Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday 31.10: Back squat emom

Thursday. Back squat emom training, 2 reps per minute (100-130kg).

Squat day. Another day to do work on those legs. My strategy is to strengthen my lower body remarkably. Hopefully my pants will fit in the future as well =) Today I had to rush because we were about to go for a long dinner with a bunch of colleagues so I had 45min to do my training. That was a time slot craving for squats.

Every minute on the minute, 2 reps back squat @ ascending ladder

  • 2x100kg
  • 2x105kg
  • 2x110kg
  • 2x115kg
  • 2x120kg
  • 2x125kg
  • 2x130kg

Starting at @ 100kg, I did 2 reps on the first 2 minutes, then add 5kg after each 2min, continued this scheme up to 130kg. So there were 2x2 reps for each weight, for a total of 14minutes of work and a total of 28 reps. Got to say those last reps on the 125 / 130kg started to feel heavy. Heavy enough but still without a doubt of coming up. At those weights the time started to become an issue. It wasn't easy to start squatting heavy without just a short recovery. I still remained in the tim frame as I had planned. My original plan was to hit 130kg so I didn't add any more weights.

Plus, I had to run after the squats were done. It was time to enjoy a delicious cuisine on one of the classiest restaurants in Helsinki. We hit it to one of celebrity chef Tom Björck's restaurants - Gaijin - and I must say the food was incredible! We took a 7 course menu, Asian food, made from the best ingredients. Hard to describe the fireworks of flavors in my mouth. Simply beautiful.

Delicious dessert. Don't ask me what it was, no idea, but it was spectacular!

Take a look at Jason Khalipa's endurance training for the last year or so.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday 30.10: Amrap of hspu, box, t2b

Wednesday. Metcon, 15min amrap of: 5 hspu, 7 box, 9 t2b. Result, 11 rounds.

It was clear to me that I'm in a rush today. Had to go to a barber shop right after work so my gym session was short in time. Had planned a 15min amrap beforehand and closed the movements during the day. It was a good metcon.

Toni's workout: 3 x 5min amrap of: 5 thrusters, 10 squats, 5 t2b, 1min rest between amraps

Metcon. Result 11 rounds
  • 15min amrap of:
  • 5 handstand push-ups
  • 7 box jumps, 61cm
  • 9 toes-to-bar

Some foam rolling and active stretching, then handstand hold, couple of reps each movement. Then it was time to hear 3-2-1-go. There was a LOT of people at the gym so I had to wait to complete my movements on 3 different occasions. Other than that, I was able to keep a steady pace throughout the workout. It felt good to be able to move my body almost constantly. At least that was the feeling.

I did the handstand push-ups unbroken each round and there was no doubt of completing every rep. I believe I could have continued the hspu's unbroken for some time, couple of rounds. In this metcon there were 55 total reps.

Box jumps naturally unbroken, there weren't that many in a row. Altogether 77 reps in the metcon. It basically got my breathing higher and made the feeling a bit more miserable, just like it should and just like I wanted =)

Toes-to-bar movement was the only one I wasn't able to complete unbroken. I did them in a row for a couple of rounds, maybe 6-7 rounds? Then a couple of 6+3 rounds and on the last one I was rushing to get each rep done to reach 11 full rounds, found it faster to make 5 reps, then 4 quick singles. Got them done in 14.58!

This was a good metcon in a sense that I was able to move my body all the time. If you don't count those last couple of rounds on the t2b's I got the moves unbroken. This is exactly what a metcon is all about. Some breath catching was taking place on the t2b's occasionally.

Dusty Hyland's skill work, huh

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday 29.10: Squat snatch, double unders

Tuesday. Technique: squat snatch 8x2. Skills, double unders.

Today's session concentrated in technique and skills. I had something more in mind too but my elbows are still sore when I load enough weight on the barbell. Had some plans to do clean & jerk technique training as well. Those elbows hindered me from completing the metcon I wanted so today's session was modified on a fly to something different. Took double unders after snatches.

Flight simulation

Technique. Squat snatch 8 x 2, emom. The weight is not tough and that's the way it should be when looking to improve technique. 40kg is totally manageable by all means. I did the sets as hang squat snatches. 2 reps per minute, for 8 minutes. There was plenty of time to recover for each set.

I got the bar in a decent position at the bottom squat. The bar path left plenty to improve on. It didn't come vertically as close to my body as it should but it ran away too far. I should be leaning back more when I do the critical pull so that the barbell would have space to come straight up.

Skills. Double unders. Thought about doing a workout Toni threw at me, called "flight simulator", focusing only on double unders. That's a lot of skills work there. I started doing the workout and managed it well until the set of 35 reps. At that point my headache that had started it's early crawl couple of hours earlier, took over me and I had to stop jumping in the middle of the set of 40's. Huge ache took place, felt like my brains are staying in place… Had to skip the training, drive home and take pills.

That would have been quite a nice workout to improve on these skills. I did the sets in a row so that I barely wrote it down in my notes that I had completed another set. Got to about a total of 200 reps. There would be a total of 500 reps if you consider it done with zero mistakes. That's a lot! =) Got to try it as full version some day.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday 28.10: Eccentric squats, row intervals

Monday. Eccentric squats 3 x 8 (100-110kg). Row intervals for 4.030m.

Another day to strengthen my lower body. Now I've had a good chance to work on my legs, in the last month or so. And the results can be seen. The weights I've been able to move lately have made me smile at the gym. Today it was time for eccentric squats, thanks for olympic lifter Kendrick J. Farris for the tip.

