Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday 31.3: Handstand, Snatch, Ring dips

Monday. Skills, handstand. Strength, squat snatch (PR 67.5kg!). Ring dips, emom, 10 reps per minute, for 5min.

PR baby! Not that I was looking for it but accidentally turned out to smash my old records in the trash bin. It was a quicker session today with a little handstand training in the beginning, then squat snatches for strength and finally couple of ring dips.


  • Handstand

This was the second time I've done handstand at my own gym. I've thought there's not enough room for handstand. Well, it is quite small on that spot where you can imagine doing handstand. But there's still enough room for practicing. Better than nothing, that's for sure. Soon it's time to go outdoors and there's at least a lot of grass areas to work on this one. Today I was a little cautious as there were a lot of people at the gym. Took a couple of sets anyway, trying to stay as tight as possible.

Strength. Snatch

  • Squat snatch
  • 5x30, 5x40, 5x45, 5x50, 5x55, 1x60, 1x65kg PR, 1x67.5kg PR

It's been ages since I snatched properly last time. Was it back in February? Now as we have big plates at small weights I thought there are no excuses not to work on my snatch. I pulled every rep from the floor this time. Because we haven't had big plates on 5kg / 10kg weights I've pulled almost every rep from hang position.

Squat snatch felt good from the very beginning. I mean those were easy reps. Can you imagine my previous max on squat snatch was a tight 57.5kg. Today I was doing 5x55kg so I knew it's about to update the figures. After having done those 5 reps I decided to take singles and see where the current level is. Took up 60kg which is more than I've ever squat snatched, that was easy! Because it came up so well I decided to add it up to 65kg right away. I'm not sure if I took one fail at this weight, I believe so. The bar stayed too much in front and I wasn't able to stabilize the movement. I took another rep pretty much right away and took it up nicely.

I knew there's still gas in the tank so I wanted to make it heavier. 70kg was a bit intimidating so I added only small plates, making it 67.5kg. I'm not sure if it was the first try or second attempt that I got it up. But I'm telling you, it felt great!!!  My power snatch PR before this was 62.5kg so this was definitely a PR in all possible senses. 10kg more than I've squat snatched ever, 5kg more than I've snatched in any style.

The biggest difference between today and other snatch days was courage. For some reason I had the balls to pull and drop under. It was also awesome to pull from the ground. It's a rarity for me. At Liikuntamylly or Eltsu it is possible but it's not common there either because I'm so used to pull from hang position. I got extreme kicks out of today's snatch session. Only thing that bugs me is that I wasn't able to get these reps on video =)

Workout. Emom

  • Ring dips, 10 reps, for 5min

This was a short one, just to work on weaknesses. Took 10 reps per minute, for 5 minutes, reaching a total number of 50 reps. Got 3 reps unbroken, then I had to cut the sets. Good one.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday 30.3: Rings, squats, deadlift metcon

Sunday. Ring skills. Strength, 7x2 (across 125kg). Metcon, 7rds of: 6 deads (130kg), 6 hspu, 25 du.

Day after 14.5: Quads are touch-sensitive. And the burden can also be seen on upper body. Still, I feel good and it was time to get this lower body stronger. Squats was the name of the game. Deadlifts were seen too, accompanied with some bodyweight movements. Pauliina and Juuso were at the gym as well.

  • Ring muscle-ups
Today my mu's weren't the most beautiful. I did one false grip mu to get some feeling going on. Well, the feeling wasn't all the way there and this time ring mu's kind of sucked =) That's just a minor setback anyway on this particular skills training. I completed 1 false grip and 3 regular grip before I called it quits.

Guess I should have paid attention to this instruction video of Dave Durante doing some ridiculously easy looking muscle-ups. So effortless. Beautiful.

  • Back squats 2-2-2-2-2-2-2 (all sets 125kg)
I'm telling you my quads - especially my right one? - was sore as hell already yesterday evening. Didn't get any easier during the night. After a proper warm-up there were no problems at all squatting my butt off. I took 7 sets of doubles, this time a little lighter, @ 125kg. The weight was manageable all the way. It wasn't a walk in the park but definitely manageable in all sets.

