Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday 30.4: Sled metcon

Wednesday. Metcon, 4rds of: 30m sled pull, 10 burpee, 30m sled pull, 20 front rack lunges (40kg).

Spending quality time in Klaukkala. Couldn't leave the sled alone because it's perfect tool for heavy breathing and burning legs. It's an easy day of celebration of May Day's eve. Eating, relaxing with close people and sports of course. All I need for life!

Metcon. Not timed
  • 4 rounds of:
  • 30m sled pull
  • 10 burpee
  • 30m sled pull
  • 20 front rack walking lunges (40kg)

The sled itself is around 20-25kg. I had about 35kg worth of tools inside as a load: kettlebells, dumbbells, and plates. Let's say it was around 60kg in total.

This was definitely a leg burner. All movements took energy out of my lower body. My breathing was heavy all the way. The combo of dragging the sled and then lifting the bar in front rack position was not tempting idea. But that was part of it so just do it.

Toughest part was exactly that. My legs were exhausted on the lunges. Burpees were the easiest part, kinda light. But the sled was definitely worth building it. I'm glad we were able to come up with something this good and solid construction work with Kari :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday 29.4: Rest day

Tuesday. Rest day.

We had a long day at work, "training day" for 8 hours, and I was exhausted as I got home. Lynne crushed my upper body yesterday and it felt like an earned recovery anyway. Haven't seen much of those rest days lately so I have a clean conscience on this one.

They announced the first events for the Regionals that actually start pretty soon, May 9th. It's one step closer to the Games, we're gonna see some awesome workouts been killed by these monsters of fitness. I'm looking forward to the Regionals, no doubt about it!

The announced events regard hang squat snatch, handstand walk and "Nasty Girls, version V2", i.e. tougher version of the Nasty Girls, pistols replaced air squats and cleans are about 20kg heavier than the rx'd weight. Tough!

And hey, here is a recap of Toni's performance on the "Cut The Crap" throw down from last weekend.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday 28.4: Lynne

Monday. Benchmark workout Lynne, 5 rds of: ME Bench (bodyweight), ME Pull-ups. Result, 36 bench, 105 pull-ups.

I figured it might be time to do some bench. Definitely not my favorite thing but it's not one of my strengths so which means it should be practiced. I got a good upper body workout with benchmark workout Lynne, bench and pull-ups. Some mobility at the end of the session.

Lynne. 36 bench, 105 pull-ups. Compare to 13.4.2013

  • 5 rounds of:
  • Max effort bench press, bodyweight (80kg)
  • Max effort pull-ups


  • 1st round, 11 + 30
  • 2nd round, 8 + 20
  • 3rd round, 6 + 20
  • 4th round, 6 + 20
  • 5th round, 5 + 15

Lynne is not a timed workout, rest as needed between sets. I've done her once, about a year ago. My bodyweight hasn't changed much, I weigh around 80, 82 at max, depending on the day. Last time I got 25 bench and exactly the same amount of pull-ups.

I gave my everything on the bench every round. On pull-ups I gave myself a little slack on the first 2 rounds and didn't complete as many reps as I could have. On the last 3 rounds I definitely put lots of effort on getting as many reps done as possible.

The workout is demanding on upper body, no doubt. It was a little difficult to put shampoo on my hair in the shower afterwards as my hands, lats and forearms were on fire. It was difficult to squeeze my hand to a fist as forearms were so tense.

This one is challenging from second round on. There's a lot of tension in forearms, lats and upper body in general which makes it nasty to grab the bars. Good workout, no wonder it's a benchmark workout!

We went for a couple's walk yesterday evening with Pauliina =) She took some photos at the end of our trip in the neighborhoods.

Need to work on this one, couldn't find a hollow position yesterday

Hey, if you speak finnish I suggest you go and take a look at Toni's blog. He had his first competition last weekend and was excited on the atmosphere they had at the Box. He wrote a recap of the throw down today from his perspective.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday 27.4: Deads, Cleans, Hero wod JJ

Sunday. Deadlifts, build to heavy single (max PR 210kg). Cleans, build to a heavy single (max 110kg). Hero wod JJ: 1 to10, up by 1's squat cleans (85kg), 10 to 1, down by 1's deficit hspu. Time 30.21

Heavy day. Definitely a heavy day. Goal for the day: build up to a heavy single in both deadlifts and cleans. Haven't done heavy deadlifts in a while so I decided to find out where we're going right now. Deads took my sharpest edge but I wanted to take couple of cleans anyway. Last weekend I was wondering between Holleyman and JJ - both hero workouts - and went after Holleyman. It was only natural to attack JJ too because it had stayed in the back of my head. I wanted to feel the pain.

210kg, check!

