Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday 31.8: Push jerks, Cindy

Saturday. Push jerks, emom, 3 reps @ 70kg, for 10min. Benchmark wod Cindy, result 665 reps.

Went to the gym with my babe without an exact and proper plan. Had in mind to do what I turned out to do but my guts were saying that listen to your body. To say the truth it's been a tough month, I've never lifted this much weight and guess that's the reason why my body feels a little tired at times. Considering the amount of kilos lifted, I feel super though! :) So I ended up doing push jerks emom-style and then 20min amrap of Cindy.

  • Push jerk, every minute on the minute
  • 3 reps @ 70kg, for 10min

I was thinking about doing only bodyweight stuff but once I laid my eyes on the barbell, I couldn't back away, it was simply too tempting to garb it and start moving. Did some warm-up movements with lighter weights and then hit 70kg on the bar and tapped the clock on. Every minute complete 3 push jerks @ 70kg. On the first 3-4 rounds I did push presses and then progressed to push jerks. The bar has become significantly lighter on the shoulder-to-overhead movements during this summer, significantly! In the spring time this weight would have sounded too heavy for me so it's awesome to witness some progression here.

Plus I was able to do all sets with the bar moving constantly. That means to say I didn't have to stop the bar at my chest after any of the jerks. I completed 3 reps in a row with dropping the bar and bouncing it right back up. That definitely made good things to my confidence. Had no problems lifting the bar up.

Cindy. Result 665 reps (22 rounds + 5 pull-ups)
  • 20min amrap of:
  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 air squats

I've been thinking about this lady for the entire year. For some unknown reason I haven't performed it though. Only once in the early steps of my crossfit "career" sometime last summer. That time my result was a little short of 20 rounds but I bet my squats were not done to parallel level. There's a big difference in doing them correctly or half way. I was afraid of how well I could match the result from last year, it was 19 full rounds + 5 pull-ups + 5 push-ups, totaling 580 reps. Today without "no-reps" my result was 22 rounds + 5 pull-ups, totaling 665 reps, that's 85 more than last time. Got to be proud about that!

The result equals to 115 pull-ups, 220 push-ups and 330 squats. The catch in Cindy for me is absolutely the push-ups. I was able to go through pull-ups and squats unbroken every round. On the push-ups I went in sets of 10 reps less than 10 rounds, probably somewhere around 7-8 rounds. From then on until the last set I did 6+4 reps, just kneeling a bit and loosening the tension in chest and triceps, then continuing again.

Cindy was tough. I had a lot of mixed emotions during the workout. In the beginning it didn't feel difficult at all. After a couple of rounds it got tougher and tougher. In the middle of the workout there was merely desperation in the air and I was only hoping the time to run fast so it would be over sooner. After grinding through a couple of rounds I realized I'm gonna reach a decent result in the 20min cap. The last rounds included a lot of breathing, a lot of sweating and a lot of mental game to keep on moving.

I kept record of my lap times. I stayed between 40-50 seconds for the first 10 rounds, then the following rounds 10-15 were between 50-60 seconds, slowing a bit every round, and then for the remaining 7 rounds (16-22) I was able to maintain a solid 61-62sec round time. I believe there was a lot of determination involved as I was able to stick to the same time frame each round even though my time had been getting a little longer every minute for the first 15 rounds. Had I not been able to pace up, my result would have been a little shy of 22rds.

Toni went to his Box in the morning. At least he did his first ever pistol squat, awesome! Plus 12 kipping pull-ups in a row, that's spectacular considering his earlier PR was 5 reps. How is that possible man?!? Furthermore, he finished 3 x 50 reps unbroken double unders. I believe his earlier max was 50 reps and today he did it 3 times. That's a good training day!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday 30.8: Air Force as pair wod, c2b

Friday. Skills, ring muscle-ups. Pair wod, Air Force. Technique, back squat and clean. Cashout, 4x5 c2b pull-ups.

Got together with Toni to do a pair wod. We're thinking of doing Air Force separately but decided to make it a pair wod instead. We didn't mind the clock at all, I don't actually have no idea how much it took us to complete the set. I also did some muscle-up training in the beginning for skills training and then technical fine-tuning for back squats and hang cleans. After a long pause tried also c2b pull-ups and realized it's way easier than some months ago. That inspired me to take a few sets.

Air Force. As pair wod. Compare to 10th February.

  • 40 thrusters
  • 40 sumo deadlift high-pulls (sdhp)
  • 40 push jerks
  • 40 overhead squats
  • 40 front squats
  • One athlete working at a time, completing 20 reps before the next athlete steps in
  • Complete the movements with a 42.5kg barbell
  • For every drop, both athletes complete 5 burpees on the spot
Normally you do Air Force individually with 20 reps each 5 movements. The twist is that you'll complete 4 burpees on the start of every minute. That really sucks =) And you don't really get to rest that much because the clock is ticking and the next set of burpees is waiting you again in no time. We mixed it up by going for pair wod, doubling the reps but the idea was that both complete 20 reps of each movement. I started, went for 20 thrusters, then Toni did 20 thrusters, then move on to sdhp's. Every single time either of us had to drop the barbell, the punishment was 5 burpees for both of us.

Felt strong with the movements. Thrusters unbroken, sdhp's unbroken, push jerks unbroken, overhead squats in 12+8, front squats unbroken. I was a bit worried pre-workout about the overhead squats. Last time I was ashamed those were too difficult to overcome, had no reps at all with the rx'd barbell and had to skip them totally. Since February, I've improved greatly on the movement and today I had no problems in executing the reps successfully. Had to still break it in 2 sets, dropped the bar after first 12 reps, did the burpees and finished the set.

Don't know what the case would have been with 4 burpees in the start of every minute. It's a rush to get all 20 reps done each minute. All thrusters should be done in the first minute but from then on I don't know how it would turn out. Tomorrow it felt better to do this as pair wod anyway. We had 45 burpees in total with Toni during the workout. The most difficult part of the workout for Toni was definitely the ohs. It's only because he's not been practicing them. I'm sure he's gonna fix this one. I punished myself in the end by doing 20 extra burpees.