Metcon. Not for time
  • 7 rounds of:
  • 6 deadlifts, 130kg
  • 6 handstand push-ups
  • 25 double unders
Yesterday's workout was so tough on my lungs that it hurt in my throat for the entire evening. I guess I gave everything I had in that one =) Had to take some extra C-vitamin as it felt like some sort of flu was coming. I've had that feeling couple of times before, mostly after Fran or Grace, quick workouts were you have to go 100% from the very beginning. Feeling after 14.5 was the same. One of the nastiest feelings on a long time.

Anyway, that was the reason I took it a bit easier on this metcon. Okay, I did it with a good pace all the way but there was some extra walking around the gym because I did deadlifts and double unders at other end of the gym and handstand push-ups in the other one. It's about 10m walk between the stations. The movements themselves I did in a regular style, unbroken and with good pace. Didn't rest between movements. That walk between stations made it easier. All in all it took me about 13min to finish the workout.

Nowadays I don't do that much deadlifts anymore. It was about time to get some reps in the books. Decided to put 130kg on the bar and complete 6 reps per round. That was rather light weight but of course during the course of the workout it started to get heavier. Still, totally able to manhandle it.

Handstand push-ups were most challenging movement of these three. Had no problems doing them unbroken though, just 6 reps per round but at this point I felt yesterday's workout in my triceps. Hadn't realized it this far. But they hurt from the first round on =) Decided to push the pain aside and complete the reps.

Double unders rolled nicely too. I guess it was the 4th round where I stumbled with the jump rope but other than that I was able to complete all rounds unbroken for the required 25 reps. Plus I believe my body was in a good form, straight torso. That's been my focus area on this movement for the past couple of months. Aiming to get the reps done economically.

It was a good training session once again. I feel like the workouts have lately been good in nature and suited my situation well. It was also nice to complete 2 Crossfit Open workouts and compare my results to the Finnish elite guys. On CF Open 14.3 I would have been somewhere around 35th place and currently at about 15th place on CF Open 14.5. I'm happy about the performance I was able to do on these two benchmarks. Now I'm just waiting eagerly for the Regionals that start in May. It's gonna be an awesome competition.

Juuso did squats too and then completed a 12min amrap of: 5 power cleans (60kg) and 10 box jumps. That seemed like a good metcon too. I believe he resulted in 7+ rounds. And by the way, I wrote yesterday that 14.5 was his first CF Open workout. It was actually a second one as he finished 14.3 too, both with glory.

Recap of the training day

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday 29.3: CF Open 14.5

Saturday. Crossfit Open 14.5: 21-18-15-12-9-6-3, thrusters (42.5kg), bar-facing burpees. Time 14.29.

One word: Brutal! The last workout of the Crossfit Open competition was announced the other night (Finnish time), with 5 past champions on the staage at the same time. The reigning champ Rich Froning dominated the workout by going unbroken all movements and ridiculing the barbell and burpees. It looked like he's moving a toothpick when he had the bar on his hands. I wanted my share of the feeling and suggested to Juuso we'd hit the workout together. Yesterday we were celebrating and went out with my work team but we both went home at midnight and prepared for the workout ahead of us. Earlier in the morning my bro had done the workout too. So it was time to hit the gym with Pauliina and Juuso.

Metcon. Crossfit Open 14.5. Time 14.29

  • 21-18-15-12-9-6-3
  • Thrusters, 42-5kg
  • Bar-facing burpees

The number of reps was high. When you start adding the reps together, it climbs up to 84 reps for each movement. 84 thrusters sounds bad already before you've touched the barbell. Then add 84 burpees with a twist there. I've done bar-facing burpees only once in my life. The mental picture I have in my head was that I remember spinning around without knowing which way to go. But I guess that's part of the 10 elements needed in crossfit: coordination, agility and balance in this case.

