Bailey & Rich Froning nailing the CF Open 12.4 last year

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday 13.2: Snatches

Wednesday. Snatch high-pull 5x5 (50kg). EMOM snatch workout for 15min.

This day was full of snatch loving. There were plenty of snatching going on at the box. First some snatch high-pulls, then a 15min workout of snatches and overhead squats. We had no time to go for another metcon. I took a cashout right after the workout without a break in between. In the evening I had some floorball with my team.

Snatch high-pull. 5-5-5-5-5 (50kg). I'm doing this in order to find new tools for better snatch technique. By putting a bit more weight on the barbell and concentrating in pulling the bar to collarbone level I can create power in upper back and shoulders, plus at the same time improving the pulling technique. Snatch is probably the most demanding movement of all in technical sense so all help and training is needed to find a good form and style.

Snatch high-pull

  • Every minute on the minute (EMOM) for 15min
  • 1 snatch from the ground
  • 1 hang snatch
  • 2 overhead squats
  • 40kg barbell, hold on to the barbell without losing grip
A few rounds of the workout with Toni

Together with Toni we put 40kg on the bar and started doing the workout. 4 reps every minute: one regular snatch from the ground, then a hang snatch, finishing with 2 overhead squats. We both had time to complete our turns in one minute. I concentrated in finding a good position and deep squat in overhead squats, which has been quite difficult to me because of my hip mobility. By concentrating in pushing the heels to the ground I was able to squat deep. This was a good workout, a total of 30 different types of snatches, accompanied with 30 overhead squats. Right after the workout I wanted to give my everything with snatches. For the 16th minute I did a 1min amrap of snatches as a cashout. I managed to do 10 in a row, then 3 and finally I lost my grip and time came full.

Cashout. Immediately after workout, complete 1min amrap of snatches, 40kg. Result 13 snatches.

Toni's workouts.
  • Snatch high-pull 5-5-5-5-5 (50, 50, 40, 40, 40kg)
  • Same EMOM workout without the cashout.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday 12.2: Row, weighted push-ups

Tuesday. Row 30sec on, 30sec off for 20min. Weighted push-ups.

Today's focus was in interval rowing. I wanted to leave the barbell for others and concentrate in metabolic conditioning. Toni did strength training with deadlifts. Yesterday was anniversary for me and Pauliina, it's been one year since we met for the first time. Love you baby! I guess she knows me well 'cause she bought me a 9kg weighted vest as a present =) I did my cash out today with that on. See picture below.

Weighted pull-ups

Row. Total of 3.400m.

  • 30 sec on
  • 30 sec off
  • Row for 20 minutes

I've done this workout two times earlier but only for 10min. Toni did this for 30min 25th January. My pace in the morning was fast. During the entire workout my pace for 500m was between 1.35-1.37. I consider this one a success! It takes nerves to row around 1.40 for a longer distance constantly. For example those 2k tests are pretty horrific.

For interval training my strategy was to go as fast as I can for those 30 seconds, then chill out for the following half a minute. After 5min my ass started to go numb so I had to stand up after each interval =) By the way, I have never rowed over 3km in a workout. This workout was nice and got to test that 30 minutes as well.

3.4km in interval rowing

Cashout. 50 weighted push-ups. With a 9kg weighted vest. I believe that vest is going to give me some grey hair in the future. I'm gonna use it instead of using my own bodyweight: running, burpees, pull-ups, push-ups, squats, box jumps, dips, you name it.

Toni's workouts.

  • Deadlift 5-5-5-5-5 (120kg)
  • Dips 10x3
  • Weighted dips, 15kg, 5-4-4 reps

Toni's main agenda for deadlifts was to concentrate in form, in keeping his back straight, and not to go further with the weights. Then he did dips and for the first time in his athletic history: weighted dips with 15kg.

Kid playing with the rings

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday 11.2: Clean and jerks

Monday. Every other minute, 5 clean & jerks (60kg) for 24 min. Total of 60 reps.