Strength. Eccentric squats 3x8 (100, 105, 110kg). Third time doing eccentric squats and I really feel for this type of strength work. It's taxing on lower body but the gains are obvious. I feel my legs are already stronger =) I've done a lot of squatting this month as I promised to myself and wrote it down here earlier. I've stuck to the plan to keep on strengthening my legs because I genuinely believe legs are the motor for pretty much all strength movements.

The first time I did eccentric squats, the weights were @ 80-100kg on 4 sets. Second time the barbell was loaded with 100kg for all 4 sets. For today my decision was to add some weight and complete 3 full sets. The 100kg went nicely from memory. On the next set more work and more breathing was needed to get the reps done. My legs were burning on the last reps. For the last set I upped the weights to 110kg. That was heavy for this type of squatting. Did mental huffing and puffing, grabbed the bar on my back and started going down and up. Slowly down, then up as quickly as possible. Got that 110kg done nicely, awesome!!!

Take a look at mister Farris completing regular back squats 10 x 240kg… 

Rowing. Distance 4.030 meters.
  • The following sequence for 25minutes:
  • 60sec row, 60sec rest
  • 45sec row, 45sec rest
  • 30sec row, 30sec rest
  • 15sec row, 15sec rest

Don't know where I saw this interval style but it worked. For a total of 25 minutes, different length of intervals followed by each other. Starting with 1min, then 1min rest. Decreasing the work / rest with 15sec each set. After the last set - set of 15sec work/rest - start all over again. So there was a total of 5 rounds of this sequence.

Obviously the 60 and 45 second sprints were the toughest ones. I went all in from the very beginning. Didn't want to save anything in my tank, just go full throttle from point zero. At start my pace was around 1.35/500m, in the end it was more like 1.45/500m. I tried to keep it around 1.40 at max. The shorter ones were faster, the 60-45sec intervals were tougher to maintain the quick pace.

Good interval work. Total of 4k rowed is something. That's clearly more than a metcon would produce. Well, in interval training there should be longer distance anyway. I like to try out various pacing styles with rowing. Simply sitting there and rowing for distance (2-5k) seems to be a bit boring so I like to pace it in interval style. And it's much more fun to go all in all the way =)

Enjoy the recap of the 2013 Games!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday 27.10: Running metcon

Sunday. Metcon, 6 rounds of: 400m run, 20 air squats, 20 walking lunges.

Decided to leave my elbows alone today and concentrate in working my legs and metabolic conditioning. My in-laws' apartment back yard is a perfect playground for any athlete. Plenty of space, pull-up bar and lots of kettlebells. What more could a man wish for? By the way, it was freaking awesome weekend. Couple of workouts, lots of relaxation, perfect food and good company, nice!

  • 6 rounds of:
  • 400m run
  • 20 air squats
  • 20 walking lunges

This somehow distantly reminds me of hero workout Loredo. That one consists of run, squats, lunges and push-ups. My main goal today was to include running in my training. The park at the back yard is vast so I decided to run a distance that approximately was 200m each way. There was a trash bin I touched and ran back to starting point. Completed 20 air squats and 20 lunges to finish one complete round. Repeated for a total of 6 rounds. It took me about 18 minutes. The distance is just a wild guess but I think it was close to 400m.

There was a lot of leg work done today. The highest kicks I got from having running included there. Bodyweight squats and lunges also make hammies and quads burn after completing loads of them. Pauliina's father did the metcon with me, that was a great inspiration to probably both of us. Always better to have a training partner!

Used some medicine on my elbows yesterday and today. Hopefully they work for their purpose and the recovery process is on its way. Got to wait and see what kind of workout I'll do tomorrow.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday 26.10: Kettlebells and pull-ups

Saturday. Metcon, for 20min, odd min 10 kb swing (32kg), even min 10 pull-ups.

We're spending the weekend at the in-laws. That knows one thing is 100% certain. Kettlebell action will take place for sure. All four of us trained together for emom workout.

  • Every minute for 20min:
  • Odd minutes, 10 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • Even minutes, 10 pull-ups

My main goal was to do a bunch of heavy swings and lots of pull-ups. Ended up doing 100 reps both moves. Last Saturday I went and did 20 bar muscle-ups in Pirkkola akd since then I've had some issues with both of my elbows. It's worst in cleans, presses, dips etc. It was painful today as well but I decided to just bite the pain away and rattle through the 20min. Without pains this workout could have been even better with a couple more reps on the swings, why not also on pull-ups, 15 reps at max. However, for today this was a good amount of reps.

It was awesome to do the workout with Pauliina and her parents. They did emom training with kettlebells, 10 reps per minute for 10-20min. It just warmed my heart to see these guys giving their everything to the workout!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday 25.10: Back squats, metcon

Friday. Back squats 5-5-5-5-5 (max 130kg). Metcon, 8min amrap of: 24 air squats, 8/8 db snatch (20kg), 8 deads (100kg). Result. 4 rounds.

Time to squat! I'm on the right path to love this movement. Every time I'm waiting eagerly to enter the gym when I know there are squats waiting for me. Today it was back squat's turn. Haven't done traditional 3's or 5's in a very long time so last week sets of triples saw the daylight and today it was time to see at what level the sets of 5's are. Completed an 8 min amrap to finish the training.

Strength. Back squats 5-5-5-5-5 (100, 110, 120, 125, 130kg). God damned it was a good session!!! That's definitely a PR in squat 5's. Mainly I keep a record of the one rep maxes only but this is something that I remember 100% clearly that never have a set of 5 reps been lifted @ 130kg. In the warm-up the bar didn't feel so light that these weights would be foreseen easily.