I think CF Open 2014 covered all elements
I heard my bro went to complete this workout at a local affiliate in the morning. He did a good job there so I had some pressure about getting the work done in shorter time than he. It's part of the bro-rivalry =) He revealed his strategy of cutting the thrusters in 2 sets. Considering my strength level I knew I have to cut most of the thrusters in 2 sets but I had planned to go unbroken on the first round. Decided to make it 14+7 instead because of my bro's tip. That was probably a good thing. This was a long workout so gassing yourself in the beginning brings problems in the end.

You have to know your own limits and capabilities. It turned out I knew mine pretty well. There were no setbacks during the workout, everything went as planned. What surprised me was that the burpees were tougher than the thrusters. No doubt the thrusters were burning my shoulders but they were more manageable than the bar-facing burpees. Don't know if it was the hop over the bar or what but it got tougher by the rep.

So on the first round I cut the thrusters in 14+7, on the second set it was 10+8. My clear plan was to finish them in 2 attemps all the way by completing most of the reps on first attempt. That's because there's a mental side of it. I didn't want to do them 50/50 because by doing most of the reps at first you understand there's just couple of reps left to complete so you don't rest that much between the attempts. If I had gone for 50/50 I think I would have taken more time off the bar than I now did.

On the round of 15 I did 9+6 reps, and then next round it was 8+4. At this stage I decided to do the remaining sets of thrusters unbroken, no matter what. And that planned stuck till the end, the round of 9's, 6's and 3's went ub. I tried to grab the bar as quickly as possible in the two last rounds because there wasn't much left to agonize.

On the burpees the amount of reps felt hopeless at times. Comparing the bar-facing burpees to regular burpees these felt like a never-ending movement. It honesty felt like the number of them is not going down at all. I had decided beforehand that no matter what kind of feelings would come up I would push them somewhere in the background and just grind through. At some point there was gonna be just a couple of reps ahead of me. And finally the last rep was done at 14.29.

I'm proud of this guy, Juuso, a brand new crossfitter I was able to brainwash to this great sport. He's been doing some spectacular workouts with me lately. Today he hit this CF Open workout, the first one in his life. Great battle, well done man!

What was toughest on this workout? Muscle pain in the shoulder area. Both movements burnt the same area. Breathing was also heavy from the beginning. That's always the case when you have thrusters in play. This is mental workout for sure. Don't rest too much between reps. Just do it.

Here's the first 10min of my workout. My camera can only record 10min at a time

Friday 28.3: Rest day

Friday. Rest day

Today was a compulsory rest day due to schedule issues. But I like the fact I wasn't able to go to the gym. I'm sure my body needed a rest day at this stage. Our beloved colleague retired today and we celebrated it at work for couple of hours, then went fine dining with my team at Tomi Björk's restaurant "Farang", and finally a stand-up show as Grande Finale of this great day.

Toni "snatching" 250kg

Some shots of our 9 course menu

Take a look at Crossfit Open 14.5, last workout of this year's Open. It's brutal, 84 thrusters and 84 bar facing burpees. And Froning nailed it unbroken as he always does, steady pace from the beginning till the end. That is sick

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday 27.3: Clean and jerk, chipper

Thursday. Strength, 3x10 clean & jerk (60kg). Chipper, 10 thrusters (50kg), 20 burpees, 30 t2b, 40 squats, 50 pull-ups. Time 7.36.

Some oly lifting this time. Clean and jerks in a different rep-scheme than normally. Metcon was a chipper, inspired by CF Open 14.4. Got to say that I am done. Gonna eat and sleep now to recover. Juuso hit benchmark workout Christine: 3rds of 500m row, 12 deads (@ bodyweight), 21 box. Tough one, especially on lower body and breathing.

Barbell work.
  • Clean and jerk
  • 3x10 reps, 60kg
These higher rep-scheme sets are bad ass stuff. I wanted to get couple of sets with the classic 60kg barbell. Ended up doing sets of 10 reps. Recovering enough between sets without any time domain. The first set was way easier than the 2 remaining ones. I battled it through unbroken without having to rest the bar at any point. Just bringing it from ground to overhead and back the same route. Breathing got heavy, no doubt about it.