Strength. Deads and cleans
  • Deadlift, build up to a heavy single (5x100, 3x140, 2x170, 1x190, 1x210kg PR)
  • Clean, build up to a heavy single (5x60, 3x80, 1x90, 1x100, 1x110kg)
I warmed up by posterior chain and lower body properly, did some "scorpion twists" to make sure my back, spine and core was ready for what's coming at ya. I started building up to a heavy single by loading 100kg on the bar and took a 5-rep set, slow one for the last rep to really engage posterior chain. 140kg felt like a feather. I added 30 more kilos and took a double. I've done a triple @ 180kg some months ago, it might be fun to see how many reps I could nail at heavier weights.

I decided 190kg would be a light one. Mental decision, I cheated my mind to make it light. As I took it up I knew there would be a new personal record today. Those around 200kg lifts are not easy so I jumped 20kg up right away to a PR lift of 210kg. It came up nicely, in my opinion. Not perfectly lined back but still a decent lift. It felt like it wasn't the ultimate max load but I don't wanna sacrifice form over kilos at these weights. It would be scary to smash the max load with a terrible form.

I was really happy on getting another PR on deadlift. I'm 34 years old and still hitting records on a steady pace. I'm satisfied on the strength levels I've gained through crossfit even though my main focus is on building a good engine within me. Strength is somewhat a compulsory element you must have in order to have a strong machine inside you. And let's be honest, it's freaking cool to lift heavy sh*t often!


Hero workout JJ. Time 30.21
  • 1 squat clean, 85kg
  • 10 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 2 squat clean, 85kg
  • 9 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 3 squat clean, 85kg
  • 8 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 4 squat clean, 85kg
  • 7 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 5 squat clean, 85kg
  • 6 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 6 squat clean, 85kg
  • 5 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 7 squat clean, 85kg
  • 4 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 8 squat clean, 85kg
  • 3 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 9 squat clean, 85kg
  • 2 deficit handstand push-ups
  • 10 squat clean, 85kg
  • 1 deficit handstand push-ups

Huh, what a workout. I don't have parallettes at the gym. I once asked for them but it's pretty obvious I'd be the only one using them so they didn't wanna order them. We've got rings, box and bumper plates so got to be pleased on the equipment =)

This workout is a little sick. There are some mixed emotions in play. In the beginning handstand push-ups suck a lot and cleans are easy. In the middle of the workout it gets easier as a whole, the rounds between 4-8 were quite steady pace around 3 minutes. Then the last couple of rounds really start to get under the skin. Hspu's get easier and squat cleans are a nightmare. Last 3 rounds were simply awful because of the cleans. My lower back was on fire all the time. It didn't even help on those rest periods I had between lifts or on the hspu's.

Because of the lack of parallettes I modified it so that I put plates on both sides of my head. I have no idea how big the elevation should be actually. Never have I completed deficit hspu's in a workout. I'm telling you they weren't easy. In the first round they went okay because the workout had just began and not lot of burden had been focused on shoulders and arms. I mainly tried to do hspu's in sets of 3 reps throughout the workout. On the first rounds probably a little more than that.

JJ recap

On squat cleans I took singles all the way from the first to the 55th rep. It was a blessing to being able to drop the bar down on the floor after cleans. That was possible as we were training just the two of us at the gym. It's probably a little frowned upon when there's more people at the spot. The clean part was okay, easy in the beginning, little by little it got heavier but there was no possibility on missing a lift. The most difficult part was the burn in my lower back when I was in the bottom position of the squat. And these had to be done in squat cleans, power cleans were not allowed.

This Sunday was a heavy day, no questions asked. Heavy singles in deadlifts and clean plus a hero workout. That creates a good combo of fitness!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday 26.4: Back squat triples

Saturday. Build up to 3RM on back squat. Result 140kg!

Saturday morning was dedicated to squat session, purely work on that lower body strength and then mobility for quite a while afterwards. I felt great after the session, I guess the mobility did its tricks and I felt light in my body. No tension anywhere, muscles didn't hurt and nothing was sore. Let's see what my hamstrings feel like tomorrow. That might be another thing.

  • Back squat
  • Build up to 3 rep max
  • 60, 80, 105, 120, 130, 135, 140kg
Goal was to hit it hard on squats. As I've used to squat couple of times a week it seems like an eternity since I've done squats. As I scroll back it was 9 days ago when I hit 10x3 back squats at 130kg. Okay, there was 4x4 front squats @ 110kg couple of days ago. My legs were waiting for this session, no doubt about it. I've mentally learned to love squatting and it's difficult not to engage myself with heavy squats.

Squat recap

Today the goal was to find 3 rep max set, no time pressure. It's been 135kg this far. The 120kg barbell felt like I had to do work but like many times before, the situation was similar today too. Just add plates on the barbell and take it up. There wasn't much of a difference in the feeling inside my head between 120 and 130kg. And once I looked it from video between sets I realized there's no doubt heavier weights would come up too.

So after 130kg it was time to add it to 135kg and finally 140kg. I have once taken a double at 140kg and couple of singles in my life time. Needless to say I was pumped up to get 140kg up for a triple! I think I'm en route to my ultimate goal in squats: 160kg. Some day I'll take that. Why 160kg? Because it's double my bodyweight and I believe that's where I should be at. That would also ease other lifts such as clean and snatch.