  • 4x5 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Pauliina worked on her pull-up skills and I got so inspired that I had to jump up there as well. Tried a few c2b's just to see it's like from another planet compared to what it used to be. That's why I took 4 sets of 5 reps. I might just take these short sets in the end once in a while. I'm sure all those muscle-up training sessions have created more explosive strength because I'm sure I've never pulled myself that high with as much ease as today.

What a monster!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday 28.8: Active recovery

Thursday. Active recovery. Jogging, walking, muscle-up, sit-ups, back extensions, stretching.

Together with the colleagues we headed towards the morning workout. In the early morning I found Toni and myself eating breakfast at 7:00 and then heading to the jogging track that was going around the convention centre. There was also a pull-up bar in the middle of the forest so we were forced to stay there to play for a while. We did some stretching and walking / light running for 20-30min before going indoors.

Sunrise @ LĂ„ngvik

After the jogging part all 30 of us head headed inside to do some circuit type of training for abs and back muscles, some plank holds were included as well. It was good stuff for active recovery. Got some blood circulating in my system but this can definitely be called active rest day.

The venue for the last two days was beautiful if you ask me. The surrounding nature was spectacular. The lake was inviting me to swim or row. Would have been a different type of morning wakening. Tomorrow I'll get back to action with Pony and Pauliina at home gym!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday 28.8: rowing, hs hold

Wednesday. Pair wod with Toni. Rowing, handstand hold, push-ups, plank hold and v-ups.

We are on a work convention with Toni and were therefore planning of taking a rest day. Instead, we found ourselves hitting the conference venue's gym for a rowing pair wod, after which we utilized the spa and sauna.

Pair wod. For completion:
  • 4 rounds for both athletes of the following 2 sets, alternating turns on the row:
  • 500m row
  • ME handstand hold, then ME push-ups, plank hold or v-ups until 500m row is completed

So the point was that together we rowed for 4.000 meters. Switching turns after every 500m. Meanwhile the other one was rowing, the other one took max effort in time of handstand hold against wall. Once he dropped, he continued to perform either push-ups, plank hold or v-ups, depending on the round. This workout was not that serious, we only wanted to have some fun and get blood circulating in our system after a long work day. It definitely did good after sitting most of the day. Still, we kept a rather good and steady pace on the row, it took 14min to finish the 4k, that's 1.45/500m. On the handstand I was around 1min on the position in the first round, then somewhere around 30-45sec in the latter rounds.

Afterwards we got a treat in the form of sauna and finished the evening with a delicious dinner. The agenda says we have some sort of morning workout arranged by our employer. Guess it's not gonna be crosssfit :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday 27.8: Squats, pair chipper with bro

Tuesday. Back squats (max 130kg). Pair chipper, 40 deadlifts (130kg), 200 du, 1.500m run, 200 du, 40 deadlifts (130kg).

I got a chance to workout with my bro and I welcomed the opportunity with great pleasure! Knew it already beforehand it's gonna be an awesome training session. Some squats for me and jerks for bro for strength. Then a pair wod to finish off. We started with some skills training: handstand walk.

Handstand. It was cool to get to train this skills with Sipa because he has pretty good skills already. As you see from the video he's advanced to a level where he's able to walk around obstacles. That's what I call progress. Considering he couldn't walk practically at all last year. This summer has been his breakthrough. I have the same feeling about my skills. Last summer was very challenging but this summer I've put way more effort in learning this and the results can be seen. Lot to do still, naturally, but I'm very proud at the level currently. There's still enough time left of the summer to keep on working towards better skills.

Strength. Back squats 3-3-3-1 (90, 110, 120, 130kg). My hip flexors were a bit sore today so I didn't take many sets of squats. I wanted to put some heavier weights on my back because lately my squat sessions have mostly been emom style workouts around 100 kilos. I think it's important to remind the body of the heavier weights as well. So got to do conventional strength training once in a while with back / front squats to keep my body prepared.


Here are two clips from today. The first one is @ 110kg and the last one is 130kg. Once I was going down with the 130kg, I realized I don't have a rack where I could land the barbell if it gets too heavy. Wanted to attempt another rep but didn't have the balls to try it. Never practiced dropping the bar from my back when squatting in case of a failed rep.


Metcon. Time 20.34

  • 40 deadlifts, 130kg
  • 200 double unders
  • 1.500m run for both
  • 200 double unders
  • 40 deadlifts, 130kg

Originally we were thinking about doing this individually: 20 deads, 100du's, 1.500m run, 100du's and 20 deads. However, it's so much more fun to do it as a team so we doubled the amount of reps and went in "you go, I go" - style. I started, finished 10 deadlifts, dropped the bar, Sipa continued and completed 10 reps. My turn, his turn. That was the way we did all sets of deadlifts and double unders. Those reps were done in a team, as a total sum of reps but the run was for both of us.

On the double unders we went in the same way. Once the other one tripped, the other one continued. However, the minimum amount was around 20 reps. We were both doing well with the doubles! I felt supreme on them. I did sets of 40 and 30 reps, few 20 rep-sets, the breathing was quite heavy at those points. Anyway, the jump rope went under my command. And those reps my bro was doing were probably the best I've seen from him this far.

On the running part I felt this is not my piece today. My bro had way better feeling running and it was clear his running felt much lighter than mine. Had no problems during the run but Sipa was simply running faster. After the run he had a few extra heart beats and had to take a short rest before entering doubles.

The doubles went as well on the latter set and the deadlifts were somewhat heavier, surprise… Anyway I finished sets of 8, 8 and 5 deads in the end. Good metcon with weights and bodyweight stuff! In general, today was as good training session as I hoped, great to have a chance to work out with bro occasionally!

By the way, he dominated the barbell in the strength part and successfully lifted 90kg jerk to break a record, new PR is 90kg!!! He was supposed to go split jerk but somewhat it turned out to some sort of push press =)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday 26.8: Snatch, clean and jerk, row

Monday. Power snatch 3-3-3-3-3 (max 55kg), clean & jerk 3-3-3-3-3 (max 90kg). Interval rowing, 4x500m with 2:00 rest between sets.

Time for olympic lifts! I like those clean & jerks greatly, just loving them. Snatches have been more rare so I was eager to do them as well. I went pretty high on the c&j's so there was no juice for c&j metcon. Instead, I chose to do rowing for intervals.