Second set was tougher. My upper body was pumped up after this set. I got it unbroken as well. I completed the first 8 or 9 reps without having to rest the bar at any point. I stopped the bar in the front rack position for 2-3 seconds before nailing the last rep(s). I felt like a little more rest is needed before getting after the last set.

I was determined to get that third set unbroken too. And I got it. Took a short break in the front rack position after 8 reps, then finished it. The bar is moving okay in my opinion, I'm happy about the outcome of this thing. Of course it got tough but the main thing is that the bar was still moving and I was able to reach those goals I had set.

Chipper. Time 7.36
  • 10 thrusters, 50kg
  • 20 burpees
  • 30 toes-to-bar
  • 40 air squats
  • 50 pull-ups
I thought about doing a chipper style workout in the end. Mostly bodyweight but thrusters to begin with. My juice was all gone after the burpees. That was a sign my body was not at its freshest shape. Ten thrusters and 20 burpees shouldn't consume all strength from my body =) I went through the t2b's, first a 10, then 5's. On the pull-ups I also did a 10 in the beginning, then 5's. It was surprisingly tough, I thought I'd push this through without not having to break it so much.

The session was good. Clean & jerks were awesome. Tough, manageable and it felt good. On the chipper I got breathing go heavy even though muscles started to bail on me.

CF Games update show

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday 26.3: Rings, squats, rowing metcon

Wednesday. Skills, ring muscle-ups. Strength, back squat 5-5-5 (130kg). Metcon, 1.000-800-600-400-200m row, 10 hspu per round, 10 t2b per round. About 20min.

Wanted to play with the rings again. This is a skill I need to be working on consistently. I was on the verge of skipping back squats due to schedule but found time to squeeze in couple of sets. Metcon was focusing on rowing and handstand push-ups.

  • Ring muscle-ups
I'm very happy of being able to throw in couple of reps every now and then. Haven't had misses in a while and those regular grip muscle-ups are rolling nicely too. It's not easy to get doubles at the time, occasionally I get those, sometimes not. I met a friend Tuukka at the gym who I haven't seen in years. He can nail muscle-ups confidently. His friend is a gymnast so that's how my friend has gotten his skills going, by training together with a semi-pro.

It was awesome to chit chat with a guy to share those experiences together. He obviously plays a lot more with the rings in general and talked about doing front and back levers, ring dips and bar mu's. They all assist in getting stronger with ring mu's.

  • Back squats 5-5-5 (across 130kg)
Couple of sets I was able to go for today. My warm-up was sets with something like 60, 80, 105, 120kg. The first set was clearly the easiest. On the second and third set my pal Joni spotted me just in case. The last set was very tough and I needed Joni to hold my rib cage so I could push the weight back up. It was a good and short squat session, tough one!

Toni's first muscle-up ever, congrats!

Metcon. Time about 20min
  • 1.000-800-600-400-200m row
  • 10-10-10-10-10 handstand push-ups
  • 10-10-10-10-10 toes-to-bar
I took this one with easy pace. Didn't mind that much about the clock this time. Main thing was to get some rowing in my body, I haven't done it lately. Also another main focus was bigger sets of handstand push-ups. I took 10 reps per round. T2b's were too easy, should have taken more of them, 15-20 reps per round.

My rowing was somewhere around 1.50 or even 1.55 pace. I took the hspu's unbroken for 4 rounds. On the last one it was a struggle after 5 reps. I fought through to 7-8 reps and then finished it. T2b's didn't feel practically and were done obviously unbroken. Had to do one of the sets with a thick square support beam because pull-up bar was occupied at the moment. It didn't matter, it was still easy. The last set of 200m rowing had to be skipped because one lady was attacking the rower.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday 25.3: Hang cleans, 20min amrap

Tuesday. Barbell work, hang squat cleans 5-5-5-5-5 (across 70kg). Metcon, 20min amrap of: 5 power snatch (40kg), 10 burpees, 15 box, 20 du. Result. 10du short of 8rds.