I did about half 20-30min stretching, mobility, resistance band activity to loosen up the tightness in my muscles and joints. I felt great after the session and body felt surprisingly fresh. Suppose it was a good thing not to have a metcon today at all. I'll save that for tomorrow.

Toni was on his first individual competition today, hosted by his own Box. I'm waiting eagerly for his report on the events, first comments were that his lower body is devastated from those 3 workouts and it's probably difficult to sit down tomorrow =)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday 25.4: Snatches, Isabel + Rings

Friday. AM: Snatch (max 65kg). Benchmark workout Isabel: 30 snatches for time (50kg). Time 3.01. PM: Ring skills. Recovery 9km / 30min cycling.

The tough holiday (=training) week continued today in Eltsu. Obviously I can feel it in my body there's been a lot of workouts in the past couple of days. It has helped that I've had the possibility for naps, no need to work and have had good company with Pauliina, the love of my life. She stayed home to study and I went to workout in Eltsu in the morning. It was snatches all the way.

  • 5x40, 5x50, 5x50, 3x55, 1x60, 1x65kg
As I walked through the tunnels of Eltsu there were not another soul, got a chance to workout in piece. I taped my hands properly as it feels like there have become all kinds of wounds in my fingers and palms this week. When you hold on to a barbell on a daily basis, hand care plays a significant role in your life. If it doesn't, destiny will remind you to keep them in shape.

I took much longer warm-up to get properly ready for the work ahead of me. In the middle of my snatch session an old guy entered the cave. He was around 70 years old and had competed in weightlifting back in the days. It was more like 50 years from now. We talked in length about training, competing and, weightlifting and crossfit. To put things into perspective he snatched 120kg and clean & jerked 150kg as his one rep maxes. Those are pretty impressive numbers for a 20-year old dude back in the 60's!

It was a heart-warming feeling as the gentleman was giving props on my power snatches and the general fitness level of being able to smash 30 snatches away in relatively short time. That conversation boosted us to talk about crossfit of which he said sounded pretty much like a perfect training method. Couldn't agree more!

Snatch recap

Anyway, I had no specific objective for the snatch session. Wanted to build it up to rather heavy and listen to my body and listen to what it tries to tell me. it would tell me how far could I go. My goal was to do squat snatches but on the video at the spot I found out I didn't go below parallel. Just couldn't find the path all the way down. So those were definitely power snatches in description. But I tried to lower my butt below 90 degrees.

My max today was 65kg, not the most beautiful as I had to take couple of corrective steps to balance it, it was about to fall forward. Those 50-55kg lifts came up "easily", then on 60kg I had to concentrate a lot to get it. The last weight (65kg) failed at first, then I got it up on the second try.


Isabel. Time 3.01
  • 30 snatches (50kg)
I had clean and jerks in mind too but it was way too goo momentum on the snatches to throw it away. I took couple of power snatches with 50kg and put the clock running. Probably would have been smart to rest a little after the power snatches. It felt like light weight so I didn't wanna wait anymore, just put the camera running and do the work.

Decided to go by feeling from early on. I took a set of 5 reps in the beginning, dropped the bar, and then decided to stick to this rep-scheme for as long as possible. Those 5's felt good and I had the possibility to drop the bar after each set so I pushed through those mental obstacles and kept the motor running with 5's. The grandpa talked to me every now and then, so I tried to say something back to be polite =) I almost made it to the end as planned. After 25 reps I decided to grab the barbell quickly. The recovery was too short for me to knock the last 5 reps in a row so I dropped it after 28 reps and then took the last 2 to finish at 3.01.


This was second time I took on Isabel, the first one was at 40kg a little over a year ago. Then, in the beginning of this year I completed 30 snatches not for time but I remember those snatches being way consuming and I had to cut them to doubles from early on. I was very happy of being able to smash them in 5's almost to the finish line.


  • Ring muscle-ups (10 reps)
  • Ring swings

In the evening Pauliina needed her fitness doze so we drove to "our" gym. This week has been ring-free so it was about time to go after them. I took no stress about the training session and it turned out I put effort in my ring skills. I took all reps without false grip. This is next level stuff for me. I try to get rid of false grip to being able to knock consecutive reps. Today I did one set of double, the rest being singles, total of 10 reps.

We noticed that my kip swing is a bit inadequate in terms of being as aggressive and smooth as I'd like to. I have a standard height to where I adjust the rings at the gym. It's about max height they can be 'cause otherwise I'll smash my head to the tubes running in the ceiling. After having done muscle-ups I raised the rings a little higher so that I had to jump to catch them in the starting position.


Now I was able to swing with much better motion, way smoother and way more momentum. However, now the rings are too high and I can't go over the rings because my head would touch the ceiling. Anyway, it felt good to practice on those swings and I gained more confidence on those.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday 24.4: Track and field, ohs, oh lunges

Thursday. Day in Eltsu. Skills, handstand walk. Mobility, hurdle step-overs. Plyometric, hurdle jump-overs. Sprints, 4x400m. Technique, overhead squats, overhead lunges.