I started piling some plates on the bar and finishing the sets. First set, easy, second one as easy. At 120kg I felt the burden, still not bad. Might have done the reps something like 3 reps at first, then catching some breath and completing the last 2 reps. At 125kg I did 2 reps, paused at top, completed 2 more reps, last catch of breath and then the last one.

5 x 130kg

Had only one option: add more weight! Took the first 2 reps in a row, then I stopped after each rep at the top position. After the first 2 reps I promised to myself I'm gonna take the last reps up as well. Before the last rep it was heavy but it didn't matter. At this stage my head was in the game and the only option was to go down and right back up. The result was awesome for me. Last week I took a triple @ 135kg and today 5 x 130kg. Take into consideration my current 1RM is 140kg. Enforcing more squat training lately seems to be paying off pretty well =)

Metcon. Result 4 rounds

  • 8min amrap of:
  • 24 air squats
  • 8/8 dumbbell snatch, 20kg
  • 8 deadlift, 100kg

Magic number was 8. Amrap of bodyweight squats, 1 arm dumbbell snatches (8 right + 8 left), finishing the round with deadlifts. Each movement made breathing go heavy but the thing hindered me from going faster was the feeling in my legs. All movements had an impact on my lower body. Probably all those squat sets prior to the metcon had their effect as well.

Air squats are a good way to burn legs, even without any extra weight on your back. Combine snatches and your heart rate bounces up. Add deadlifts to the mix and your legs are done. Completed 4 rounds of these movements for 96 squats, 64 snatches and 32 deadlifts. Good quick workout!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday 24.10: Clean and jerk, clean metcon

Thursday. Strength, clean & jerk triples (max 85kg). Metcon, 5rds of: 5 power clean (60kg), 10 push-ups, 20 double unders. Time about 5.15-ish.

Getting back to barbell work. Olympic lifting through clean & jerks. Completed triples and worked towards a heavy set. Then after a short break I reloaded the barbell to 60kg and started on my metcon of power cleans, push-ups and du's. Good and short one.

Strength. Clean & jerk 3-3-3-3-3 (60, 70, 75, 80, 85kg). Love 'em! C&J's are my thang. Important and all-around movement that I believe everybody should learn to incorporate into their training. It's difficult to find a movement that's

Worked up towards a heavy set of triple. Did push jerks on the first 2-3 sets. On the last 2-3 sets I took on my split jerk skills and edged the jerks that way. Got the set of 80kg done with one grip without having to adjust it. The last rep @ 80kg was tough. But I was happy to do touch'n'go with as heavy bar as this was. On the last set - set of 85kg - I had to bring the bar down after 2 reps, reset and complete the 3rd rep.

It was exceptional that I did this heavy sets with power clean. Usually I take squat cleans in to the game somewhere between 70-80kg. Today I had decided to do every clean as power clean. My legs are pretty torn up due to this weeks squats and leg work in general. Very good c&j work today. And I have to say it felt superb as some guys training next to me were giving compliments at the gym =)

Metcon. Time around 5.15
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 5 power cleans, 60kg
  • 10 push-ups
  • 20 double unders
Had intentions about doing this as 15min amrap. Must say it would have been a nightmare. Luckily my dear girlfriend needed to leave earlier so I had to cut some time off from this workout. It would have been very tough to do something like 10+ rounds of these 3 movements.

I was feeling tired during the metcon. Guess I should have done quicker with this one. It should have been a quick run, nail the reps and move on. Completed every movement unbroken on the workout. Don't know what was the most challenging part. All moves were done as they should be done. Maybe it was just the "thing" that was missing there, the fire in the soul that needs to be there to keep the juice flowing. Maybe my body was simply tired and I couldn't overcome that mentally. Should have been a piece of cake, just focus on the movement at hand. Still, I'm happy I did every movement perfectly without mistakes, good rhythm all the way =)

Here's some skill work

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday 23.10: Metcon of hspu, pistols

Wednesday. Metcon, hspu 10 to 1, down by 1's, pistols 20 to 2, down by 2's. Time 12.26. Lots of mobility.

Today was time for bodyweight action. I was thinking between row intervals and this metcon that finale ended up to be the one. Couplet of handstand push-ups and pistol squats. Took about half an hour mobility and stretching session after the workout.

Metcon. Time 12.26
  • Handstand push-ups, 10 to 1, down by 1's
  • Pistols, 20 to 2, down by 2's

My butt and hamstrings were very sore from Monday's front squats. There were over 5.000kg squatted that day so it was no surprise some muscles were still feeling it. Still, I wanted to do pistols today and it turned out to be a good idea. On the first couple of reps my quads were cramping but after some more reps my legs were feeling normal again =) Did some handstand hold against a wall and a 2-3 hspu's before putting the clock running, 3-2-1 go.

In this workout there were 55 reps of hspu's and 110 pistols. Starting at 10 hspu's, 9 on the next round, then 8, down by 1 rep at a time until there's only 1 left. Same logic with pistols, except that I started at 20 reps and decreased 2 reps each round.

Handstand push-ups are rolling well! Did every round unbroken. Guess there was one round I fell of the wall due to balance but I went back up there right away. Very well done for me. The pistols were more challenging. Suppose I did well with them as well though. The rounds of 16 to 12 were the most challenging. Got through them and it started to get easier on the pistols. That point the last handstand push-ups started to come very heavy, at around round 5 on. There were just a couple of reps per round so I got through them as well.