I can really feel those yesterday's front squats in my quads. I suppose the Air Force didn't make it any easier =) There were also two games during the weekend so now my legs are smashed, and so is Toni's. Today's focus was on olympic lifts, clean & jerks, love 'em!

Clean & jerk

Workout. Total of 60 reps.
  • 1min work
  • 1min rest
  • 5 reps of c&j (60kg) each work minute
Oh man, this was perfect! I couldn't have imagined a better workout for this morning. By the way, it was a bit different wake-up today as I got back to work. Goodbye for 11 hours sleep, today it was the basic 6 hours agains =) Anyway, I was pumped up and ready to train hard and so was Toni. After good preparation we put 60kg on the bar and decided to hit it on.

One minute work, one minute off, complete 5 clean & jerks each minute you are working; that is every other minute. We did this together so that I worked for the first minute and Toni worked on the second minute. The other one worked, the other one took a rest in the meanwhile. The time period of 24 minutes was based on the fact that 60 reps took place in that time slot, 12 x 5 reps. That's twice the amount of repetition needed for Grace.

Take a look at the last two rounds of our workout

I was able to move the barbell well for the entire workout. I was proud of how smooth the motion looked like from the ground to overhead and back down. Also the learning of jerk instead of press has paid off. This is the way I can put some stress away from my shoulders. I liked this workout tremendously. It boosted my confidence in clean & jerk, very important as there's been such a long pause since last doing these moves.

C&J, Tony

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday 10.2: Front squat, Air Force + Game Day

Sunday. Front squat 5-5-5-5-3-1 (max PR 130kg). Air Force modified, time 8.30. Floorball game in the evening.

Tough day. Heavy front squats for starters and main focus on benchmark challenge workout called Air Force. I had decided yesterday evening I'm gonna hit a PR today in front squats and I saw dreams about it couple of times during the night =) I had no other choice but to crash it. The entourage at the gym consisted of Pauliina, Tony the Pony and his wife Saara.

Pony & Don

Strength. Front squat 5-5-5-5-3-1 (80, 90, 100, 110, 120, PR 130kg). Even though I was desperate to hit a new record, I mainly wanted to do sets of 5 reps in the beginning as far as I could go. My previous max was at 125kg. I started carefully with 80kg, adding 10kg after each set. 110kg was tough on the last reps and on the 120kg I got 3 reps. After doing 5 sets already and quite a number of repetitions with heavy kilos I decided to skip current PR of 125kg and go straight up to 130kg. Take a single rep and celebrate. Check!

Front squat, 130kg, PR

Air Force. Time 8.30
  • 20 thrusters
  • 20 sumo deadlift high-pulls
  • 20 push jerks
  • (20 overhead squats)
  • 20 front squats
  • Use a 42.5kg barbell for all movements. Complete 4 burpees at the beginning of each minute.
Total of 100 repetitions with a bar, all with the same weight on it, 42.5kg (95lbs). Each minute starts with doing 4 burpees for starters, then continue with the movement where you are at the workout. Starting with thrusters, then sumo deadlift high-pulls, push jerks, overhead squats and finally front squats. Barbell starts from the floor all the time, don't use a rack.

We knew it's gonna be a nightmare to go through this one as you have practically no time to rest as the burpees will be waiting for you just around the corner when the next minute starts again… Even though the barbell is not that heavy but considering the amount of reps and burpees it's gonna make your shoulders scream for pain. And it did.

What surprised us both was that we both failed to complete any overhead squats in this workout. I'm a bit embarrassed I had to skip them totally after trying it for a while. It was simply too demanding to hold the bar overhead and squat neatly in to perfect 90 degrees angle for a full range of motion at that point of the workout. So we did Air Force without the OHS but still I wasted one minute on trying those out. Time was finally 8.30. Here is a 20min time cap on this workout.

Thrusters went practically unbroken, sumo deadlifts took me two separate minutes to go through. Push jerks at that stage felt heavy, I took them 4x5. Front squats in the end went first in 14 reps and 6 reps in the final minute. There were a total of 32 burpees in addition to those actual barbell movements.