Perfect surroundings in Eltsu. Mother nature was hugging me with astounding weather. It was extremely satisfying to work outdoors at the track. Started with skills training, then moved on to play with hurdles, some mobility drills and plyometric work. Then couple of 400m sprints, finishing it off with one mile run with easy pace. Wanted to touch the barbell too so I went indoors to work on my overhead squats and a newcomer, overhead lunges! My body has taken some hit this week so I kept it at one session today. Took a nap, and ate well to recover.

Track and field.

  • 800m run, easy pace
  • Handstand walk
  • Hurdle step-overs 8x8
  • Hurdle jump-overs 8x6
  • Sprints, 400m every 3:00 (splits 1.30, 1.28, 1.27, 1.26)
  • 1.600m run, easy pace

After running, warming-up, completing tons of lunges and mobility I took on handstand walking. The platform on a track is simply perfect. Couldn't be better. It was a totally different thing compared to my previous hs session in Klaukkala on grass that wasn't a balanced ground. I still need a flat platform with these skills.

It felt good today and my goal was to walk on my hands, not just trying to find balance. Didn't measure the distances, couple of meters were gained per attempt. It was around 20 seconds of inverted position.

Handstand walk recap

Hurdle work is great. Too rarely do I get the chance to go after them. When I played floorball I had one coach that obviously loved them so we used to play with them quite a lot in the summer time. For us goalies he put us do even more drills to enhance hip mobility. I remember having done hundreds of repetitions per training session.

Then, we used to run a lot after them. It was a totally different style of training that time. It wasn't much of strength work. Mostly core and endurance work by running in different methods. And as a goalie, I didn't run at all during the season =) But I guess my core got in good shape because of those times.

Hurdle recap

Today I reminisced some of those hurdle drills. Started by walking over the obstacles, 8x8. Don't have the best of hip mobility but I still feel like it was smoother than it used to be. There's clearly happened some development, on mobility all over my body. Crossfit has helped tremendously on this issue.

Another drill was jump-overs. I've done lots of box jumps that create explosiveness. This is somewhat similar exercise but also improve on elasticity, balance and coordination. Couple of times I lost rhythm on the jumps which indicate inaccuracy in my concentration. Once I focused it was a good workout! Would be awesome to have these more often.

I also wanted to run once there's a chance for that. Took 400m sprints, not all in effort but still with a good pace. I'd like to see myself running easy 1.20 splits and max effort somewhere sub 1.10. Not there yet. Those times used to be my regular times. I remember having ran 8x400m with an average of 1.22 pace when I started crossfit. That time I ran a lot more and okay, I weighed also 10kg less. I've gained lots of strength and muscle since then. My breathing is under control pretty well but my legs start to go burn on inner thighs a lot during the sprints. Got to run now in the summer time more than during winter to regain that speed. My round times got a little faster by the round.

Barbell. Overhead work

  • Overhead squat technique (40-50kg)
  • Overhead lunges 3x10, alternating legs (40kg)

After running for 1.600m for recovery to flush legs it was time to go indoors for some barbell work. Didn't go heavy this time, just worked on my overhead squat technique with rather light weights, mostly 40kg, one set of 50kg was thrown in too. In the beginning I noticed my depth wasn't there but luckily I had my coach (=camera) with me to witness this. He told me to go deeper so I fixed it. Too mostly sets of 5's but in the end a set of 15 reps just for fun.

But hey, how cool is overhead lunges? First time I tried it and now I understand how magnificent element that is. They've done front rack lunges and overhead lunges in Regionals and Games lately and I watched those events with a desire to hit this type of movements myself. They also had similar stuff in Finland's own "Crossfit Games", Winter War as we call it. I had only 40kg on the bar but I got the point.

It's definitely a whole-body movement where you have to keep entire core tight, do lots of work with legs and shoulder to stabilize the bar and not drop it. There's probably not a muscle in the body that you don't work with. I took 3 sets of 10 reps in the end of this training session.

Barbell recap

All in all, it was a great day. Skills, mobility, plyometric work, sprints and some barbell work. Only thing missing was a hardcore metcon. Let's see what tomorrow brings us!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday 23.4: Clean and jerk, front squats + heavy metcon

Wednesday. AM: Clean and jerk, emom, 1 rep x 9min (85-95kg). Front squats, 4x4 across (110kg). PM: Workout, 30 hspu, 15 burpees, 30 deads (130kg), 15 burpees, 30 power clean (80kg), 15 burpees. Time 19.20

I've been longing to get to this place for months! Eltsu is the place to be when you wanna improve on olympic lifts. Both Eltsu and Liikuntamylly are like heaven to me. It's difficult to describe the joy and happiness I feel when I get the chance to train at these places. Today I followed competitor's wod training day from last Friday. Okay, those guys would nail benchmark workout Amanda after front squats. I would have liked to take a metcon afterwards but didn't have enough time. So I hit it in the evening in another session.

