Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday 3.2: Handstand, Grace + Sandy

Monday. AM: Working out at Liikuntamylly. Skills, handstand. Couple of clean & jerks (60-80kg). Benchmark workout Grace. Time 2.50. PM: Sandy action.

I'm on a holiday this week. Didn't use much of my leave last summer so I've had the possibility to take some time off of work and focus on training. That gives me a possibility to train at these magnificent places in the morning times. After a Super Bowl night, after sleeping all 3 hours I gave Pauliina a ride to work and went directly to Liikuntamylly, my favorite place as an athlete. It was time to take a nap and do another workout in the evening with a sandbag at our backyard.

  • Handstand

This skills movement is sick, I love it. When you give me the possibility to do it, I'll do it. It felt like my body was very tired in the morning but once I got to go inverted it was getting better. First I did some handstand hold, trying got stay as firm and balanced, having my legs together pointing in the air. Then I practiced the handstand walk. It went okay. Was able to stay still pretty well and move forward as planned.

Grace. Time 2.50
  • Benchmark workout
  • 30 clean & jerks, 60kg

This workout is something sacred for me. Grace and Fran, 2 of the most classic and prestigious workouts that come to my mind when you talk about benchmark workouts in crossfit. They both make me nervous like nothing else. They are cruel workouts. Quick ones, it should always be an all-in effort from the very first rep. There's short amount of repetitions and no excuses to keep rest periods. I've been working my ass off to get strength in my shoulders in order for this 60kg weight to being something I'd be able to manhandle every time I touch the barbell.

Both of these benchmarks should be repeated once in a while in order to see whether development has taken place. This test of an athlete's muscle endurance is brutal and it got me nervous for a reason. Still, I was able to smash this one. I was hoping to get a PR from my previous time of 3.48. But never in my dreams did I see this time coming, a new record with a time of 2.50! That was sick, I'm on cloud number 9 right now for the performance I was able to do =)

I didn't quite know what kind of tactic to use on this one. Thought 6 sets of 5 reps would make it nicely if I'd do one set per 30 seconds for as long as possible. That would make it to 3:00 exactly. However, on the first set I already changed my strategy on the fly and completed 6 reps. On my 10sec break I thought to change it to 5 sets of 6 reps. On the second set I felt like I had unbalanced grip so I dropped the bar after 3 reps, readjusted and took another 3 reps. I was at 12 reps.

After another 10sec break I was looking to get another 6 reps. No way man. I took 3 reps in a row, break and another 2 reps, total of 17 reps. From there on I decided to throw those strategies in to trash bin and as Jason Khalipa says it: "throw balls to the wall". Just close your mindset and give your everything. The bar felt very heavy after 19 reps and that might be seen from my face also from the video. Each rep hurt in my shoulders and legs. Grace has never felt this bad on my thighs, they were burning in a smilier was as my shoulders.

It was a totally different ball game to complete Grace here in Liikuntamylly where you can drop bar compared to my home gym. You save tons of energy by dropping the bar instead of bringing it down gently. Of course you can go faster by doing touch'n'go reps but once you're hammered already, you simply can't do multiple reps. Afterwards, I realized it was a good strategy drop the bar after 20 reps every time I got a rep and grab the bar right away.

I was super stoked after I saw the time after the 30th rep. Probably my best performance every, the improvement was such great compared to last Grace. This one took all my energy and I was left with nothing in the tank. I hung around in Liikuntamylly for a while and stretched before going home for a lunch and a nap.


  • 4 rounds of:
  • 20 walking lunges with a sandbag, 25kg
  • 20 strict press with a sandbag, 25kg
I thought another metcon is about to happen. Thought about what elements to utilize at our backyard. I have some stuff in the storage: kettlebells, weighted vest and self-made sandbag. Decided to go with the sandbag, a.k.a. Sandy.

Didn't want it to be an extremely long one so while I was warming up I came up with a simple workout: 10 walking lunges, then turn and complete the same steps back to starting point. Followed by 20 strict press with the sandbag. Those presses killed my shoulders! Even though the weight wasn't heavy, the odd object element might have made a difference.

I went unbroken on the strict presses for 2 rounds. On the last 2 rounds it was 15+5 and 12+8. Lunges went ub all rounds. It was a good evening workout to get some body fluids flowing. Now I'm gonna just eat for the rest of the evening and get ready for tomorrow's workouts. I'm eager to hear how Toni demolishes Crossfit Total at his Box today!

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