Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday 31.7: Back squat, pair workout with Joni

Thursday. Strength, back squat (max 135kg). Pair workout with Joni. As a team, complete 80 deadlifts (100kg), 100 burpees while other one hold plank position, 80 deadlifts (100kg).

Today was a great training day for sure. In the morning I realized something big regarding olympic lifts and squatting. I was scribbling through Instagram and came across with Chad Vaughn's (@OlyChad) picture where he and posted a battle photo of the legend himself - Chris Spealler - fighting to save a clean in the Crossfit Games this year in the Speed Clean Ladder. He wrote some truths about olympic lifts. With that inspiration in my head I went squatting. Had couple of friends with me at the gym so it was a great training atmosphere to say the least.

Strength. Ass to grass back squats
  • 3x90, 110, 120, 130kg
  • 1x135, 1x140kg failed
  • 5x90kg
What I'm referring with Chad Vaughn is described in the picture below. I have exactly that issue with cleans. I can't get to that position ever. I can pull the bar high enough but my problem is getting myself under the barbell quick enough. I have to drop the bar in the middle of the movement because it feels like I don't have enough time to drop under barbell. Coming up from the hole has never been an issue for me because my clean max loads are so much lower than front squat max loads.

With that in mind I went to the gym determined to try new approach in my squats. Decided to go as low as possible. Not pause squats. Regular squats but doing it with same style as in squat cleans, dropping down ass-to-grass without trying to brake the speed on the way down. I smashed down and then bounced back up and that's the time when I start to use my legs big time. Push it with all you got. At about that time when you bounce back, come back up and you reach parallel level. I found squatting this style very much different to squats where I go just below parallel and then stand back up. Feels like a different movement to say the truth.

I thought the weights would be much further away from my max loads than this. Thought they would be somewhere about 120kg at max. It was an extremely positive signal to realize I was able to knock way heavier weights up and down. The first fail came at 140kg. Didn't want my body to remember that as the last lift so I took an additional 5 reps at lighter weights, easy 90kg.

Metcon. Time 13.54
  • As a team, complete the following reps:
  • 80 deadlift, 100kg
  • 100 burpees. While one athlete does burpees, the other is in plank hold position
  • 80 deadlift, 100kg
Joni was squatting with me and it was a success day for him. Back squat PR has seen the daylight, great job man!!! After strength training we put the barbell on the ground, piled up some stuff on it and went after a pair workout. Main focus on deadlifts and burpees. Pair workouts are somehow motivational for sure. When you have that training partner beside you, there's a guy to share the feeling with you right on the moment.

We completed deadlift sets on 8 rep-sets all the way. Did them unbroken all the way. We were wondering about the reps and weights for a while and in the end we gotta say these numbers turned out to be perfect for metcon purposes. We kept a good steady and consistent pace in the deadlifts in the beginning and in the end likewise. No need to rest between sets. The period when you caught your breath the other guy was pumping those deads unbroken.

We decided in advance to knock the burpees in sets of 10 reps. While Joni was doing his sets of burpees my role was not to just chill out because that rest period would have been too long and the intensity would have decreased too much. So I was supposed to hold a plank position in the meanwhile. And vice versa of course. That plank hold turned out to be quite horrible. We both figured it would be a walk in the park (not really) but it was disastrous. Can you believe me if I say burpees were the rest in this workout? Well, they definitely were.

Joni is done

It was a good workout for sure! It was great to throw down with Joni for this one. We haven't done many pair workouts in the past even though we hang in there couple of days a week. Thanks for this one dude. Another huge thing was that my pal Jouni was at the gym doing his third crossfit workout. Today I put him to a dark place with the following workout:
  • 1.000m row, then 3rds of:
  • 20 burpees
  • 20 thrusters
  • 20 sit-ups, then:
  • 1.000m row
For a guy who hasn't done crossfit this is uncomfortable stuff indeed. He dug deep but he finally saw the sunlight and was cheering for making it till the end with pride. And his face looked like he felt like a champion. I'm proud of this guy for manhandling this workout!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday 30.7: Rings, Overhead squat, Pair wod with bro

Wednesday. Ring skills. Barbell, overhead squat technique. Metcon, pair wod with my bro. As a team, complete 50 thrusters (50kg), 50 hang power clean (50kg), 50 push jerk (50kg), 50 front squat (50kg), 100 kb swing (32kg). Emom 4 burpees for both. Time 18.57.