Today's agenda included some barbell work for hang cleans, not too heavy, more like technique training. Kept it at a weight I was able to manhandle. The metcon was on main focus today. That turned out to suck big time, of course in a good crossfit style. Had a training partner with me, Juuso. We weren't able to do same workout but the time frame was same so we had share the agony together.

  • Hang squat clean 5-5-5-5-5 (across at 70kg)
Today I intentionally stayed at lighter weights. Squat cleans from pocket. I wanted to focus on the speed rather than big weights. I did 5 sets of 5 reps. It felt as good no matter if it was the first or last rep of the set. I felt like it was pretty smooth effort all the way. Below you see one of the sets in the middle.

By the way, it was awesome that we got those big-sized plates at the gym! We've been missing them for a long time. I tried to persuade the guy to purchase those 5kg and 10kg big plates at the gym. He's awesome, he has already bought the Rogue wooden rings and Rogue plyobox. Those are crucial equipment for me as a crossfitter. And now he was able to buy the big plates too. So respect to this guy who listened and wanted to help us crossfitters too.

I guess there's no excuses anymore not to practice on my snatch? I've thought having only small plates is an issue not to work on this movement. I've done my snatches mostly from hang position. Exactly for this reason.

Hang squat cleans

Metcon. Result 390reps (7rds + 10 du)
  • 20min amrap of:
  • 5 power snatch, 40kg
  • 10 burpees
  • 15 box jumps, 61cm
  • 20 double unders

Uuh, this was sick. My shoulders and legs both got smoked. It was something like 11min left in the workout and I was done. It was mentally not the easiest place to be. However, by not thinking about the toughness of the workout but instead, just focusing on the rep at hand, I got through the toughest part and then it started to get easier psychologically.

My focus in longer metcons - well okay pretty much in every metcon - is to maintain the pace from beginning to the end. Today it was not possible, my energy level dropped during the workout and I had to rest my elbows on my knees occasionally. My round times got a little slower each round.

New plates

Still, I felt like I had nothing to give after the workout. It was almost exactly 8 rounds, just a couple of seconds short of it. I was able to complete 10 double unders on the 8th round. 10 more and it would have been exactly 8rds. That was 40 snatch, 80 burpees, 120 box and 150 du. I didn't see it coming beforehand but there were 3 movements were you have to more or less jump (burpees, box, du). I'm telling you my legs were jello after the workout. Plus my shoulders were done because of the burpees.

I went through the workout unbroken. It was awesome to have those big plates on the barbell. It's a totally different thing to have minor plates even though the weight would be the same. The metcon itself was a good breather!

Rich Froning's CF Open 14.4, best performance of the workout in the world. Take a look at the speed on the muscle-ups, in the transition stage

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday 24.3: Push press, gymnastics

Monday. Strength, push press 5-5-5-5-5 (max 80kg). Gymnastics for 30min.

Different kind of day. I liked it a lot! Some strength for starters and that gymnastics part was extremely cool. I felt like a power monkey indeed. Tried some new cool stuff, implemented purely on bodyweight. I got the inspiration from a guy called Joel who's been working on some bodyweight movements lately. We talked about these last week and today was a great chance to work with him. I felt like a little kiddo =)

  • Push press 5-5-5-5-5 (70, 80, 80, 75, 75kg)
I've been thinking about would it be beneficial to throw some weight in the air in the near future a bit more than I've lately done. Push presses, push jerks and split jerks. To build up stronger upper body in order to ease pretty much all movements. There was a time when I used to do a lot of presses, that was in my early cf career when I didn't practically have any shoulder strength at all. It helped a lot and strength was gained.

Today I did push press 5's for a total of 5 sets. Started at 70kg, built up to 80kg for 2 sets and then finished it off with 2 sets @ 75kg. This 75-80kg was a good weight for me on push press 5's. I was able to do 2-3 reps in one continuous movement before I had to rest on the front rack, reload myself again and finish the set.