Strength. Olympic lifts.
  • Power snatch 3-3-3-3-3 (50, 50, 55, 55, 55kg)
  • Clean & jerk 3-3-3-3-3 (70, 75, 80, 85, 90kg)

The last 5+ times I've been doing snatches, it's been mostly hang squat snatches. That's been because I've been practicing those at a venue where I can drop weights. My squat snatches haven't traditionally been the most stable ones so at least knowing it's ok to drop the weights, is necessary for me. In other words, it's been a while since doing snatches as strength training. Today I did them as power snatches 'cause I was at home gym. Had decided on the weights on both movements beforehand and focused on staying with those weights.

I felt good snatching, very good indeed. Had no problems lifting the barbell overhead each set. That was somehow startling it went up so easily. There was no doubt at all whether the bar is coming up or not. I was tempted to go for 60kg in the last set but stayed at 55kg anyway. I wanted to get those reps touch'n'go style.

Those clean & jerks, huh, went heavy on those. I actually realized at home that 90kg is my pr in clean & jerk. I've cleaned 100kg and jerked 95kg but c&j's max load was 87.5kg before today =) Have to try that one some day soon by going after singles. Let's see.

On the first set I was able to go straight up after clean, just bouncing it off my shoulders and jerk it up. From 75kg on I started doing squat cleans just to prepare for the heavier loads. I don't know but my wild guess is I could power clean something around 85-90kg. I knew it would be inevitable to do squat cleans at some point so I wanted to prepare my legs and hip flexors for that movement early on. The last sets were done with split jerk.

Last 2 sets (85 & 90kg) were practically done in 3 x singles. Do way I'm doing 3 reps without correcting my grip and letting my forearms release the tension for a short break. Still, I'm proud I was able to do all those reps today without any misses. 90kg is a lot for me, and I got all 3 of them successfully.

  • 4 sets of 500m rowing
  • 2:00 rest between sets

My pace was around 1.43 on the last 3 sets, and a little slower on the first one, 1.46/500m. This is some sort of mental stuff, I've noticed. When I'm doing intervals, I find myself improving sticking to my time or improving it round by round. Very rarely have I done slower in the latter rounds. Guess that's a good thing that I kind of like to compete against myself.

Toni's workouts. Kipping pull-ups, squats and metcon
  • Skills, 4x5 pull-ups
  • Strength, back squat 5-5-5-5-5 (90, 100, 110, 112.5, 115kg)
  • Metcon, 12min amrap of: 5 back squats (100kg), 5 hspu (scaled to foam roll). Result 5+3 squats

Awesome mobility clip from K-Star!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday 25.8: Hiking in the woods + handstand

Sunday. Hiking in the woods + handstand.

Together with my love and my in-laws we headed towards a forest where you can find kilometers worth of nature's beauty and a lot of hiking possibilities. Walking in the middle of the wild when nature shows its best with deep forest and ponds looming around the corner was simply beautiful. We found some toys to play with so we were able to do some workout as well. Once we came back to the house I practiced my handstand skills and some light kettlebell technique and sandbag cleans. Father-in-law did a metcon with burpees and kb presses =)

Active playing. Lot of playing in the woods

  • 4.5km hike in the forest
  • Pull-ups
  • Muscle-ups
  • Toes-to-bars
  • Box jumps
  • Pistol squats
  • Overhead squats
  • Wood thrusters
  • Ground to shoulder with sand bag

Cool Sunday action to say the least! Enjoyed the activity tremendously and so did the others, I hope =) There were a few workout stations with pull-up bars and wood thruster possibilities. Plus the nature shared its own tools with big stones I was barely able to jump on top of them or over them.

And for some reason I love logs. Found some of them in the woods and did some running with them carrying them overhead and doing overhead squats. I bet there are plenty of good sized stones laying around as well in order to do some ground-to-shoulder type of training, just like you can do with atlas stones. Maybe some day I can get as creative that I'd just head to forest and find proper equipment to play around with. I've been thinking about the kind of workouts after following intensely at Blair Morrison's blog.

Handstand. Few hours later I worked on my handstand skills at the back yard. As I've written earlier, this place is perfect for handstand skills training. I felt very confident being inverted and it was easy to find piece being upside down. The feeling of being able to balance yourself is awesome. I still remember the time when I collapsed each time I lost balance. Now I'm able to correct the position with my hands and continue stabilizing or even walking forward being inverted.

Thanks to you Maija and Kari for hosting us this weekend!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday 24.8: Front squats, deads & burpees

Saturday. Front squat, emom, 3 reps & 100kg, for 8min. Metcon, 21-15-9, deadlifts (100kg), burpees. Time 4.35

Time to squat! I'm gonna make myself love squats like I did some months ago. Front squat used to be my favorite movement for long time since I started lifting weights. Then I got worried about my form and little by little didn't have the familiar desire to squat continuously. I've been putting effort in my form, wider stance and hip mobility lately. Even bought weightlifting shoes, and am waiting eagerly to get them, hopefully next week!

Strength. Front squat, emom, 3 reps @ 100kg, for 8min. These squats were pretty much non-existing last month so I've really waited to get my hands in front squats. Decided to go for emom training to get a good load of weights in short time. 100kg is a load that already puts pressure on core and legs. Felt good to squat, that's the first thing that comes to my mind. Felt very good indeed!

Metcon. Time 4.35
  • 21-15-9
  • Deads, 100kg
  • Burpees

Deadlifts and squats, looking to improve my posterior chain in general. Decided to take a good breather after the squats. Thus, 100kg seemed a good weight for that purpose. The high rep agenda on the deads was also looking to enhance muscle endurance. That's quite a number of deads in a rather short period of time. Last session I did was 50 reps with 140kg, the purpose was totally different, it was way longer workout with heavy deads and hspu's.

I lifted everything unbroken, same with the burpees. Once I was done with one set of lifts, had to take a breath before the burpees. Same thing after the burpees. It's kind of funny that you can go on and do the reps but once you stop to change the movement, the feeling hits you. Have to catch a breath. It feels almost impossible to start doing something totally else right away. However, you could have continued hat same movement for a longer period of time.