The combination of handstand push-ups and pistols is somehow smart. Benchmark workout Mary is all about these two, added with pull-ups. Great workout to say the least. I enjoyed this training today. There are so few pistol squats in the programming so they are always welcomed. After metcon I rowed a little and did half an hour of mobility; some resistance band work, used lacrosse ball to release soft tissues in lower body, then traditional stretching.

Some scary squat numbers these guys have

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday 22.10: Snatch technique, Annie x 2

Tuesday. Squat snatch technique. Benchmark workout Annie, 50-40-30-20-10, double unders and sit-ups. Time 6.26. Rest 3-5min, repeat Annie. Time 6.55.

Was supposed to go to Eltsu with my bro, to the cave where magic happens with olympic lifting. Had some timetable issues and the whole trip was flushed down the toilet. Had some great plans that had to be modified on the fly. My focus was on squat snatch technique that I want to refine. After snatches I wanted to take double unders but didn't know what to put with them. Remembered benchmark workout Annie and decided to complete it twice.

  • Squat snatches
  • Empty bar snatches, overhead squats @:
  • 3 x 30, 40, 40kg
  • 2 x 45, 45kg
  • 1 x 50, 50, 50, 50, 50kg

Small steps on the way to perfection. Currently my technique sucks =) Let's take half a year from this moment on and see what it looks like. I bet it's on a whole different level, I'm very confident about that. Did some light weight in the beginning, simply empty bar and 30kg reps. Added some weights until I hit 50kg. The bar wasn't heavy but it was difficult to find the correct spot for the bar to land overhead in the squat's bottom position. This was the first time I had 50kg in squat snatch. So that definitely was a step forward!

Got to practice these in a place where I don't have to mind if the bar drops. Only then I can dare to put more weights on the bar and hit heavier sets as well. Currently I can power snatch 60+ kilos so naturally squat version should be heavier. Same ideology as in power / squat cleans. Squat version's 1RM should always be heavier. Currently this is the other way around on my snatches.

As you can see from the videos (by the way, there's a lot of puffing before the actual reps…) I don't dare to drop down aggressively enough. I kind of break the speed on my way down. There's no need for that. Should just let go and drop my butt just like that. But the positive thing is that there are no mobility issues as long as I have good and long warm-up. Some time ago squat snatch was very challenging considering my mobility. I've been doing work for them and hopefully it starts to pay off.

Annie. Time 6.26. Compare to 6.1.2013
  • 50-40-30-20-10
  • Double unders
  • Sit-ups, anchored feet

Annie has been in my calendar once before, in January. This is not a traditional benchmark workout in a certain sense. Breathing is tolerable all the way as normally breathing is extremely difficult in some point of benchmark wod. I thought I would do the double unders unbroken but it turned out that I did mistakes in sets of 50's and 40's. That consumed some time. Sit-ups are sit-ups. Haven't done them and probably won't be doing them. Don't find the movement that beneficial. On sit-ups there simply can't be a break. It's an easy movement. Speed on them definitely slows down except on the last 2 rounds when it's possible to speed up because of the amount of reps.

Annie. Time 6.55.
  • 50-40-30-20-10
  • Double unders
  • Sit-ups, anchored feet

Understood that my sit-ups would probably slow down a little bit so my plan was to concentrate properly on the double unders to finish in same time frame as in the first Annie. However, I made the same stumbles in the first 2 rounds as in the first Annie. That sucked but other than that, I managed to keep a good upright form in both workouts with the DU's. Focused on bending my knees as little as possible and keep straight torso from toes to head. It's not perfect but it's better than before. Step forward as well =)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday 21.10: Front squats, metcon

Monday. Front squats, emom, 3 reps @ 100kg, for 10min. Metcon, 10-8-6-4-2 of: hspu, front squat (70kg), box jumps. Time 7.20

Squats! Saturday's heavy back squat triples felt in my ass and hammies yesterday. Got enough covered to do front squats today. Did them in both strength part and in the metcon as well. After emom strength training the following metcon included hspu's, front squat and box jumps. That was even better than I thought.

Pauliina made us protein pancakes in the evening!
Simply mix only bananas and eggs, put them on frying pan and enjoy, yammy :)

  • Front squat, every minute on the minute
  • 3 reps @ 100kg, for 10 minutes
For strength I was thinking about different variations. Options were traditional sets of 3's or 5's, eccentric squats and squats with 3sec hold on the bottom position. Decided to go with every minute on the minute (emom). The load was heavy-ish but had no doubts whether it would come up or not.

Would have liked to have more upright torso but it started to become that heavy towards the end. Still, I had rather okay form till the end. My ankles seem to bend inwards somewhat no matter what kind of shoes I'm wearing. I don't feel it when I do my reps but in the videos I can see the ankles rotate a little in. That's not cool but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it. And it doesn't bother me at all. Everything feels good in my squats. Most important thing is to push the knees out.

Last 4 sets of emom wod

Metcon. Time 7.20
  • 10-8-6-4-2
  • Handstand push-ups
  • Front squat, 70kg, from rack
  • Box jumps, 61cm

This was definitely a good metcon. 30 reps each movement with descending ladder style. Was confident beforehand that I could complete the hspu's unbroken and I sure did. Same with the front squats, unbroken. This was not heavy and the purpose was to keep on moving. Took the barbell exceptionally from rack this time. Box jumps were awkwardly challenging, considering there were only 30 reps. On the hspu's breathing got heavier, front squats got to my legs and that's why jumping on the box seemed heavier than normally.