The weight was quite heavy even though I had no doubt in my mind about nailing those sets. I took it safe anyway with the last 2 sets dropping 5kg off the max weight today. After this strength portion I'm sure we're gonna see more of this stuff in the future.


  • Handstand push-ups
  • Planche progressions / holds
  • Handstand
  • L-sit to handstand press

It was like 20 years was curt off my age as we played around different types of bodyweight stuff! It was great! Various holds, plank holds, planche progressions and the last movement was pretty sick: from L-sit to handstand press. Or something like that. I'm not sure about the terms on these gymnastics moves =) I piled 3-4 plates under both arms, then did L-sit. From there I brought my legs back and did some sort of plank hold and focused on keeping a straight torso. Not all the way to handstand but kind of a plank hold.

Difficult to explain all the stuff we did but the main thing was it was so much fun and I enjoyed it every minute. I'm glad Joel was instantly ready to go when I suggested he'd tag along. It's cool to have a training buddy, no matter if it's crossfit stuff, pure strength or gymnastics like this. He also suggested we did handstand there. I've always thought handstand is impossible at this gym because there's not enough space. Now I understand that's just an excuse, there was plenty of space to practice this skill. Definitely going to work on this at home gym too!

Thanks Juha for this video tip, I've seen this once before, it's pretty awesome. Sick moves by Dave Durante and Dan Bailey. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday 23.3: Rings, squats and a metcon

Sunday. Skills, ring muscle-ups. Strength back squats 3-3-3-3-3 (125-130kg). Metcon, 10-8-6-4-2 back squat (100kg), 15-15-15-15-15 kb swing (32kg), 50-40-30-20-10 push-ups. Time 15.50.

Never skip a squat day. That's my goal, it took some time to learn how to love the squat but now I do so I'll try to keep it up. It's a cruel movement having a load on your back or front rack, going down and pushing it back up. Today I started by playing with the rings and practicing a weakness of mine, muscle-ups. Then it was time to put some plates on the barbell and do back squats. The metcon took about 15 minutes of agony =)


  • Ring muscle-ups
  • 1 false grip muscle-up
  • 2+1+1 no false grip muscle-ups

This is freaking awesome! There are just a couple of reps I've been able to do without false grip. I guess you guys know the difference these two grips have in real life. I've had only successful reps with false grip for couple of weeks now practically without any misses. But having the rings in my palms is totally a different thing.

I've been practicing those for maybe 2 weeks now, in few training sessions. The first one I got was when we worked together with my bro 8.3.2014. It was a huge moment to get that rep, we both got actually. Since then, I've been able to do some reps with this style. It's important to practice normal grip because that seems to be the only way how I can nail consecutive reps. I've got 2 reps in a row once and today I got 2 as well!

I took 1 false grip muscle-up for warm-up to remind my body how the transition stage should go. Then I took a double and 2 singles with normal grip and a kip. I wanted to take these reps on video so I could see how the kip / swing looks like. As I compare it to professionals I understand my movement is inadequate. It doesn't matter at this stage but I need to work on my swing. It has to be more fierce and I got to utilize my entire body better.


  • Back squats 3-3-3-3-3 (125, 130, 130, 130, 130kg)

After I took a PR on the exact same day we worked out with my bro 2 weeks ago, I've been taking it easier on the squats. There's a reason for that. I was on holiday for one week after that day and I was mostly training twice a day during that week, oly lifts and different types of metcons with running included. There was no room for heavy squats. There was pause squats included during that week and heavy overhead squats but no 130kg+ back squats.

On that Saturday following my holiday I completed Crossfit Open 14.3 with lots of deadlifts and boxes which made it challenging to squat on the following 3-4 days =) That deadlift set was tough! This Thursday I took heavy-ish front squats so now it was about time to hit back squats for real.