I got the sets unbroken and was ready at 4.35. The only thing where I could have saved time was the transition between movements. In the last round after deadlifts I started doing burpees right away without similar pause like in the first and second round. That's because I knew it's only 9 reps left on the metcon.

Mainsite had workout of the day earlier this week where it was 21-15-9-9-15-21, with the same 2 movements. I'm guessing that would be a killer :) That would be 9.000kg and 90 burpees.
Toni woke up early today and drove to open gym at the local affiliate. I remember him doing at least some pull-ups and snatches. We're spending the rest of the weekend at the country side so I can't add videos of today's strength nor metcon. I'll fix that tomorrow.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday 23.8: Bench and 3 metcons

Friday. Bench press 5-5-5-5 (80-85kg). 3 x 5min amraps, with 4 min rest between amraps.

I was wondering whether to take it easy or going for some heavier shit today. Was almost listening to my body and taking it a step back but then I reasoned to do some work. Bench press as strength training and then back-to-back-to-back metcons. It started to get a little taxing towards the end… Started the entire training session with practicing the swing on the ring muscle-ups.

Strength. Bench press 5-5-5-5 (80, 85, 85, 80kg). Bench is not the most desired strength movement in crossfit and not for me personally either. Still, it's important to keep on strengthening my chest as well. Occasionally I bring in the bench to my training and it's been enough to develop a decent strength level there as well. Today I did fives with weights between 80 and 85 kilos. Had no problem in finishing the sets.

Metcons. 3 x 5min amraps, with 4min rest between amraps.

1st amrap:

  • 3 handstand push-ups
  • 10 dumbbell snatches, 22.5kg
  • Result. 5 rounds + 3 hspu

2nd amrap:

  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • Result. 6 rounds flat

3rd amrap:

  • 10 double swings, 2 x 10kg plates
  • 10 burpees
  • Result. 4 rounds + 10 swings

Last set of swings

Never tried this type of training. Don't even know where this popped in my head but I was determined to try it out. Wasn't sure if this was the best possible day for that 'cause my body feeling a bit tired. Those handstand push-ups were like from a slow-motion clip, at least they felt like it =) Had to use kip from the very beginning. I felt good about the way I combined 2 movements with each other in each of the workouts.

On the first amrap I got to 18 hspu's and 50 snatches. Really, those hspu's were very much slower than normally. And I was not able to go through strict reps which would have saved time in such a short workout. My upper body felt fatigue in the end. Rest 4 min and continue to the next one.

Second day in a row with 60 pull-ups. Those were no issue for me, all unbroken but the push-ups felt heavy. Maybe bench press had it's effect on my push-ups? Both movements concentrated in upper body so I had to take a 10 second pause after each round before jumping on the pull-up bar again. I wanted to nail them unbroken every time I got up there. I had to break the push-ups probably after 3 rounds as it suddenly felt so much harder.

On the last amrap I completed swings and burpees. Instead of kettlebells I used 2 x 10kg bumper plates on the swings. As this was the last metcon, my breathing was rather fast from the very beginning, even though there was plenty of time to recover between the amraps.

All in all, this was a nice way to combine a lot of useful movements in one training session. Could have maybe had some air squats involved as well for some more leg action. Or thrusters… And the main point in this type of setting is the pre-determined rest period between amraps. Could have been 3 minutes as well, don't think that 1min made any difference.

Toni's workouts. Strength squat snatch, metcon with squat snatches and du's.

  • Strength. 3-3-3-3-3 (30, 35, 37.5, 40, 40kg)

Toni's metcon. Time 12.32

  • 8 rounds of:
  • 5 squat snatch, 30kg
  • 15 double unders

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday 22.8: Row, box, pull-ups, handstand

Thursday. Skills, elbow levers. Metcon, 3 rds of: 500m row, 20 box, 20 pull-ups. Mobility. Couple hours later: skills, handstand.

Skills. Elbow levers. This movement is something I've tried a few times. Got the inspiration from Blair Morrison's crossfit blog. It's part of the Prasara Yoga movements looking to improve body control. Take a look at some of the videos in Sinor's Youtube channel. Worked today towards one-handed and two-handed levers. Perfect stuff for warming up!

Metcon. For completion
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 500m row
  • 20 box jumps, 61cm
  • 20 pull-ups
My juice wasn't there in full mode so I did a 3 round metcon with rowing, boxes and pull-ups. The last one is something I've been neglecting and will definitely get back on track with them. Looking to nail around 400 reps per month to keep on improving. I'm behind my goal this month but there's still time to get back.

Mobility. My body was somewhat bruised so I kept this workout light. Concentrated a lot in mobility after the metcon. Lot of stretching for lower body, hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes… Also utilized my new resistance band for lower and upper body mobility workouts. Finally the new lacrosse ball had its turn to hammer my upper back and hip flexors. Really worked well. I've been doing way more mobility workouts in the last 2 weeks. I have some fixation to get my hips and upper back better mobilized.

Handstand. After a couple of hours I decided to take another session by training skills. It's been some time since previous handstand session and it was awesome to go for it after a while! I'm a bit afraid how I can keep up with this special skills training during winter time. Hopefully I'll find a place to train. It might be quite challenging to handstand in snow =)

Toni's workouts.
  • Complex pair wod consisting of:
  • Static dip hold
  • Lunges with 10kg plate overhead
  • Burpees
Heard that the number of lunges was around 200m and burpees at 80 reps.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday 21.8: Clean and jerk, toes-to-bar

Wednesday. Skills, 3 x ME handstand hold. 3x10, clean & jerk (60kg). Metcon, 6 rounds of: 5 c&j (60kg), 8 t2b. Time 8.22.

Got some new stuff from Rogue, c'mon! Gas station t-shirt, lacrosse ball and resistance band for mobility. Got to say that the ball was great. Tried it today after the training session. Anyway, today's agenda was handstand hold against wall, going for 3 sets of max effort in time. Then some long-lasting clean & jerks and finally a c&j metcon. Quite a number of clean & jerks. Mobility in the end.

Handstand hold. 3 x max effort handstand hold against wall. Results. 1:00, 0:45, 0:40. My plan was to go to a place where I would have had the chance to work on my handstand skills. That plan was flushed down the toilet so I had to change plans and improvise. Decided to stay on the wall for as long as possible, three sets for time. The pressure really starts to drill on the shoulders after a while.