It felt like I was able to keep moving without having to stop and catch a breath. The logistics of the workout was not ideal. There was a 10m distance between hspu's and squats / box. So there was lots of walking between the two spots. Other than that, I believe my body was doing work all the time. Hard to say how it was in real life but that's how it felt like. Anyway, this was a good workout!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday 20.10: Rest day

Sunday. Rest day.

Time to chill. Have been working out well recently and I can be proud of the workouts that's now in the past. Strength, olympic lifts, bodyweight, stamina, muscle endurance, bar complex, skills, weaknesses, benchmark workouts, plyometric training. It's been a variety of barbell and bodyweight movements and most importantly, I've been in the discomfort zone to spot those weaknesses.

Got new weightlifting shoes and I'm sure they are going to rock my world. They already have done it. Got them this Tuesday and been working with them since on the heavy movements: squats, cleans, jerks and snatches.

The weather is beautiful right now so I had to go for a cycling tour. The places looked awesome, and nature showed its best features in this sunny autumn. I'm getting back in action tomorrow, it's gonna be another interesting, versatile training week ahead of me.

Sunday is a good day to watch some crossfit documents. Couple of legends are stealing the show: Chris Spealler, Rich Froning and Graham Holmberg. Enjoy the stuff!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday 19.10: Back squats + muscle-ups, C2B's, bench

Saturday. AM: Back squats, work towards a heavy triple (max 135kg). Pistols and L-sit hold. PM: Skills, muscle-ups and C2B's. Strength, bench press 6x5 (max 85kg).

Two-a-day! Back squats in the morning with Pauliina and Hannu, I'm so glad I'm able to do them again. My left hip is still a bit sore but good warm-ups ease the mobility and I can do those squats normally. Huge thing for me. Morning session was short on time so the playing after the strength was quick as well: some core work. Couple of hours later I returned to action as Pauliina headed to town to see some friends. First skill work in the woods, then back at the Box to do bench. Great training day!

Pistol squat

Strength. Back squats, work towards a heavy triple (100, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135kg). This result was a great success! I've never lifted a triple by having 135kg in my back, boom. The recent squat sessions at 100kg have probably done good things to my strength level. The first weight at 100kg was light. The first heavy set was at 120kg. The next one @ 125kg was very heavy. This was the point where I beforehand thought might be my stop for today.

Should never think about that kind of things. Once I loaded 130kg on the bar, took it up on my back, the barbell felt lighter than 125kg. Got a huge boost of confidence and I knew all 3 reps would be doable. Got them up, it was a good battle and they came up. Had no other possibilities but to put more plates n the bar. Next stop, 135kg.

Hannu doing his metcon of 10-8-6-4-2, deads and bench!

Each rep was a mental game. Caught a breath and completed another rep. The third one was epic. It took an eternity to bring it up again from the hole. Felt like it was one minute of pure work =) Once you almost stop in the middle of the lift while coming up the line between going back down and give in or pressing your teeth together and forcing the bar up to where it belongs, is very thin. Pauliina and Hannu were both watching the last reps so that was a competition in itself to me. Had to use all strength that I had left in my tank. Super happy!!!

Recap of Saturday's training

Core work. Just a little fun in the end.

  • 3 rounds of:
  • 10 pistols, alternating
  • Accumulate 0:30 L-sit hold

Yep, pistols and L-sit. Sitting still in L-position for core work is sick, very tiring. Completing pistols with the oly shoes is way easier than with normal sneakers. Flat sole makes it more stable. I would have liked to continue this workout (to be honest, didn't want more L-sits) for longer but we had to run. Pistols are awesome, got to do more of them.

L-sit hold


  • Muscle-ups, 20 reps
  • Chest-to-bar pull-ups, 6x5 reps

We went shopping, ate properly, took it easy and then couple of hours later I hopped in my car and drove to Pirkkola. Wanted to work on my bar muscle-ups. Far too rarely do I get the chance to practice them. Now I had no rush at all so 20 reps saw the daylight. Took them in singles all the way. Some of the reps were okay and I landed on the bar pretty neatly, considering my skill level. On some of them, I had to do a lot of work, the movement wasn't that explosive. More work ahead of me.

Also chest-to-bar pull-ups are something I need to keep on working constantly. Regular pull-ups are something I dare to call my strength. However, hitting chest on the bar is more challenging. I'm able to do them nowadays, that's a huge thing because there was a time when a single rep was too difficult. Took 6 sets of 5 highest pull-ups I'm capable of. Very satisfied to the hight of the reps. Take a look in the video.

Chalk it up and do some work!

Strength. Bench press 5-5-5-5-5 (80, 82.5, 85, 82.5, 80kg). Wanted to finish my upper body after muscle-ups and C2B's so my next target was at my home Box. Did 5 sets of bench with weights between 80 and 85kg. Last time I did bench 5's, it was almost the same, a little lighter. That 85kg was a great one. I'd like to have gone heavier but had no spotter. About a week ago I did triples, then the heaviest set was 92.5kg. These weights have increased, I'm able to do longer sets with bars that I was earlier doing 1-2 reps. Probably that one rep max has also increased.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday 18.10: Clean and jerk

Friday. Clean and jerk, 21 x 80kg.

Feeling some cold in my throat so I did only some olympic lifting and saved metcons for future. Agenda said I would be allowed to do clean & jerks. Decided to go semi-heavy for high reps. That was the workout of the day.