Cashout. Triceps training 3x12. I want to get those handstand push-ups going well! This is my ancillary movement for that one.

Game Day. In the evening I have another floorball game. I dared to go to the Box and train hard because it's my turn to be the back-up goalie and let the youngster take his moment today.

Toni's workouts.

  • Front squats. 5-3-5-1 (80, 90, 90, 100kg). He also took a 110kg attempt, which failed.
  • Air Force. Same set, time 11.39.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday 9.2: Technique + Game Day

Saturday. Technique training + Game Day.

In the evening I'll have a floorball game coming up so we went to the gym in the morning with Pauliina. My goal was to take it easy, no strength training nor metcons, just focus on some technical issues with empty barbell. I wanted to open up my body and prepare it for the evening's main event. Toni has a rest day but tomorrow is awaiting with one heck of a workout ready for him.

  • Row 1k
  • Ring skills
  • Squat snatch
  • Split jerk
  • Double unders

Split jerk

I started the morning with rowing 1 kilometer for 3.36. Then some classical warm-up with pvc pipe and continuing with high pulls with empty barbell. I wanted to play with the rings for a while after my upper body was warmed up. Mentally I did some muscle-ups but once I took a false grip on the rings I felt immediately the difficulty level was way beyond today's effort. That grip feels very heavy on my wrists, it somehow feels very tough to hold on to the rings with that false grip. And it is prerequisite for completing muscle-ups. I must get someone to teach me on this one. Maybe my bro who can already do this.

For some time I took power snatches, then continued on squatting just a little bit on each snatch. After each snatch I squatted a bit more until I finally made some successful squat snatches =) I realized my stance is too wide when I snatch which makes it impossible for me to squat snatch. I compared it to my overhead squat where my stance is somewhat narrower. By altering the width I was finally able to squat snatch. C'mon!

A tip from Pauliina: "practice that split jerk so you could put more weight on the jerk, how does that sound?" Sounds good to me! The distance between an athlete's right and left leg should be about the same as when he does a lunge. I put two small plates on the floor to mark where my legs should land after the jump. After watching the video below I noticed I have some difference between legs. When I throw my left leg forward, it lands perfectly in 90 degrees angle to my knee and my right leg behind me lands on the marked spot. When I do it vice versa, my right foot doesn't go as much forward as it should, and thus my right knee escapes a bit too far away over my ankle. And of course left leg doesn't go as much back as it should. Better keep on working on both sides and especially focus on keeping the ankle/knee degrees correct. The camera never lies =)

Split jerk technique training

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday 8.2: Rest day

Friday. Rest day.


Chill out. Eat a lot. Go to the movies. Enjoy the best company with Pauliina. Get mentally ready for the upcoming workouts. Check!

Take a look at Jason Khalipa's beast mode:

Jason Khalipa's history with squat clean thrusters

Toni's workouts.
Back squat 3-3-2-1-f (100, 105, 110, 120kg, failed 125kg)
Bench press 3-3-f-1-f (80, 90, 100f, 95kg, 100f)
Cashout. 50 burpees

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday 7.2: Clean and jerk

Thursday. Clean & jerk 6x5 (60kg).

I had ambitious thoughts concerning today's workout. However, as I arrived at the Box with Pauliina I realized I should take it easier this time. My body was tired and not that receptive after all intense training lately. All of a sudden it's been a while since previous rest day. But I have felt very good in the last weeks!

Back extensions, Pauliina

Clean & jerk. 5-5-5-5-5-5 (60kg).

Can you believe this was the first time after 26th December I did clean & jerks? It's all because my elbows (especially left one) has been so sore from playing floorball. Probably part of it is due to crossfit and their combination but mainly I feel the pain during and after floorball. C&J is one of my favorites and would like to do this often. It seems my elbow pains are over for now so the past two weeks I've had the possibility to do cleans, presses and today, clean and jerks, c'mon!

I took 6 sets of 5 reps, constituting 30 reps. I wanted to have a little taste of Grace, which is 30 c&j with 60kg for time. Today I took a set of 5 reps, then a little over 1 min break and repeated the set. I got the feeling Grace with rx'd weights ain't gonna be easy. I've done it three times with 50kg so next step is naturally going for 60kg.