Strength. 3 x 10 reps of clean & jerk @ 60kg. Something a little different. Conventionally it's been sets of 5 reps at max in a metcon / strength training or then 30 reps for time when you're doing Grace. I took a different approach. Muscle endurance through completing 10 reps in a row.

Those last reps were tough. I've been thinking (never tried) how far I could go without dropping the barbell to the ground. How many reps could I go unbroken. Some day I wish it would be near those 30 reps but that day is not looming behind the corner. Going for 10 reps was challenging, maybe not in the first set but the 2 latter ones were physically tough, especially the last 3 reps. Could have pushed some more reps but let's save those attempts to the future. The key here is to keep the barbell going. Clean it, bend your knees while catching it, then bounce it right up overhead. Once you stop after the clean, it gets heavier.

After I was driving home, I drifted away in my thinking and came across the style of workout Mikko Salo - The 2009 Champ - used to do a lot back in the days to increase shoulder strength. That was 3 rounds of 2 min amrap push press with 2 min rest between amraps. Why not transform it to clean & jerks as well. Two minutes is a long time doing c&j's. Doing a total of 3 sets of 2min totals in a lot of reps. That would definitely convert to good muscle endurance. Got to try it. It's common sense that it's gonna suck, sound horrible but still, worth trying =)

Second set of 10 clean & jerks, 60kg

Metcon. Time 8.22
  • 6 rounds of:
  • 5 clean & jerks, 60kg
  • 8 toes-to-bar

After those tens, I decided to do something similar Pony did on Monday. He went all the way for 8 rounds with c&j's and pull-ups. My shoulders were fatigue already as I entered the gym so I completed 6 rounds and changed pull-ups to t2b's. I was able to push through each round unbroken with both movements but had to catch some breath in the transition. That was seen in the round times. I had 10 meters to walk between the stations, this time that distance was somewhat welcomed. Round times were between about a minute and 1:48.

It's actually an awesome combination to mix clean & jerks and some bodyweight movement: t2b, pull-ups, double unders, burpees, rowing. It makes it challenging on the heart, so it's exactly the way crossfit is supposed to feel.

That's a lot of weight on the PR snatch of Garret Fisher

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday 20.8: Deadlifts and hspu

Tuesday. Skills, double unders. Deadlift singles (max PR 190kg). Metcon, 10 rounds of: 5 deads (140kg), 4 strict hspu. Time 14.49.

Tuesday was reserved for deadlifts. For some very strange reason deads have been rare in my training calendar in the summer. Luckily there's been some kettlebell swings to correct the shortage of them. I wanted to find out where my max load would be since the last time I tested that, dates back to May 10th. Singles were followed by heavy weight workout.

Pony's new training gear from Rogue =)

Skills. Double unders. Took 10 sets of 20 reps and focus was purely on keeping my torso straight and thus just simply jump higher so that the rope would have time to pass my feet twice on one jump. That's no problem but I've noticed my legs have bent too much lately on the doubles. That's the reason I'm gonna occasionally put effort on this skills movement, to perform the reps more efficiently and with more ease.

Strength. Deadlifts 1-1-1-1-1 (140, 160, 170, 180, PR 190kg). Saw this Mark Rippetoe's video some days ago and decided instantly to make some room for deadlift training. Loved the easiness of how mr. Rippetoe instructs the athletes to stay in a perfect stance and form. Could you make it any more easier?

Well, I tried to go as instructed and started pulling. The barbell was light today… Took some longer sets with lighter weights to get myself properly warmed-up after the double unders. Then I started taking singles, starting from 140kg, added 20kg and then 10kg until I reached the figures I was looking for, a new PR of 190kg, boom baby!!!

Damned it felt good! It wasn't as heavy as I thought but I felt my form wasn't that beautiful anymore so I definitely didn't want to risk that for results too much so I stuck here. Gonna put more and more effort in my posterior chain to improve on my squats and deadlifts so that one day the day will come when I get the chance to post a personal record starting with number 2. Time will tell when that's going to be. As I was looking at the coming year in last New Year, I reckoned there's a chance to lift 190kg so I marked that as my goal for this year. That's achieved so everything on top of that is a plus.

Metcon. Time 14.49
  • 10 rounds of:
  • 5 deadlifts, 140kg
  • 4 strict handstand push-ups
Usually my metcons that include deadlifts are somewhere around 100-130kg. Todays metcon was different in nature. Didn't rush between the 2 movements 'cause they were both heavy for me. Total of 50 reps of 140kg deads and 40 strict handstand push-ups without kipping tend to take their toll on me. Today I got everything unbroken!

It was challenging with about 7.000kg deadlifts and without utilizing kipping style the hspu's started to feel heavier. Still, there was not doubt I would nail all those reps in both movements unbroken. I was happy with the amount of reps per round, that was exactly perfect for me. Had there been more of them per round, it would have been very very tough.

Toni's workouts. Result in metcon. 5 rounds + 13 push-ups

  • Skills. Rope climb, box jump and wall ball
  • Metcon. 15min amrap of: 15 push-ups, 15 box jumps, 15 wall balls (8kg)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday 19.8: Muscle-ups and thrusters

Monday. Skills, ring muscle-ups. Workout, 1min on, 1min off, for 30min: thrusters @ 60kg.

My plan originally was to focus my skills training in double unders. But during the day I changed my mind and decided to pay attention to my ring muscle-up skills. There's some work to be done. The main workout was all about thrusters, a lot of them! Demanding day.

Thrusters per round

Skills. Ring muscle-ups. Just today I decided to work on this skill. Got to multiply the amount of training sessions on this one. Today I was doing some pull-ups on the rings and mainly working on the swing and kip, basically all the steps prior to the transition from pull to the dip. Below you'll see slow-mo video of Camille Leblanc-Bazinet performing this demanding skill movement step by step.

I've been neglecting ring skills entirely lately. I'm aiming to get some muscle-ups done with the rings as well.