Clean & jerk.
  • 21 reps for quality @ 80kg
As simple as that. Go and do the work. No stress about the time, just lift. Clean, then split jerk. Good time to work on technique on semi-heavy weights. The weight felt perfect for today and for the purpose I programmed this workout. My reps were pretty identical on the cleans. On some jerks I dropped quicker under the bar than on others. Also the depth of my dropping was bigger in some of them.

Had no problems in any of the lifts, there was no doubt at any times whether it would come up or not. It was more like an issue of whether my jerks would look the same technically speaking. I need more split jerks to create consistency. Just started doing them in the summer so I'm very satisfied anyway on the way I'm able to complete the reps currently. Of course I'm looking ahead in the future and seeing my technique getting better tremendously after hundreds and thousands of reps.

Got to say a couple of words of my new olympic lifting shoes. They are perfect! The stability with them is beyond what I thought beforehand. Had huge expectations but they have not failed me. I've done cleans, jerks, back squats, front squats, overhead squats and snatches with them. And in each movement I believe it has helped my positioning and form. Got to start believing more that I can lean back more than currently, pressure on heels.

Hope this dawning cold realizes it's not welcomed in my body and goes away so that tomorrow will be a good training day. Have some great plans at least in my calendar.

Friday's playground

Huge step for Toni. He's learned the kipping style nicely. First he applied it to pull-ups, now he's evolved to handstand push-ups. Great job man! I'm waiting for this guy to nail a new PR in pull-ups soon. Standing record is at 17 reps, and the goal for this year is 20. Believe me, he's not far from that. Great development to say the least. Got to say it has done good things to him when he joined the local crossfit affiliate. Lots of technical improvements, both in skills and strength. Happy for you pal!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday 17.10: snatches, row, hspu, burpee

Thursday. Technique, 8x3 hang squat snatch. Metcon, 8 rounds of: 250m row, 5 hspu, 10 burpees.

Main focus was on the metcon. Had written nothing else but this one on my calendar for this Thursday but during the day I reminded myself of the promise I did to myself 1-2 months ago. That time I put squat snatches on hold and vowed to come back when I receive olympic lifting shoes. The time is now and it's time to start working on that technique!

Hannu warming up for back squats


  • Hang squat snatch 8 x 3 (all sets @ 40kg)

My previous shoes didn't give any support on my squat snatch form. Same with any squat form. I have had some mobility issues with overhead squats and squat snatches but I realized today that once those joints are properly warmed up there are no problems whatsoever in moving my hips to any possible position.

The weight itself was light. I kept 40kg on the barbell each set. The purpose of the workout was to get familiar once again on the movement, get some confidence in going under the bar and finding comfort in squat snatch. I will squat snatch more in the future. Got 2 focus areas now: improving my squat strength / technique and squat snatch technique.

Did some overhead squats prior to the squat snatches and I found a good stance and stabile form. In the squat snatches tended to lean forward for some reason, then I moved my butt to correct position before standing up again.


  • 8 rounds of:
  • 250m row
  • 5 handstand push-ups
  • 10 burpees

Had intentions of doing a 15min amrap but my timer was not working at all. That was weird but I had no clock at all to time the workout. That kind of sucked but I decided to hit it a long one, 8 rounds of the row + hspu + burpee combo. Kept the pace on the rowing at around 1.40-1.45, it was a short sprint so it was doable to go fast. Got the handstand push-ups and burpees unbroken each set. I was surprised how well I was able to move through the workout. Didn't have to break and catch a breath even though these movements should have made a man gasp for air.

I'm keeping hspu's in the schedule 1-2 a week to improve on my strength / skill level. I got them to a level where I can do tens of them in a metcon and I'm super happy about that. Then again, burpees and rowing are perfect ways to increase metabolic conditioning. Always good tools =)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday 16.10: Eccentric squats, reverse hypers

Wednesday. Eccentric squats 4 x 8 (all sets @ 100kg). One legged reverse hypers 3 x 10, both legs. Some deadlifts and dips, mobility.

I was looking for today's squats with extreme eagerness. I've had some left hip issues and thus I haven't dared to do heavy front / back squats in ten days. I have compensated it with doing deadlifts and improved my posterior chain through deads. Today I was full engaged at work and had no possibilities to eat twice during the day. My lunch was not perfect either so my juice was not in place once we went to gym with Pauliina. Had to make some quick decisions after negotiating with my body so I focused only on leg work. Skipped a metcon totally. Squats and reverse hypers.

Strength. Eccentric back squats 4 x 8 (all sets at 100kg). Did this type of squats for the second time in my life. Lower yourself slowly, bounce back and move yourself up normally, a.k.a as quick as possible. Did 4 sets of 8 reps @ 100kg, each set at same weight. I got new olympic shoes, the first in my life, yesterday and I fell in love immediately. Thanks Toni for ordering them for me!

The stabilization in squat is from another world when wearing these Adidas shoes. I found a good stance yesterday in front squats and today in back squats. I'm looking to have great assistance from the oly shoes in certain movements: all possible squats (overhead, front and back) and squat snatch / clean.

Four sets was perfect considering I did 8 slow mo reps @ 100kg. Had decided on the weights beforehand and liked the barbell's feeling all the way. There's a big depth on the squat as you see on the video.

After the squats I did some deadlifts and regular dips, then moved on to do reverse hypers, for 3 sets of 10 reps. It was not a pure reverse hyper machine but something like that. Main focus was on hamstrings and glutes. It was a single-legged station so I did 3 sets both legs. Definitely felt the pressure on the hammies.