Stage is set for success!

Clean and jerk.

  • Every minute on the minute
  • 1 rep every minute
  • Min 1-3, 85kg
  • Min 4-6, 90kg
  • Min 7-9, 95kg

Looks kind of easy. Just one rep per minute but hey c'mon, the weights were pretty heavy. It was prescribed as 1-3min @ 85%, then next 3min @ 90% and last 3min @ 95%. My max is at 102.5kg so those percentages turned to matching kilos in my case.

After climbing it to 80kg I was ready to put the clock running and start jerking around. On the first rounds squat clean felt a bit stiff for some reason, then I realized I tried to catch the bar with a full hand instead of holding the bar with just the tip of my fingers as I usually do. Don't know what kind of a brain fart that was in the beginning. Then it started to feel more natural and I had no issues after that.

Warming up

Jerk was definitely heavy, can't deny that. But even though it was heavy, I was able to complete the reps as planned and with pretty much the same technique all the way. That's something that pleases me tremendously. Not having to break it with some twisted way. I'm not saying it's as smooth as I'd like but I'm very happy for having the lifts look the same, no matter the weight.

For a second or two I was thinking about hitting it as heavy as possible after this one but then on the other hand, I was pretty much done after these lifts and I was almost in a hurry. Just had the time to sneak in some front squats.

Clean and jerk emom

Front squat.

  • 4x4 across (110kg)

Took two sets to warm-up after the clean and jerk session. First one with just 60kg and the second one @ 90kg. Then jumped right to 110kg. I had decided on the weights beforehand. It was a great surprise the squats felt lighter than I had anticipated. Really, I'm telling you, those were lighter than before. That's somewhat encouraging! Maybe all the squatting is paying off.

Here is the same thing I'm looking at: do the lifts look the same or is there a big variation between the reps / sets. To my eye it looks as good as I wanted. Deep squats, torso upright, elbows up, nothing bending to wrong directions. I'm pleased!

Recap of front squats

Metcon. Time 19.20

  • 30 handstand push-ups
  • 15 burpees
  • 30 deadlifts, 130kg
  • 15 burpees
  • 30 power cleans, 80kg
  • 15 burpees

We spent the entire day downtown walking around, eating and shopping, enjoying a free day in Helsinki. In the evening it was time to hit a metcon. I was thinking between an outdoor running workout in the backyard and a workout at home gym. Pauliina was into training too so we went to the gym late in the evening.

This was a different type of workout. Not possible to push through unbroken so it was obvious my muscles would get fatigued in the course of the workout. I remember having big problems on high-rep hspu workouts when they are conducted exactly like this that you have a whole bunch of reps to be done consecutively. 30 hspu in a row is a mountain of reps for me. I can do tens of them if they are done in sets of about 5-7 reps but having this many reps brings some issues because of the short recovery.

I started by doing a set of 10. From there on I planned to hit 5's till the end. Okay, I got to 20 with that plan. Then it was two triples and then two doubles. Burpees were easier than I thought. Actually they were easier in all 3 sets.

Didn't have any strategy on the deadlifts but to try complete a set of 10 reps on the first try. I got that and decided to push it forward in 10's. It was heavy towards the end but still manageable. I was happy to nail those deads in 3 sets.

Power cleans definitely took the longest time. I did them in singles all the way. My plan with which I was able to stick till the end was to do 5 singles and then a break. This is pretty much the heaviest I've power cleaned so it's not a surprise it took an eternity. The hspu's and first set of burpees was around 4.30, deads + burpees was about 4.20 and power cleans + burpees took me around 10.30.

Recap of the evening workout

This was a great workout, there's no doubt about it. It's kind of a chipper, a training method I've neglected. It would definitely be worth doing them every now and then, lots of reps per movement, not rounds or amrap but just chip away the designed repetitions as fast as possible. I call this a training day, two good sessions!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday 22.4: Snatch, Ohs, Nancy

Tuesday. AM: Snatch 5-5-5 (max 55kg). Overhead squats (max PR 80kg). Benchmark workout Nancy, 5rds of: 400m run, 15 ohs (40kg). Time 14.52. PM: Weighted dips workout. Another workout: 5rds of: 10 pull-ups, 50 du.

Holiday! Beautiful weather, I get to sleep more than normally, take some nap, do multiple workouts a day and plan our trip to California which takes place in May with Pauliina. Pretty awesome if you ask me! I went to Liikuntamylly for snatch and overhead squat purposes in the morning. Happened to nail a new PR in ohs. Then I took on Nancy, a great benchmark workout with running and ohs as a couplet. In the afternoon I went to pick up Pauliina from work which turned out to be a good chance to get in another training session.

Summer is coming!