Thrusters. Total 105 reps. Compare to 12.4.2013
  • 1min on, 1min off, for 30min
  • Thrusters, 60kg
Damn man! One minute of max effort work is a bit misleading as my strategy was to do 7 reps per minute for as long as possible. I was able to continue that strategy all the way for the entire half an hour. That equaled a total of 105 reps. That's a lot of thrusters if you ask me, and I can feel it in my shoulders!  For the first half of the workout I was able to handle the barbell rather easily but from there on it started to come heavy. On the last third the last 2-3 reps each time were very heavy. The last 2 sets were painful on my shoulders. I believe the rep scheme was exactly what it should have been, just as tough as I wanted it to be, and remembered from April. Then, I did the same workout with less tim, for 20min, so it was a bit different in nature.

Today I could have easily pushed more reps in the beginning but because it was half an hour of thrusters, I considered going after 7 reps per minute and totaling about 100 reps, it would be enough to stay at 7 reps from the very beginning.

Toni's workout. Lot of clean & jerks
Strength. Clean & jerk 5-5-5-5-5 (60, 70, 70, 70, 75kg)
Metcon. 8 rounds of: 5 clean & jerks (60kg), 5 strict pull-ups. Time. 16.00

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday 18.8: Squats, step-ups, ring dips

Sunday. Back squats, emom, 4 reps @ 100-105kg, for 10min. Metcon, 5 rounds of: 10 step-ups (90kg), 15 ring dips.

A lot of leg work today! I'm determined to fix my technical issues with back squat by correcting my stance and finding just the right position for my legs to be placed on the ground. This time I took some air squats and light weight squats in the beginning to find the best stance for me. Just like we did together with Toni last Saturday. Then a metcon with step-ups and ring dips. I actually started the session with ring muscle-ups, or attempts to get one. The time wasn't ready for a successful rep.

Strength. Back squats

  • Every minute on the minute, for 10 minutes
  • Back squat, 4 reps
  • 7 sets @ 100kg, 3 sets @ 105kg

This is a good way to do strength training. I've found this very functional for me. I've done a lot of jerks and cleans this way and now squats a few time as well. Started with 100kg and in the last rounds added small plates on the bar. Through emom training the total load tends to be greater than traditionally. It was around 4.000kg of squats today.

I believe I've found a better stance and comfortability in my back squat form. Being able to spread my heels a bit more away from each other and pointing toes a little outwards. The most important thing is still the way the knees behave. Got to push them out to be able to "sit in the hole".

Metcon. For completion

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 10 step-ups, 90kg
  • 15 ring dips

These both are consuming movements. The step-ups are a full body movement, naturally mostly paying attention to lower body but the core is needed as much in order to maintain a safe form. It also wears the upper body, at least when you combine it with dips. I felt the tension in my shoulders each round.

Ring dips have always been difficult to me. I don't actually have anyone to compare with but doing sets of 15 reps is very challenging for me. On the 2 first rounds I did them 10+5, on the 3rd on 8+4+3 and then had to cut it even more. I really liked to have a lot of reps with the ring dips.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday 16.8: Freestyling pair wod

Friday. Pair wod with Toni including tire flips, hang snatches, sledge hammer strikes, holding barbell overhead, clean & jerks.

We created one good partner wod with Toni today at his back yard, improvised a bit with the tools available and it turned out to be quite versatile indeed. Good breather!

Metcon. All 4 parts in a row. Time was around 28-29min

Part 1
  • 150 tire flips
  • Partners alternating after each rep
Part 2
  • 60 hang power snatches, 30kg
  • Partners alternating after 5 reps

Part 3
  • 120 sledge hammer strikes
  • Partner A completes 20 sledge hammer strikes in a row, then change turns
  • Partner B holds a barbell or log overhead while partner A completes 20 strikes
Part 4
  • 60 hang clean & jerks, 50kg
  • Partners alternating after each 5 reps

Men at work!

The first part was all about flipping the tractor tire. We both liked the movement a lot and it was perfect to start the workout with. It wasn't as heavy as we would like to have it but the movement made both of our hearts beat faster, heart circulating quicker and getting prepared for the rest of the workout. This turned out to be quite a long one, little less than half an hour of work.

The second part was something that could be called double Isabel. 30 reps snatches for both, changing turns after every 5 reps. Because we were working outdoors, we took the bar from hang position rather than from the grass. All weights today were lighter than normally and we were able to keep a steady pace for the entire session.

The third part was probably the toughest. I thought holding a log or barbell overhead would not be that hard of a challenge but it turned out that the combination of hammer strikes and overhead hold were a killer combination to the hands, forearms and grip. There were 6 sets for both of us of 20 hammer strikes and 6 sets of holds. The last 2 sets of holds were painful. However, it was not an option to drop the log because this was a pair workout and it would have slowed us both down. Mental game.

The last part was clean & jerks from hang position. It was only 50kg but after having your forearms burnt in the previous part, the bar felt heavier. I was still able to move it rather nicely and quick. In the beginning I did some presses but towards the end I started using jerk style to make it move faster.

I liked the nature of the workout. It wasn't that heavy on the weights but it got to breathing nicely. I also liked to play with these new tools. Hammer, tire and log. The log was probably around 40kilos.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday 15.8: Row and deads, two metcons

Thursday. Metcon, 4 rounds of: 500m row, 15 deadlifts (100kg). Time 13.30. Second metcon, 4 rounds of 10 T2B, 10 burpees.

Deadlift day. Adding some cardio work to it, through rowing. Quite a combination for the heart, enjoyed every second of it! The latter metcon was a shorter one with t2b's and burpees. Toni has been doing crossfit at an affiliate near his home where he also went for the on-ramp course. Suppose he's gonna participate on a lot of classes there as well, he's made some huge development skills and technique-wise.

Just realized today I haven't done a ring muscle-up. Guess I have to go and do it!

Metcon. Time 13.30
  • 4 rounds of:
  • 500m row
  • 15 deadlifts, 100kg

I decided on the deadlift weight so that it would be possible to move it unbroken at least some of the rounds. It was a high-rep workout with 60 reps total, plus 2k row. Hundred kilos was just about perfect because I completed the 2 first rounds unbroken with the deads, then 10 + 5 reps in both of the last rounds. It really got to me, all over the body. It was a tough one for the legs as deadlifts and rowing both tend to put a lot of pressure on the hamstrings and posterior chain in general.