Took 5 sets of 5 reps in total. The first one was 125kg, then 130kg across the 4 remaining sets. All sets felt a little tough. For some reason my lower body felt like it's been hammered badly on the previous days. Maybe yesterday's workouts had an effect. Anyway, I knew all the reps would come up but I had to concentrate a lot and psyche myself up to the lifts.

I feel like the squats felt heavy today but I need to be working with heavy sets in order to make squats part of my "wheelhouse". I'll keep squatting on a regular basis.

Recap of squats

Metcon. Time 15.50

  • 10-8-6-4-2 back squat, 100kg
  • 15-15-15-15-15 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • 50-40-30-20-10 push-ups

Created on the spot. I brought my little baby with me, 32kg bell, and decided to rock some metcon with it. It turned out to be 100kg back squats, kb swings and push-ups. I had squats and swings in my mind and made a mistake by asking my personal coach Pauliina what third element she would suggest. The answer was: "push-ups are your weakness, take them as well".

Who am I to stand up against this statement, that was as true as it could be. Didn't wanna start bitching about having done 150+ reps already yesterday in hero workout Chief. Just suck it up and start moving. The combination of the movements was actually pretty cool. Squats burned legs, swings took breath away and push-ups ate all my energy from upper body. Not bad.

Having 10 back squats with 100kg shouldn't be that bad but this one surprised me big time. My legs were jello already after 6-8 reps. That was sick. Those heavy squats definitely were the reason for this one. Well, the weight itself isn't that heavy so I did them unbroken each round. 10 reps on first round, dropping down by 2 reps each round.

On kettlebell swings I fixed the number of reps at 15 reps per round. Total of 75reps with my beloved 2-pood bell. Those swings were manageable, definitely got to breathing big time, forearms and generally everywhere. But I got them unbroken anyway, that was the goal.

Push-ups… Good call by Pauliina. They are a weakness, no doubt about it. They tend to eat my juice from upper body very efficiently. There were a total of 150reps in this workout: 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 reps. I took sets of 10 in the beginning, then pretty soon started doing 5's. I was able to do either of these sets for quite a long time.

Then in the end it was more like 4's and 3's. I tried to keep the recovery between attempts quite short. That was my goal, just concentrate on one rep at a time, just keep on pressing up and down till you've done all the reps required per round. As I look at the performance afterwards I hope I had extended my body further to full lockout in the top position with my elbows.

This workout was cool. The first 2 elements were burning posterior chain and brought heavy breathing into play. Then push-ups are a "goat" that needs to be working on, never a bad choice. Thanks baby for the tip.

Here's a recap of the workout of the day

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday 22.3: Tgu, Cleans, Jerks, Chief

Saturday. Skills, TGU. Strength, cleans (PR 110kg). Clean and jerk complex (max 95kg). Benchmark workout Chief, 5 x 3min amrap of: 3 power clean (60kg), 6 push-ups, 9 air squats, 1min rest. Result, 459 reps.

What a day! We slept late, ate a good breakfast and hit the gym with Pauliina. We met a friend - Juuso - at the gym for a training day. He's a new crossfitter and has taken on the challenge quite well in my opinion. I talked him into this sport for quite a while before he tried his first wod. Since then, he's taken on some pretty nasty workouts, Fran and Cindy to mention some examples. Today it was time for him for a PR squat of 115kg. I did some barbell work in different styles of clean & jerks, some PR stuff was also in play.

  • Turkish get-ups, couple of sets
I've forgotten this movement totally. Yesterday evening Toni threw in this one so that's the reason I figured why not? We don't have any heavy kettlebells at the gym so I used dumbbells instead. It feels a little different with kettlebells / dumbbells. With kb's the weight leans towards the wrist where as db's don't. This was actually a good preparation to the training session as it activated pretty much every muscle in my body and stretched the shoulders as well.