It was kind of like a new year's resolution for me and my brother to train together more often this year, something like once a week or once every two weeks. Today was the 5th or 6th time we worked out together =) So we have not been able to stick to the plan. We live about 20 minutes away from each other but all the schedules of work and families are mixing up the time tables every now and then. We have tried but those moments have been rare anyway. Today was one of those valuable moments when I met with my bro for training purposes. And it sure as hell was worth it!

Bros, 2 x Lamppu

  • Ring muscle-ups
Sipa has installed Rogue rings in front of their front door so he can practically knock a few muscle-ups every time he likes to. That's pretty awesome if you ask me. The roof is not that high so the hight is not ideal, at least for me. Sipa is shorter and doesn't mind it. I had some mental issues of having the rings lower than to what I'm used to.

Had to go for false grip and bent arms in the starting position. I didn't dare to swing that much because I was afraid to push my head to the ceiling. That's the reason why I landed in such a deep dip position. Take a look at the recap video so you'll know what I mean. Anyway, the muscle-ups felt effortless in general, felt good!

  • Overhead squats
I would have liked to take some clean and jerks too like my brother did but that right calf of mine is still sensitive. It doesn't hurt at all but I'm afraid it will get back to the same mood it was about a week ago if I smash it against the floor with too much force. That's why I haven't done any box jumps nor double unders either. Don't want it to collide against the ground that heavily.

So overhead squats seemed like a good call, especially as that seems to be my brother's strength. Probably his strongest bar movement so I needed some advice on that. This was purely for technique work. Weights were at around 40-50kg.

Metcon. Pair wod, Time 18.57
  • As a team, complete the following:
  • 50 thrusters, 50kg
  • 50 hang power clean, 50kg
  • 50 push jerk, 50kg
  • 50 front squat, 50kg
  • 100 kettlebell swing, 32kg
  • On top of every minute, both complete 4 burpees
We wrote this one down yesterday evening with Sipa. This kind of chippers work pretty well for pair workouts. You gotta complete a bunch of repetitions of one movement before you are allowed to move on to the next movement. This type of pair workouts also flow well with bodyweight movements, let's say for example hspu's, pull-ups, burpees, box jumps etc. Our solution was to work with a weight in each station, 4 barbell movements and 2-pood kettlebell. The twist in the workout was those emom-burpees. Both have to complete 4 burpees in the beginning of every minute. Those are a game-changer.

Barbell work

Thrusters were probably the sickest of these barbell movements. Definitely didn't look forward to moving the bar on my turn, nor was Sipa, but it is a very beneficial movement for sure. Very comprehensive movement and makes you burn in a short time. We did these in sets of 5's, then changed turns. Every time the 60 seconds came full, it was time to drop down in the ground for some burpees, and then continue back with the thrusters as 4 burpees were done by both of us.

After thrusters came power cleans, from hang position. I knocked these faster than ever, touch'n'go style each round. Those shoulder-to-overheads were just grinding it through without thinking that much, we were still moving on in 5's. On the front squats we changed the game plan on the fly and completed 10's, then 8's on the next round and finally 7's to finishing it off. Those front squats were light in nature but at this point those started to burn legs too. Especially as there was no time to catch a breath at any point because the clock was running forward. So you better keep on moving constantly. Kettlebell swings progressed in sets of 10 reps.

Pair workout

Feelings after the workout

We had finally done all the work needed at 18.57. Luckily I had the time to push through those last kb swings in time so there didn't come extra 4 burpees. There was a total of 72 burpees done by both of us in the workout. It's sick to get together with my brother and workout. There's no doubt we push each other more in the wods and gain better results by training together. It's a pity we can't find more time for these purposes.