On the rowing I kept a pace of 1.40-1.50 on the sets. Probably not a surprise that faster in the beginning as the rowing felt light and then about 1.50 / 500m in the last round. I took my time walking the 10m distance to the barbell. My strategy was to catch my breath and try go unbroken for as long as possible. Had I grabbed the barbell instantly, wouldn't have done that well with the deads.

Metcon. For completion
  • 4 rounds of:
  • 10 toes-to-bar
  • 10 burpees

Wanted to do some more cardio playing after the main wod so I put together these 2 movements that I should be doing constantly. It's always beneficial to do both of them. T2B's went unbroken for 2 rounds, then had to drop from the bar after 6 reps. Burpees weren't cool but that's a movement where you can always force yourself to ground and back up. No excuses, you can always do one more. Just do it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday 13.8: Front squats, thrusters, pull-ups

Wednesday. Front squats 5-5-5. Metcon, 4 rounds of: 10 thrusters (45kg), 10 pull-ups. Time 4.20.

Wednesday stood for front squats after a long time and then the classic combo of thrusters and pull-ups. Something Fran-alike. Uuh, nice. Toni was hitting some back squats and kettlebell stuff. Plus a lot of mobility. I've also done some K-starr mobility workouts lately in the evenings.

Some evening abs :)

Strength. Front squat 5-5-5 (100, 110, 110kg). Did some front squats, they've been non-existing lately. Been doing a lot of squat cleans though so some amount of front squats have been there. Today I took 3 sets of 5 reps. 100kg on the bar, went through those 5 reps. Added 10kg and it felt quite tough after 3 reps. So I stayed with 110kg in the last set as well. Was able to push through well all 3 sets. Have to do more back and front squats this autumn. Squats and deadlifts are something I really want to focus on. Got some technical issues as well to which I'm looking to improve on.

Metcon. Time 4.20
  • 4 rounds of:
  • 10 thrusters, 45kg
  • 10 pull-ups
These movements are tough when you put them together. And the long burn afterwards, very comfortable… not! =) 4 sets of 10 thrusters and pull-ups for time. This is "balls to the wall" type of workout. No need to rest because it's such a short one. The problem I had was that my barbell was about 10 meters away from the pull-up rack. That was a bottle neck time-wise. It's easily 5-10 seconds in the transition each time and there were more of them compared to benchmark workout Fran.

All rounds in both movements unbroken. It felt good and I felt strong moving the bar and my body. This was a good preparation mentally for doing Fran some day. It's awkward that it's such a short workout and you're still kicked in the ass big time.

Toni's workouts. Two sessions. Skills and squats in the morning, kb action in the evening.

AM. Skills: kipping pull-ups, wall balls and ring pull-ups
Strength. Back squat 3-3-3-3-1-1-1 (100, 110, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140kg)

PM. Metcon, 30 second on, 30 seconds off, for 20 minutes:
  • Kettlebell swings (averaging 18 reps)
  • Kettlebell front squats (averaging 10 reps)
  • Kettlebell clean & jerks (averaging 10 reps)
  • Alternating these three movements every minute
  • Using 20kg bell

Toni has improved greatly on the kipping technique in pull-ups. Also his squats have taken a huge leap forward. Story tells that today's 140kg was rather easy and the coach was ready to pump more weights on his back. This was his shared pr. Evening workout sounded worth trying.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday 13.8: DU skills, split jerks, ohs, running metcon

Tuesday. Du skills. Split jerks 3-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1 (max PR 95kg). Overhead squats 3-3-3 (max 60kg). Metcon, pair wod with bro. Time around 21 min.

Training day with my bro, Sipa, was destined to be tough! A lot of work, took a lot of time as well. Jump rope skills to begin with. Strength training of split jerks from rack, then overhead squats. Finally a bad ass running metcon. C'mon!

Skills. Double unders. For some reason my du's didn't rock today. My shins were aching from the very first rep so I missed the relaxed feet to make it successful. I've progressed to a good level in the du's and in the last du-metcon was able to nail 30-rep sets unbroken. Today it was sticky both in the skills and metcon part. I wasn't able to keep my legs straight, had to bend them and make it more taxing in all ways.

Jerks. 3-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1 (60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, PR 95kg, 100kg failed). Yeah baby!!! Got a new personal record! We took the barbell from the rack and focused purely on the jerk part. Got to try clean & jerk from ground as well someday but today's focus was on the jerk only. We've taken some split jerk training lately and this was a continuance to that progress.

Starting with 3x3, then 3x2 and finally 3xsingles, with increasing weights naturally. I took off from 60kg, adding 5kg after each set. I had it written in the calendar already couple of days ago that I'm gonna put 95kg in the air with my straight hands. I've had the time to mentally prepare for that specific lift. It's been haunting me since the last time I tried that weight in this same place.

I felt like my technique looked quite similar in all lifts. Surely there's a lot to do, no one can argue about that but still I feel tremendously happy that I'm able to maintain some sort of technical persistence. The lifts looked pretty much alike. The weight wasn't heavy today. Even though it was a very tough week and weekend I was able to get through this day with pride.

My bro also is in the early steps of split jerks so we both felt today's lifts took as forward. Still, got to be lifting way more to get technique better.

Overhead squats. 3-3-3 (50, 60, 60kg). This is the strong area of my bro. He's been taking 80kg overhead squats in the past while my 1RM is at 70kg. Today I stayed at 50-60kg on the sets. At first the bar felt like a feather after having almost 100kg on the bar. Once we hit 50kg+ the game changed a lot. The burden started to feel on the shoulders and wrists and it was difficult to maintain a good solid stance and form. My knees leaned way too much forward and I wasn't able to "sit in the hole" by putting weight on the heels. Sipa made a better effort on this one.

Metcon. Time around 21min

  • 500m run / max effort wall balls, 9kg
  • 500m run / max effort double unders
  • 500m run / max effort burpees
  • 500m run / max effort wall balls, 9kg

This was a nice one. We pondered around this for some days =) Both wanted to have running as main ingredient and then bodyweight movements accompanied as well. My goal was to have wall balls 'cause I know my bro has one. Then we agreed on the above.