I taped my last set, see the video below. After modifying it a bit, here are some notifications.
  • Back is straight all the way
  • The bar comes up in way better form than earlier. It comes up closer to my body, not escaping too far away after my bounce.
  • Bounce could be more powerful
  • Elbows are well adjusted in the end position. However, it would be valuable to shoot the elbows straight ahead earlier.
  • My dip could be deeper to engage more power in the drive-phase. That way I could make it easier on my hands and shoulders because of strong legs. "Dip and drive!".
  • Good jerk, nice drop under the bar. Then just straighten the legs.

Clean & jerk, 5 x 60kg 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday 6.2: Sled, handstand walk

Wednesday. Sled pull and sled push, handstand walk skills training, wall balls.

Something a bit different. I had the possibility to go to Liikuntamylly during daytime in Eastern Helsinki 'cause I'm on a holiday. In the evening time these places all reserved for track and field clubs, which makes it a bid difficult to find proper spots. I fell in love with the sled previously when I was at the same place with Toni. My main focus today was sled and handstand walk skills training.


  • Run 800m, then
  • 21-15-9
  • Burpees
  • Wall ball, 5kg
Warm-up was something different as well. I love doing wall balls and love/hate burpees so I figured doing them for warm-up would get by blood circulation going on and get my joints prepared for the workouts. This is the only place where I have possibility or wall balls so I definitely wanted to do them. It's a shame they don't have 9kg ball, otherwise I'd do Karen (150 wall balls for time, 9kg). This was a good warm-up and good to have burpees regularly in the training sessions.

Wall balls

  • Sled pull x 4 (23+23m)
  • Sled push x 4 (23m)
There it is, sled work. It's actually very taxing on the legs. I honestly have no idea how much weight should be put on the sled and how these type of exercises should be carried out. I simply find it so attractive that I must pile some plates on and play along. I measured 23meter distance (there were white lines ready for that distance), put 2 x 20kg plates aboard and put the clock running. I sprinted the first set, turned around and sprinted back, a total of about 50 meters. Then I took a rest of 90 seconds and repeated for a total of 4 sets.

It's a total leg burner, no doubt about it. And it gets your breathing as well as your quads and hamstrings. Once you start pushing the sled it becomes even tougher, or at least slower. The handle of the sled is just maybe 20cm off the ground which means the athlete's form must be very low. It also activates shoulders because if you don't do anything with them, the sled doesn't move. One feature is also that shoes start to become somewhat slippery because of you have to be so low. It's difficult to get a good foot grip. All this makes it a perfect training method =) Sled pulling is more like "sprinting" and sled pushing is more like a very slow walk.

Handstand walk. The circumstances are perfect for training handstand walk. At my regular box I can train handstand but walking is impossible because there is no room for that. But take a look below of how much space there was today. Through training this important skill I realized that each time when I swung my legs overhead and a bit forward I was able to create better stability. Usually my legs stay just overhead, which creates instability and forces me to drop my legs.

Cashout. Something nice to the end: wall balls!

  • 50 wall balls
  • Run 1k, cooling down, stretching
  • In the evening I have 2h floorball training

Toni's workouts. Snatches 3-3-3-3-3 (40kg each set). Annie, time 8.57.

  • Annie
  • 50-40-30-20-10
  • Double unders
  • Sit-ups

Pony improved his Annie time with 40 seconds. I heard rumors he was a beast with the double unders. Some of the sets went unbroken.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday 5.2: Deadlift & bench press metcon

Tuesday. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 deadlift (120kg) and bench press (60kg). Time 11.05

Today I was at the gym by myself. Toni did Chief in the morning and my bro maxed out his current back squat PR to 150kg (2 reps), congrats! Pauliina had to work and there were no other souls at the gym. No problem, I put my iPad on and concentrated in deadlifts and bench press.