Bro is ripped at 38 years!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday 29.7: Row, Pull-ups, T2b and Ring dips

Tuesday. Metcon, in a 90 second time window, perform 20 calories row, then amrap of pull-ups or t2b. Ring skills, emom ring dips, 5x7 reps.

It's pretty awesome the number of crossfitters have increased at our gym. I regularly do the workouts  at our work place's gym. It's quite ideal for my training purposes. There's practically nothing I'm missing except the possibility to drop weights without anyone giving me bad eye. Plus a better pull-up bar for training bar muscle-ups with more space. But there's a good community of crossfitters arising and the atmosphere and encouraging of other athletes is good. Recently there have been more guys and you can really see the trend in the society of people appreciating functional training and crossfit is a very good answer to those needs. Today's wod included rowing, pull-ups and t2b, Pat Sherwood style.

Metcon. Result, pull-ups 15, 15, 13, 13 reps. Result, T2B 15, 15, 12, 12 reps.
  • In a 90 second time window, perform:
  • 20 calories row, then amrap of pull-ups
  • 90 second rest
  • Repeat for a total of 4 sets. Then continue with the following:

  • In a 90 second time window, perform:
  • 20 calories row, then amrap of toes-to-bar
  • 90 second rest
  • Repeat for a total of 4 sets

This was definitely interval type of training. Pat Sherwood has thrown a lot of creative workouts in Instagram this spring and summer, and part of them have been this type of interval stuff. Another example would be to complete 10 sets of: 2min work of 2 round Cindy, followed by an amrap of row calories, with 2min rest in between sets. Sounds brutal as I think about it in real life.

Those 20 calories were something like 270 meters if I looked right. It was a total of 2100-2200m row during those 8 sets of 20 calories. I put the clock running in the beginning, did 4 rounds of rowing and pull-ups, then immediately after 4 rounds of rowing and toes-to-bar.

It probably took me something like 50 seconds to complete the rowing, and it was usually about 1 minute in to the workout as I grabbed the pull-up bar, in all 8 sets. That means to say my rowing was consistent and I had equal time in all sets to complete pull-ups and t2b's. I got 15 pull-ups in the beginning, then I had to start breaking the sets earlier and time came full before I was able to nail 15 reps. Ended up 2 short in the last 2 rounds. Same thing with the t2b's. Had to break the sets, release the tension in hip flexors and get back on the rig. This was definitely a good style of working out.

Ring skills.
  • Every minute on the minute
  • 7 ring dips, for 5 minutes

In the end I wanted to do some work with the rings. Ring dips are always a good choice for me so I did them emom style to get some reps in. This could be done in the same style as I've done C2B pull-ups in the past weeks. Increase the amount of reps but still completing it in emom method. The training day was a good entity. Intercal training for bodyweight movements, ring skills in the end and actually for warm-up we did couple of tens burpees together with Pauliina.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday 28.7: Front squat, Metcon deadlift

Monday. Strength, front squat (max PR 135kg). Metcon, 5rds of: 7 deads (120kg), 30 air squats, 7 hspu. Time 9.09.

Getting back to the barbell. The question is what to do with it. And the natural answer is to squat! It was awkward to hit the gym at about 16.00 and there was no one else but me and Pauliina. Usually there's about 5-10 other people and maybe more on Mondays. Well, we worked for a while together before people started pouring in. I was still thinking whether to go for front or back squats after warm-up. Somehow it ended up in front squat, it felt more natural at that given moment, and I'm happy I did so. It was PR time! Afterwards a metcon I remember having seen done by legend Chris Spealler long time ago.

The King. Picture: @Rubywolff

  • Front squat
  • 2x100, 110, 110, 115, 115, 120, 120kg
  • 1x125, 130, PR 135kg
My goal was to do 7x2 reps, building up to a heavy double. I did exactly that. For some reason the first 120kg set felt heavier than the second. Pauliina was spotting the latter one, maybe it was just mentally lighter because of she securing the lift. I was about done but my lady asked why did I do another 120kg set instead of going heavier. What can I answer to that? She pushed me to go harder so I did.