  • Snatch 5-5-5 (40, 50, 55kg)
  • Overhead squats (50, 60, 65, 70, 75, PR 80kg)
Liikuntamylly and Eltsu are the two places where I usually go when I have the possibility. These places are made for olympic lifting. I tend to go heavy on these occasions because of the possibility to drop the bar. It's okay to look for PR's at such venues. I believe I have never gone over 60kg in ohs at my "home gym".


Didn't take any skills practice prior to strength, jumped right on to snatches. Took good mobility session before I touched the bar though. Then some classic warm-up rituals with a barbell plus snatch balance drills. My intention was to do all squat snatches but I found it a little too difficult today, especially on the 55kg snatches I couldn't find the path down properly. That's why they were power snatches instead. Because I wasn't able to find the correct path all the way down, I stayed at 55kg and didn't go heavier on this one.


Changed some plates and started doing overhead squats. Didn't have any plan, it's been too long since I've done ohs. So I just played with it for a while, added weight on the bar and took more reps. My wrists are a little sensitive for high-rep overhead squats. It's pretty much the only movement where I get some wrist pain if I hold the bar for a long time. At 60kg this came in to play and the weight itself didn't feel that heavy so I started to take doubles and singles from then on.

My previous 1 rep max was 75kg, which we had taken together with Toni the last time we were here together. It was a little shaky at the time when I held the bar overhead. Today it felt much smoother and steady all the way down and up. We took a shot at 80kg with Toni but I remember it was a desperate seek for both of us. It was wobbling back and forth when I had the bar overhead and there was no chance in trying to lower by butt to the ground. This time the press behind the neck was stronger and I got a solid balance right away. There was nothing more to be done but complete the rep.

Recap of strength

One thing that bugs me is that there's a slight doubt in my mind of the squats's depth being shallow. I'll take this for now but this is something to consider in overhead squats in the future. This movement pattern is not that familiar to me compared to back and front squats. I'm used to squat with mirrors in front of me so it's a bit difficult to perceive how deep I'm going without the familiarity of the mirrors (or training partner).

Nancy. Time 14.52. Compare to 27.12.2013
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 400m run
  • 15 overhead squats (40kg)
The barbell should be 42.5kg. This place don't have those fractional plates or light weight plates of 1.25kg so I went with 40kg sharp. Not a big difference but still it should have been 2.5kg heavier. On the other hand I ran a little more than 400m. There's a 200m track which I ran twice. I couldn't place the barbell right next to the track so I had to take a side step to my "bar station". On my fourth round one guy was just about to take my barbell 'cause he thought it wasn't in use. That would have been a bummer if I had lost my bar in the middle of a workout =) Luckily I was able to finish this one as planned.

We did Nancy together with Toni in the end of last year, during the winter holidays. Great combination of movements, running and overhead squats, high-rep overhead squats. I remember there was some hassle last time because we only had one barbell but it was a great one anyway. I topped my time with +3min, from 18min to 14.52. Last time it wasn't so precise, today I took it by the second. What I'm most happy about is the round time variation, or actually the absence of them. First round was 2.51, and the last one was 2.58, the rounds in between were 2.53 - 3.01 - 3.06.

I'm very pleased on that one! I was afraid running would get way slower towards the end. I've never been a fast runner and especially in a metcon I feel like I'm wearing down in the run parts. Okay, I was decent runner back in the days considering I was a floorball goalie =) But I wouldn't count that as one of my strengths. The round times hint that the performance was steady all the way.

I got the overhead squats unbroken each round, that's another thing to celebrate. It got tough on the third round but I stuck to the bar and never let go before 15 reps were done. By the way, completing ohs with oly lifting shoes and sneakers are two different things. I'd like to do my squats with oly shoes but naturally it's challenging to run with those flat shoe soles. This workout was awesome and it was pleasing to see the time got better with minutes.

Dip dropsets. Total of 60 reps
  • In 60sec, amrap weighted dips @ 20kg
  • 60sec rest
  • In 60sec, amrap weighted dips @ 15kg
  • 60sec rest
  • In 60sec, amrap weighted dips @ 10kg
  • 60sec rest
  • In 60sec, amrap weighted dips @ bodyweight
I was open-minded for this second session, and an article came across from "Fit As Fu*k" where Ditte and Sarah were writing about the importance of dips. I realized it's been a while since last time so it seemed to fit in well to this afternoon. This workout was a drop set style, 60 second amrap of dips with dropping weights, one minute break between sets. I liked this much more than traditional style sets of triples or 5's. Managed to nail 15 reps on the first set so I decided to stick to that rep scheme. It got tougher by the round because the rest wasn't enough to get fully recovered.

This is a weakness of mine so I'm happy on the way I was able to perform. Did 15 reps in each set and the feeling was I really had to do work to get them done. Good workout tip by the ladies, appreciate it!