By the way, heard Toni did a new PR in clean & jerk, 92.5kg saw the daylight, not bad mister! =)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday 15.10: Bar complex, pull-ups, DU

Tuesday. Strength and conditioning, bar complex: 10 sets of 3 power clean, 3 front squat, 3 push jerk (60-70kg), alternating with bro. Metcon, 5 rounds of: 10 pull-ups, 50 double unders.

Training day with Sipa, my bro. We had big plans to do some running sprints prior to strength and conditioning but the track was reserved for a club so we had no chance to run today. No prob, we had a good workout with a bar complex. Then a metcon in the end for completion, not for time.

10 rounds of complex, done

  • 10 sets of:
  • 3 power clean
  • 3 front squat
  • 3 push jerk
  • 5 x 60kg, 2 x 65kg, 3 x 70kg
  • Alternating turns with bro

I copy pasted this pretty much directly from By the way, it's an incredibly well programmed crossfit site. Ben Bergeron is the guy who has dedicated his time to write smart programs for those athletes that have qualified for the Games, looking to hit the podium and to athletes that are confident to make it to the Regionals and their main focus is qualifying to the Games. Plus there's also programming for athletes whose main goal is to perform as good as possible in the Open.

This was a good one. Originally there's a time domain that is probably the big thing on the workout. Every minute on the minute you should be able to perform those 9 reps. We did this alternating turns without the time pressure. Sipa started, once he was ready I went after the reps. Turned out to be a good idea. Probably would have been a sick one if we held on to that 1min time per set.

I did the first 5 sets @ 60kg, then 2 sets @ 65kg and the remaining 3 sets @ 70kg. Could have gone heavier earlier on. We thought it would have smashed us earlier but we managed to manhandle the weight with class. Going for 75-80kg might have been a too big bite but having 65-70kg all the way on the bar could have worked even better. It would have been a totally different workout if we did it emom style. Something like this is worth trying as emom training.

I realized lately some technical stuff I need to work on my cleans. I'm bouncing the bar off my thighs way too early and because my arms bend before the second pull. I should have enough patience to hang my hands straight, pull fiercely, lean my back backwards and bounce the bar off way higher than currently. I added one slow motion part from both Sipa's and my power cleans. Take a look. I added a video in my blog post of Dan Bailey instructing this issue just a couple of days ago. Short and very useful information. Note taken!

All in all, good complex, worth doing another time, definitely! Just squeeze it in shorter time, keep the body moving.

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 50 double unders

This workout was not a genuine metcon. We didn't rush with the clock. The purpose was to simply do the movements, take a breath, continue to next movement. Sipa started with the pull-ups, did them almost strict each round. That was my goal as well but just couldn't go strict after a couple of reps. So I did kipping pull-ups.

On the double unders I was concentrating in keeping my torso as straight as I could. I believe I performed pretty well. The first round was 47 reps unbroken, then on the rest of the rounds my shoulders were burning so I cut it to pieces. Still, a good double under training to finish it all.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday 14.10: Dips, pull-ups, box and burpees

Monday. Metcon, 6 rounds of: 6 ring dips, 9 pull-ups, 12 box jumps, 15 burpees. Time 14.37.

Took another day in a row of bodyweight workouts. That means tomorrow is time for some real barbell action. Looking forward to train with my bro again! Couldn't ask for more. Monday's movements were ring dips, pull-ups, box and burpees. Got a real nice breather at the gym. After I went home, we went for a walk with Pauliina for one hour. The colors are still beautiful in Finland's autumn.

Metcon. Time 14.37
  • 6 rounds of:
  • 6 ring dips
  • 9 pull-ups
  • 12 box jumps, 61cm
  • 15 burpees

The purpose of the workout was to work on my engine. Keep those lunges gasping for air and heart pumping blood. Plus I need to incorporate those ring dips in my metcons more. Two simple movements that are something I need to work on: dips and push-ups. Far too rarely do I see them in my metcons. Most important thing: work on your weaknesses. That's what they always say.

The thing in this workout was the breathing. Combination of box jumps and burpees, no wonder I gassed in the middle of the workout. Even though there were only 6 ring dips each round, it was just sufficient for me after the burpees. It wouldn't have been okay to have more of them because I would have had to break the sets in vain. I got them unbroken, same with the pull-ups.

 Thought about doing every other set with palms facing in and every other palms facing out. However, on the first set it felt awkward on my wrists to have palms facing in so I decided to do the rest of the sets with regular grip, palms facing out.

The box jumps were taking its toll on my breathing. What can I say, it was some piece of work! And that's exactly as it should be. Had to force myself to keep moving. Didn't want to listen to the voice in the back of my head saying "take a break boy". Tried not to listen and kept on bouncing up and down.

Burpee is a movement that you can always complete. Graham Holmberg's ideology always echoes in my head. He once said in documentary that there are no excuses why you couldn't hit your chest on the ground, just drop down, as easy as that. And why would you not come back up. You can always come back up. And then, just start over, it's not that complicated. So I followed his instructions. My break times were between the movements. Tried not to prolong them too much. However, my lap times got a little longer each round so I believe the transitions was the crucial thing.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday 13.10: Muscle-up skills, rowing metcon + handstand skills

Sunday. AM: Skills, bar muscle-ups. Metcon, 5 rds of: 10 hspu, 15 k2e, 500m row. PM: Handstand skills training.