Next stop at 125kg which felt light. She didn't give any slack: "put more weight on the bar". Yes sir. Next lift of 130kg was tight, no doubt it was heavy. My previous one rep max was 132.5kg so we were close. At this point I was done with the squats. I had the metcon looming in my sight already, anxious to hit it. But she had not had enough. "Today we'll take a new PR!"

Haha I love this woman. For a lot of reasons. But this was just something crazy. She was looking for that new record breaking lift and I couldn't disappoint her. Her eyes were glowing so I tried to answer with passion. Caught my breath, approached the bar, lifted it up, squatted and stood up, as simple as that. I'm very happy I was able to nail it! Old man can still make it happen =)

Squatting. Couldn't get the last lifts on video because there were too many people

Metcon. Time 9.09
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 7 deadlifts, 120kg
  • 30 air squats
  • 7 handstand push-ups
This is something I have seen at least one year ago. It was some sort of throwdown where Chris Spealler was part of. This legend, bodyweight ninja, crushed the workout in just a matter of minutes. He was "a bit" faster than me, no surprise there. This same workout popped up couple of days ago in some site where I was visiting. Probably I didn't remember the specifics but the rep scheme was this.

I went unbroken with the deadlifts each round. It's been a while since deadlifting last time. I took couple of reps prior to the workout with 100-120kg. It was mediocre weight. In a workout like this it starts to weigh more and more towards the end. Squats were bodyweight stuff. I had anticipated these to become an issue. I'm not saying they weren't but I got them unbroken too. It felt like the pace was getting slower towards the end. However, that seemed not to be the story as I look at the round times.

My first round was something like 1:35, and from then on the remaining rounds were about 1:50 per round, couple of seconds over that. That satisfies me a lot. Being able to keep up the pace with all the movements for the entire 5 rounds feels super. I don't wanna go running out of the gates but have a motor that can keep on running for longer time. It's a different game when you have a short workout.

Last Update Show of the Games

Handstand push-ups were the easiest of these movements. I was surprised I got them done so effortlessly, every round. Okay, there were "only" 35 reps in the workout but having a steady pace all the time might have brought more pressure on my shoulders but that was not the case. My legs were smashed after the workout but shoulders were feeling good. Breathing got heavy for sure but still manageable. Definitely a good workout that I suggest to everyone.

The weekend was full of Crossfit Games. Couldn't have asked for a better action! I was like a kid in a candy store when I was by my laptop watching the Games. Pauliina occasionally felt the spirit of the competition with me. Pretty awesome to have a wifey that shares the feelings with me. This competition is like the Olympic Games for me.

Jason Khalipa, finally finishing in 3rd spot

My prediction for the Top 5 were as follows prior to the Games:

1. Rich Froning
2. Scott Panchik
3. Jason Khalipa
4. Matt Fraser
5. Ben Smith

1. Valerie Voboril
2. Julie Foucher
3. Annie Thorisdottir
4. Jenn Jones
5. Kara Webb

On the mens' side I was close with those top guys. Those monsters were all in Top 7 in the final leaderboard. Fraser was even tougher than anticipated finishing in second and beating Khalipa in the process. Froning took 4th consecutive win which is something extraordinary. At this point there's no doubt - if there has ever been - who the king is in this sport. The fittest on earth, no matter what you throw at him, he'll smash it.

The ultimate Champ

I had predicted Valerie Voboril to step up on the first place after finishing 5th and 3rd on the previous 2 years. There were simply more fit women competing against her. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet was the woman to be crowned as the fittest on earth on Sunday night for the first time. This Canadian has always been one of the top girls but she didn't convince before. She really dominated some of the events, muscle-up biathlon pops up to my mind as first thought. She was crazy good! I was cheering for Kara Webb as she was on top of the leaderboard until 9 events. From then on there was a huge meltdown as she couldn't finish 2 workouts in a row and was time capped. That caused her to finally slide all the way to 31st place… I feel sorry for her, she fought bravely for those 9 events.