Workout. For quality
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 50 double unders
Before the dips I did some pull-ups, strict chest-to-bar versions and couple of belly-to-bar to work on my bar muscle-ups. Also tried to get band-assisted muscle-ups without a swing but that turned out to be too difficult as I've used to do bar mu's with a good kip. This training session was easy in nature, goal was to get body moving, definitely not 100% effort, just get the blood flowing, work on some skills and weaknesses. It was also great to see Joni go after hero workout Small. If you still remember that one: 3 rounds of 1.000m rowing, 50 burpees, 50 box, and 800m running. I did it about a week ago because he talked me into it, now it was his time to suffer =) Good job Joni!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday 20.4: Split jerks + sled

Sunday. Split jerks

We're gonna spend some time at Pauliina's parents place in the countryside. I had a quick sneak-in at the gym early in the morning. I had desired for split jerks for couple of days now so now it seemed like a good idea. No time for metcons or anything else, just classic split jerks, put the bar overhead.

My playmate on Sunday
  • Split jerks 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 (across 90kg)
My goal was to take heavy singles, not looking to max out but more like 90% effort. I built up to 90kg by doing 5x40, 5x60, 2x70, 1x80kg split jerks. I'll add video tomorrow of all the shoulder-to-overhead moves. It felt good to jerk the bar.

I believe all the 90kg reps looked pretty much the same, that's where I get my satisfaction on this kind of heavy lifts. I also believe my legs were doing enough work and I dropped under the bar instead of just pushing / pressing the bar up.

Recap of split jerks

In the afternoon we drove to Klaukkala to celebrate Pauliina's parents' 30th anniversary. I say that's a big deal! Congrats to you guys, incredible achievement and commitment!

Chilling in the sun
Before the feast we finished the operation of building a sled with Kari. I'm glad we actually finished the project :) That wasn't self-evident in the beginning. It turned out to be perfect, simply perfect! I took my breathing up by pulling the sled back and forth, and did some kb snatches and swings in between.

Home gym in Klaukkala
The home gym starts to look like professional stuff! Haha, lots of kettlebells, sled, pull-up bar, dumbbells, resistance band, barbell with weights up to 50kg. What more could you ask for?

Plus it seems like the weather is always perfect in Klaukkala, it's difficult for me to understand

Monday 21.4: Handstand, sled, kb, front rack lunges

Monday. Skills, handstand. Metcon, 5 rds of: 20m sled pull, 10 kb swings, 20m sled pull, 20m front rack lunges.

Another training day in Klaukkala. the surroundings have little by little gotten perfect. We finished our own little sled project yesterday and it turned out to be a great leg smoker. We played around with it yesterday and today I took a metcon with this new tool. In addition to the metcon I did some strict pull-ups while playing darts, something every now and then to stay active.

  • Handstand
I took some handstand training before getting some real work done. Had some difficulties in stabilizing my body, especially in the beginning as I was training on a slightly inclined platform. The grass area on the back yard is quite flat but there's some variance to indoor training matts. With my skills there's a difference. Once I found a more flat grass it felt much better.

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 20m sled pull
  • 10 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • 20m sled pull
  • 20m front rack lunges, 40kg

Before I've had difficulties in getting my legs burn in Klaukkala. Kettlebell swings make a good shock to lower body but other than that it's been pretty much bodyweight movements and my legs have been mostly saved. With the help of our new sled it was a totally different thing. Add lunges with a barbell in front rack position, and my lower body was smashed!

Didn't have a timer rolling but I went through this one with the same intensity anyway. Breathing was heavy, legs were jacked and it was the classic overall bad feeling that crawled in at some point of the workout. It felt good and I was very satisfied of the influence this metcon brought.

I ran with the sled back and forth for 20 meters. On the other end I did kettlebell swings with 2-pood bell and on the other end completed lunges with Kari's new barbell. This grass area is a little inclined so it was a slight downhill, and then a slight uphill back to starting point.

This workout was cool and I'm sure the sled will come handy in the future as well. It was very firm and I'm guaranteed you can load it up with lots of iron inside. It won't break. It seems to weigh something like 30kg or more, I'd say. I loaded it with kettlebells worth 34kg. Kari was doing his share of working out at the same time. It's pretty awesome Pauliina's mom and dad both workout several times a week, that's something to show respect for.

Recap of the metcon

Another thing to look up on these two is they had their 30th anniversary today. Unbelievable thing, congrats! Some day we'll celebrate that with Pauliina too =)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday 19.4: Hero workout Holleyman

Saturday. Hero workout Holleyman (scaled), time 41.43

Yesterday was a rest day so it allowed me to go heavy today. Body was fresh and ready to hit it. Tomorrow we are going to the country side so it's most likely gonna be bodyweight, kettlebells and sled action. So I was considering between Holleyman and JJ. Both are newcomers in my training and both looked very challenging indeed. I didn't mind which one to go after so I asked Pauliina and she decided on Holleyman. So put on the clothes and do the work. Took some ring dips in the warm-up section to improve on my weakness.

Holleyman. Time 41.43
  • 30 rounds of:
  • 5 wall balls
  • 3 handstand push-ups
  • 1 clean (1-10min: squat clean 100kg, 11-15min: squat clean 90kg, 16-30min: power clean 80kg)
Rx'd version would be done with 102.5kg power cleans. No squat clean allowed. That's a little too much for me, I usually do squat cleans anyway on the heavy lifts. I don't even know where my max rep would be for power cleans. Probably somewhere around 90kg.