Time for some bodyweight training. Took two training sessions today. In the morning we worked together with Pauliina, I concentrated in skills plus a metcon, and after having done some furniture shopping with my baby I did another skills session for handstand. This was the first time I did bar muscle-ups in my home gym to start the training. There isn't much space between the pull-up bar and the wall so it was much more challenging in this place. Got those reps done anyway, happy about that.


  • 5 rounds of:
  • 10 handstand push-ups
  • 15 knees-to-elbow
  • 500m row

The goal of this workout? To work on my engine, my hspu skills and grip strength on the pull-up bar. Rowing as an element in a metcon is cruel. After you have rowed something like 1k, it starts to get to entire body. Legs are burning, breathing is heavy and forearms / upper body starts to go numb. Today I started to have these feelings on the third round. It's awesome tool to build on that engine within you. As a crossfitter, I should always be looking to improve on my breathing, lung capacity and ability to keep on moving even though it feels sick in my body. Rowing is perfect for that purpose.

On those knees-to-elbows (k2e) my goal was to do the sets unbroken. I've done sets of 10 reps lately in all metcons, in both k2e's and toes-to-bar. So I wanted to add some reps and try to keep my head together for holding on to the pull-up bar and keep moving. And it turned out that I got them unbroken, not bad. Looking to include these in training 'cause I believe I must be able to complete multiple sets of 20 reps.

The last movement: handstand push-ups. Been working a lot of them this early autumn. Still, had no idea it would turn out to go this well: every set of 10 reps unbroken!!! C'mon, that's crazy! Did them kipping style because there were such a big number waiting to be done. Total of 50 reps. Went something like 6-7 reps in a row each set, then held a short break in the bottom position and pushed it through to get the remaining reps.

Handstand skills. In the early evening I went to do a second training set, focused purely on handstand skills. Haven't had the chance to practice on this one in the previous weeks and I'm a bit scared what will happen during the winter months. Hopefully I'll find a place where I can keep on working on this skills as I do not master it in the way I'd like to, not yet, I will though!

Worked on both staying in a handstand position as still as possible plus also moving forward. Had some successful sets and too many attempts where I fell short too early. This skill seems to be one that yo must keep on schedule continuously.

I'm done!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

September's stats

September's stats. Figures from September.

In August I concentrated a lot in barbell work and creating strength base. Wanted to see how much work I could do with weights. In September I had totally different approach. I took an easy start for the month by traveling to Stockholm, Sweden, and had a couple of rest days. After that I completed benchmark workout Mary to kick back in action but focused way more in bodyweight movements for a couple of weeks. Later in the month I did more barbell work but mostly I had a good balanced program with constant variety and it worked well. My body felt good throughout the month.

This proved to me that it's only smart to do more bodyweight stuff. As I compare the weights lifted in September and the 3 months through May-July, I realize I actually lifted as much weight now (even a little more) but still my body felt fresh. The point: keep it as diverse as possible and combine a lot of bodyweight stuff as well. Don't try to go heavy every single day. You have time to lift heavy anyway.

Benchmark workouts.

Talking about heavy, Kalsu was sick. It was stronger than I was. Goal is 100 power cleans (60kg) but completing 4 burpees in top of every starting minute was almost too much to handle. On Mary I did a personal record in time. I was doing very good with this one and improved my result with 2 rounds. That's a lot! What could I say about HC Triplet. Sickest things I know in my crossfit career. You have to read it and see it through your own eyes, check the link to see the specs.

Strength. 72.000kg
  • Back squats, 13.000kg
  • Snatch 8.200kg

Even though I was putting more effort in bodyweight stuff, this month turned out to be "normal" in comparison to previous months. My average weights have been around 60-70.000kg. In September I squatted and snatched more than other strength movements. All in all, it was quite a balanced month in all senses. There was a good number of cleans, presses/jerks and clean & jerks too. I'm looking to continue to squat in autumn. Squat snatch is something that's in the back of my head but the focus now is on squats.

  • 13 muscle-ups
  • 850 double unders
  • 318 handstand push-ups

Not many muscle-ups, got to do more to fix my technique. It doesn't get better without a good number of reps. I'm glad I was able to keep the double unders in about a thousand reps. But what is the thing with the hspu's?!? Take a look at the figure: 318 reps, c'mon! What's the thing if you want to develop as a crossfitter? Focus on your weaknesses! I did and the results have already been seen. Those handstand push-ups are not a goat anymore. That's what it feels like. Have to work more on those still. I want to be excellent at them.


  • 475 burpees
  • 680 pull-ups
  • 340 toes-to-bar / knees-to-elbows

Here's some other bodyweight numbers that haven't been seen before. Almost 500 burpees, close to 700 pull-ups and 340 k2e's / t2b's. Not bad! I feel like I was doing pull-ups all the time. And the most important thing is to do different types of pull-ups. Strict, kipping, different types of grips and chest-to-bar pull-ups.

Cardio. 21.200m

  • 19.200m rowing
  • 2.000m running

For some time it looked like there's not gonna be rowing or running at all in September but then after a week or two I added them - especially rowing - to my calendar. It was regularly something around 2k row as part of a metcon but there were also longer distances like 4k or 6k. I'm happy about the work being done in this part as well.

  • Handstand push-ups, 15

This was probably the only thing I was looking to improve PR-wise. There may have been a day I tried to improve on my clean but it stayed @ 100kg. Can't remember if it was this month or the previous one. Maybe I should try to top some of the numbers in October or November. Haven't given much thought for this issue. My goals weight-wise have been met pretty well this year in general but I'm always looking to improve, no doubt about it.