I started with running while Sipa stayed to go all-in with wall balls. Once I finished running, we switched places, he went running and I continued with wb's. On the next round the bodyweight was du's, then burpees and finishing with wall balls again. So this was a pair wod with 4km running for time. In between we completed as many reps as possible while the partner was running.

I got 60 wall balls on the first round, 100 du's, 45 burpees and 50 wb's in the end. Sipa always started with the movement while I was running so once I got to the bodyweight movement, I knew how many reps he'd done so I had a good number where to target. Always trying to top his score of course.

There might be something awkwardly wrong with me but I love wall balls… I've heard people hate them. It's a tough movement and let's no part of your body to rest. Kind of like a lighter version of a thruster. Got a total of 110 reps today. Looking forward to performing Karen some day, which is 150 wb's for time with 9kg weight.

But those double unders. I'm disappointed in my body not being able to work strongly with them today. Don't remember when I have struggled this much with them. At this point my breathing was heavy though, I jumped through 100 reps while Sipa ran that 500m distance.

Burpees at this point of the game were painful. The only reason I got to 45 reps was because I knew my bro had done 43. The only thing bouncing in my head was to beat that score. In the end the wall balls were naturally tougher than in the end so I reached the 50 rep mark.

These strange place workouts with Sipa and/or Toni are spectacular. These allows us to drop barbells which eases the programming by concentrating olympic lifts to these days. Couldn't try 100kg jerks at my own Box 'cause dropping is not allowed. Have to keep on coming to weightlifting spots in the winter time as well. Thanks bro for today's training session!!!

Wall balls by Sipa

Toni's workouts. Push jerk and a metcon.

  • Push jerk 5-5-5-5-5 (40, 50, 60, 60, 65kg)
Toni's metcon. Time 8.45
  • 6 rounds of:
  • 8 push jerk, 50kg
  • 8 abmat sit-ups with 6kg med ball

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday 12.8: Heavy cleans and rowing intervals

Monday. Strength. Every minute on the minute, 1 squat clean @ 90kg, for 10 min. Rowing intervals, 30 sec on, 30 sec off, for 10 minutes. Distance 1.800m

Today was a bit easier day, at least compared to last week. The first part of it was heavy though but still not that many reps. I was thinking about one benchmark wod but that would have torn my shoulders too much. I really need them tomorrow in a rough training day with my brother.

There's some attitude in Toni's cleans from some time ago


  • Every minute on the minute for 10 min
  • 1 squat clean @ 90kg

There's no doubt this is my favorite strength movement. It's a full-body movement that requires your entire body to make some work. Strength on legs, core and especially upper back. It's a technical movement that requires you to pay attention to various steps along the pull and when dropping under the barbell. Plus, it improves your explosiveness. Spectacular movement.

I had decided on the weight beforehand and determined to do 10 sets of single lifts. Once I put the clock running I saw myself doing lifts approximately once per minute. There was plenty of time to recover and the purpose of this workout was not to stress cardio but to focus on technique with heavy weights.

I'm very happy with the way I was able to go through this set. The weight wasn't that bad to handle. Each lift looked similar to each other. My technical skills on the movement have improved a lot through tons of reps. I'm eager to try new kilos in squat soon. Got 100kg in the meter currently, looking forward to break that record.

Interval. Distance 1.800

  • 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, for 10 minutes
  • Rowing

Did some interval rowing in the end for 10 minutes. Full throttle for 30 seconds, then 30 seconds full rest. I was rowing somewhere around 1.31-1.36 in all sets. Mostly around 1.33-1.35. This was a good breather, liked to row after some break.

Toni's workouts. Snatch balance technique and a metcon. Working at a local affiliate
  • Snatch balance, 4 x 12 (20, 30, 30, 20kg)
Toni's metcon. Result, 2 rounds + 25 swings
  • Metcon. 8 minute amrap of:
  • 15 ohs, 20kg
  • 15 box jumps
  • 15/15 one-handed kettlebell swings, 16kg

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday 11.8: Turkish get-ups, hero wod DT

Sunday. Technique / skills: Turkish get-ups. Modified hero workout DT with kettlebell. Time 8.10.

Those kettlebells that I've bought in the course of my crossfit career have definitely paid back in dividends. I recommend everyone to go get one (or a couple) and start moving some weight! Start with lighter ones and build up to heavier loads. I guess one could easily get in very good shape by working solely on kb's. Props to the guy who invented this piece of iron! I started today with turkish get-ups, an awesome all-body movement and a perfect way to get warmed-up for the main workout of the day: hero wod DT.

Turkish get-ups

  • Turkish get-ups
On a few occasions I've tried this movement. It's actually a very comprehensive move that forces the entire body to be active: legs, core, hand and shoulders. Plus it forces you to balance with your own body and the bell overhead. I have to keep the weights low at this stage as I'm not that familiar with the movement. Guess I did 6 reps both hands.

DT. Time 8.10
  • With one hand working at a time with a 32kg kettlebell
  • 6 rounds of:
  • 12 deadlifts
  • 9 hang cleans
  • 6 push jerks
Originally hero workout DT is 5 rounds, with 70kg barbell, same movements, same amount of reps. I did this one-handed each round. First round with right hand, second round with left hands. Then right, left, right and left. 3 rounds both hands, alternating after each round. Felt awesome after yesterday's kb presses so I dared to try them (and hang cleans) with this 2 pood bell, movements at a weight that had not seen the daylight before this weekend.

Hang clean

Round times remained solid. 2 rounds (working both hands) took me 2:45, 2:48 and 2:37. Was indeed able to finish stronger towards the end. I was afraid going too fast in he beginning because I didn't know how my shoulders would react to such a workload. Hang cleans and push jerks with this piece was a bit intimidating at start. It went on nicely though. Enjoyed this workout a lot. Have to try it with the original rx'd version with a barbell. Must be a lot tougher as I think about jerking a 70kg bar up there 30 times. Brings me some memories of the chunky Grace I did a while ago.

The weekend was a success. We spent it totally at the country side together with my loved one. Had the possibility to relax, workout together, go outdoors, eat some spectacular barbecue food and watch movies. Nothing more could I ask from a weekend!