Workout. Time 11.05

  • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
  • Deadlift, 120kg
  • Bench press, 60kg

My goal today was to do deadlifts and bench with approximately 70% of 1RM. The goal was to do high rep workout without stressing that much about time. I put the clock running in order to avoid extra breaks but the focus was purely on doing the movements unbroken from the beginning till the end. I've done this type of workout with different rep sets (10-8-6-4-2) 15th October and 5th December. Today I wanted to add the number of reps but still keep the weights same. Previously there's been a total of 30 reps, today it was 55 each movement.

Rounds of 10, 9 & 8

I liked it a lot. Bench press is something I don't do that often even though there would be benefits of doing it regularly. There's just so many other things to practice that I don't think this is comes first on my priority list.

With deadlift I want to add the number of reps in my training. Currently I can lift 170kg and I'm sure it's not the max. However, my technique is not perfect and I want to keep on training on that one with lighter weights as today's workout. There's still plenty to do with my form. I have troubles in generating power from my legs.

My plan worked well in this one and I managed to do all 110 reps unbroken throughout the workout. Tomorrow I'll probably focus on training mainly with my own bodyweight.

Cashout. My chest-to-bars are not perfect, they are the highest pull-ups possible for me, they are close.

  • 3 rounds of
  • 5 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 5 ring dips

Toni's workout. Chief. Compare to yesterday's workout.

  • 3min amrap of
  • 3 cleans, 60kg
  • 6 push-ups
  • 9 squats
  • Rest 1min. Repeat for a total of 5 cycles. Post rounds completed for each of the 5 cycles.

Toni's results. Total of 63 cleans, 126 push-ups and 189 squats.

  • 1st cycle: 5 rounds
  • 2nd cycle: 4 rounds
  • 3rd cycle: 4 rounds
  • 4th cycle: 4 rounds
  • 5th cycle: 4 rounds

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday 4.2: Hero Wod Chief

Monday. Hero wod Chief.

I'm having a week off from work so I have the possibility to train at day time, no need to wake up that early. The side effect is that Toni is training at different times so I got to do some more mental game. Luckily Pauliina had the possibility to come to the box with me. My agenda for today was a hero wod, which carried out exactly as I wanted: better muscular endurance. It was a high rep workout with cleans as main strength ingredient.


  • 3min amrap of
  • 3 cleans, 60kg
  • 6 push-ups
  • 9 squats
  • Rest 1min. Repeat for a total of 5 cycles. Post rounds completed for each to the 5 cycles.
There were quite a number of reps in total during this total of 19min workout. On average I was able to maintain 5 round pace throughout the Chief. Naturally in the beginning it was easier and then in the middle of the workout I had to rush to get those rounds full. Finally on the last round it was only 6 squats shy of 5 rounds.


This was a "fun" workout if you can call any workout hilarious. It was exactly what I wanted. I need to play high rep games with rather heavy kilos. For this purpose completing 78 cleans with 60kg worked well! There were also 150 push-ups and 219 squats. I was able to perform all those cleans well without troubles, same with the push-ups, all unbroken. My legs were killing me at some point of the workout. I was surprised about that but maybe it was yesterday's game that still burnt my legs. My thighs were cramping in the evening :) Because there was 1min break between 3min amraps my breathing got a chance to slow down but it quickly came heavy as the next amrap began.


Chief was pretty awesome as it improved my metabolic conditioning, allowed me to high-rep cleans and I got the chance to work my triceps and chest with push-ups, let's not forget the leg work needed for this one.


Results of Chief. Total of 178 cleans, 150 push-ups and 219 squats
  • 1st cycle: 5 rounds + 3 cleans
  • 2nd cycle: 5 rounds
  • 3rd cycle: 5 rounds
  • 4th cycle: 5 rounds
  • 5th cycle: 4 rounds + 3 squats

1st 3min amrap of Chief

Cashout. After resting a while my cash out concentrated in triceps.
  • French push-ups 3x12
  • Narrow grip press 3x12

Toni's workouts. Metcon of thrusters and dips.
  • 6 rounds of
  • 6 thrusters, 50kg
  • 6 dips