Don't have a wall ball either (yet…) so I replicated the 9kg wall ball movement with a 15kg bumper plate. I feel like regular wall ball is easier movement compared to this one. It doesn't matter when there's only couple of reps at a time but if I'd go for 50 in a row, I'd rather do it with normal wall ball. These plates are on your face all the time. Plus you get that short rest as you throw the ball up on the wall. Anyway, I like to have 15kg plate if I don't have access to wall ball because I'm not throwing the plate in the air whereas wall ball needs to be thrown with explosive movement.

The workout itself was a little intimidating. As I think about it, 100kg clean is rather close to my one rep max (110kg) so I didn't know what to think about it. Also 90 handstand push-ups looked like an eternity of reps. Max number I've done in a workout is hovers somewhere around 60 reps. Well, okay this workout was gonna be a longer one so it might not devastate me in the end. Thought 150 wall balls would not gonna be any issue by any standard. I'm comfortable with the movement and consider that some sort of strength.

I started the workout with 100kg squat cleans. Don't know why but after a few rounds my lower back hurt a little in both squat cleans and wall balls. Not in positive way. I don't mind if my muscles hurt but this wasn't a pleasure feeling so I scaled to 90kg. Same feeling occurred in both squat cleans and wall balls, in the squat position. It didn't help on the 90kg squat cleans so after 15 rounds I decided to do power cleans. Had no problems after that at all so it helped mentally a lot. I had good form on both movements so it's difficult to understand where this came from. Anyway, it went away and everything's fine. I'm feeling great at the moment!

I once saw this workout completed year or two ago and it's been on the back of my mind since then. I looked up to this guy crushing Holleyman and wanted to give it a shot myself too. Some day maybe I'm  able to do it rx'd. The cleans were the thing in this workout, at least for me. Wall balls were the easiest. Hspu's started to feel heavier at around 20 rounds. Managed to fight through them unbroken though.

Recap of Holleyman

This wasn't that much of a cardio stuff. That's because the barbell was so heavy I couldn't lift it right away. My body was sweating a lot but breathing was under control constantly. A good workout, nothing more can I say. Great one.

HC Triplet IV on its way!

HC Triplet IV!!!

It's time for the classic throw down between me and Toni, HC Triplet number 4 is about to happen. It's taking place on Saturday 10.5, let's see how many athletes we're gonna see there. There's a rumor going on that my bro and his training partner plus one other fellow athlete is coming too. So it's either me and Toni or max 5 competitors.

We've had three HC Triplets prior to this one. It's something we have decided to do every half a year or so. The idea is to compete in three different events in as many ways as possible, classic crossfit stuff. Originally we didn't have much equipment with us, just a kettlebell and jump rope, and that's pretty much we want to keep it like. It's not gonna require lots of barbells or other tools to play around. Bodyweight and some iron, pull-up bar, let's see what it turns out to.

It's probably the only time of the year we hit three workouts in short time during one day. It's gonna be cruel, lots of mental game is in play and muscles will be sore for couple of days. You better have a day off the day before and prepare your body not to be fresh the day after. This far we have enjoyed these events together tremendously and even though we are nowadays working out separately with Toni, this is the time we hit it definitely together. It wouldn't be the same, not even close, without having my best buddy there with me.

HC Triplet I
Take a look at the earlier HC Triplets. The first one took place 8.9.2012, this was the first year, we had just started crossfitting couple of months earlier when it hit me one beautiful day that what if we would do couple of workouts back-to-back. Toni got enthusiastic right away so we scheduled one Saturday afternoon at Malminkartano's "Jätemäki".

Final wrap of the first Triplet (in Finnish though…)

HC Triplet II: In To The Woods
For the second Triplet we changed location. We wanted to have a pull-up bar plus a track so the perfect location was found at Pirkkola. Still, lots of bodyweight was moved around but the kettlebells got heavier and Sandy was also built up just days before the throwdown took place. That's a 25kg sandbag that killed our hamstrings on the weighted lunges. This Triplet was a little different as we completed the last event indoors at our gym. Thus we were able to incorporate some movements that were impossible outdoors.

Clipse for event number 2

HC Triplet III
Back to Pirkkola. The heaviest Triplet, no doubt. Kettlebells were thrown in the air, swings, clean & jerks, snatches. Still, a lot of bodyweight movements. And running, which is an essential part of these events. We both felt like we don't have anything left before the last event but somehow we managed to suffer through all three events. Great finish in the end.

Recap of the last Triplet

HC Triplet IV. Let's see what the day brings us. Once we know the exact number of participants we're able to write down the workouts. We've sketched some awesome workouts for single athletes but if there are multiple athletes we might need to go teams this time. Go figure, we'll see. It's two weeks from now so it's getting closer and the tension is growing.