Strength. Cleans
  • Hang clean, 5x60, 3x70, 3x80, 1x85, 1x90kg
  • Clean singles from ground 1x100, 1x105, 1x110kg PR
I had planned on doing a clean and jerk complex but decided to take some hang cleans prior to that main strength element. The cleans felt good so I ended up hitting some PR's =) First of all the heaviest bar I've ever hang cleaned is either 80 or 85kg at max. Probably 85kg, I recall I might have once taken a single at that load. Today I as able to get 90kg on my front rack starting from hang position. Some might call that a PR.

That was great and felt awesome! I had to hurry getting under the bar. I felt like the bar didn't come that up so there was no other option but to drop down and find a place under the bar. After 90kg hang clean I wanted to take a couple of regular full cleans, from ground as squat clean. The bar was light so it turned out I had taken a 105kg clean up and understood it's pretty close to a PR lift. My max load before this day was 107.5kg. I decided to give it a shot and skip it, jump to 110kg and try it out. I know it failed last time because I simply didn't dare to go under the bar.

The front squat part of the clean is not the thing, it's definitely the speed under the bar. And courage to drop there. Today I psyched myself up to the lift properly and had decided to get it. It wasn't the most beautiful lift I've done but hey c'mon it was 110kg, that's a big load for this guy.

110kg clean, PR

Clean and jerk complex.
  • 1 clean + 5 split jerk (60kg)
  • 1 clean + 3 split jerk (70kg)
  • 1 clean + 2 split jerk (80, 85, 90, 95, 90kg)
The main focus of the day strength-wise was the jerk portion. I've been thinking about pushing / pressing more iron to the sky in the future to strengthen my shoulders. Push presses, push jerks and split jerks are gonna be the answer. Let's see how it turns out. Anyway, today I did this so that I picked the bar from the floor and then did couple of split jerks in a row.

Starting at low weight, building it up to 90kg and up. I think I'll still have to drop lower on the jerks. A positive thing was that I was mostly jerking the barbell upwards, not that much forward. And my back leg is not sideways anymore as it used to. I got some tips rom Toni's coach when I visited his affiliate. I appreciate the tips I got there.


Chief. Benchmark workout Chief. Result 459 reps. Compare to 26.7.2013.
  • 5 x 3 min amrap of:
  • 3 power clean, 60kg
  • 6 push-up
  • 9 air squat
  • 1min rest between amraps
  • Result. 5 rds + 3 reps / 5+3 / 5 / 5 / 5+6 reps

After quite a lot of cleaning and jerking my fuel was pretty much gone. I had thought about it yesterday but at this stage it wasn't that attempting anymore as I had done more barbell work than I had planned. Chief is a tough bad ass so it would be nice to do it with a fresh body. Luckily Juuso was there too so I suggested we'd hit it together. It's definitely easier mentally to start off if you have a training buddy with you. He was in and so we put the clock running!

I don't know how the total result should be announced but I completed 5+ rounds per amrap. I played it safe all the way. I got those 5 rounds in about 2:30-2:40 each amrap. I thought pushing the limits to the final seconds all the time would have burned my legs badly so I left something in the tank in each 3min amrap. There were a total of 81 cleans, 153 push-ups and 225 squats.

Cleans were the easiest part for me in this one. Then came the push-ups and lastly the squats. It has surprised me every time how the squats eat the juice out of legs. I went through all the movements unbroken except the last couple of sets of squats where I took one second of breath to release the tension in my lower body.

Push-ups are tough for me normally but in Chief I believe I haven't had any issues. That's naturally because of the number of consecutive reps. And the clean is light weight for me so I would be surprised if that brought any issues. The only thing I'm wondering afterwards is should have I gassed more in the earlier amraps to gain better result. I know I could have pushed it for 6 rounds on the first amrap. But how would it affect the following sets as it would obviously suck the strength out of a human being more fiercely.

Don't know the answer. Maybe it could be worth doing couple of short amraps of this one just for fun to see how many rounds I could hurry if it was just for let's say 2-3 amraps with all-in mode. Could it possible to maintain that 6 round pace? I was happy for being able to keep this pace today and speed up a little on the last set. I was done after the workout, both of us were. Chief is tough.