Anyway, the weekend was extremely fun and exciting to watch and definitely the best time of the year crossfit-wise. And I also get a big training boost for sure! Here's a link to the final leaderboard.

Sunday 27.7: Kettlebell and Burpees + Human overhead squat

Sunday. AM: Metcon, 7min amrap, ascending ladder, 3-3. 6-6, 9-9… of kb swing, 32kg and burpees over kb. Result, 126reps. PM: Overhead squats, cleans and thrusters with Pauliina =)

The weather was still beautiful and looks like it's gonna be the case for quite a while according to the forecasts. It's awesome to do the workouts outdoors. I had brought my kettlebell with me so it was only natural to have some playing around with it. It turned out to be a 7min ladder of swings and burpees. After showering the workout off we fooled a bit with Pauliina as she was my barbell and I did some ohs, cleans and thrusters. That was a lot of fun!

Metcon. Result, 126 reps

  • 7min amrap of ascending ladder
  • 3-3, 6-6, 9-9… of:
  • Kettlebell swing, 32kg
  • Burpee over kettlebell

These 7min amraps are great in nature. It's a short time, so you better push a little more than normally. My workouts tend to last for 10+ minutes and in those workouts you have to pace yourself and not go all in from the beginning. Okay, I didn't throw balls to the wall in this either but the point is you have to push through a bit more because the workout is shorter.

This was a couplet, 3 reps of both movements in the beginning, and then increase the number of reps with 3 more each round. Continue as long as you can in this ascending ladder until the 7min time cap comes full. I've done couple of these in the past and they are great. Last time was something like overhead squats and burpees. That was cruel, I remember my shoulders were killing me.

My burpees today were a bit different in nature. Yesterday evening I had thought about doing over the bar burpees. Okay, my tool turned out to be kettlebell so I did them jumping over the kb. Those burpees felt somehow very good. I went barefoot in the grass and it felt like it really is summer now. I enjoyed this one even more than just a regular workout because of the surroundings. I got to thank Kari for being my camera man this time.

Playing around.

  • Overhead squats
  • Cleans
  • Thrusters
  • Pauliina was my "barbell"

An hour later we fooled around with my baby. We've been thinking about doing overhead squats as a team so that I'm the one squatting and Pauliina the one holding a tight core up in the air. We started thinking about how it's done and started experimenting. This was tons of fun. Real life weightlifting =)

It wasn't easy for sure. The barbell was shaking and in the beginning she wasn't as straight as to what I'm used to. But that was easy to fix and from then on she kept the core tight and she was being easier to handle. She's light so the weight itself wasn't that bad to handle but it's way tougher compared to a iron barbell. Human flesh is shaking all around. But that was exactly the fun part of it.

We finally got some reps nailed in the books and then went to advanced level with cleans and thrusters. Haha what a blast! Sunday-Funday Donscrossfit style. Great training day!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Saturday 26.7: Oh lunges, Wall ball, Burpees

Saturday. Metcon, 3rds of: 20m overhead walking lunges (40kg), 20 wall ball (9kg), 20 burpees. Cashout, 100 push-ups.

There's a huge heat wave going on in Finland right now and at least our apartment is extremely hot. It's 30+ degrees outside and it's not getting any easier inside. Without a proper air conditioning it's even sweatier indoors. We slept late, ate breakfast, and started thinking were to go to avoid the humidity. Thought about hitting downtown and to Kaivopuisto afterwards but then again it was a perfect weather to go the in-laws in Klaukkala. Chill out for the weekend right there. I'm very happy on this idea thrown in the air. I grabbed some stuff with me and off we were with Pauliina.

My baggage

  • 3 rounds of:
  • 20 overhead walking lunges, 40kg bar
  • 20 wall ball shots, 9kg
  • 20 burpees
Our own terrace was way too hot to spend time but here the backyard is just perfect for relaxation. We went to pick up some delicious salads on our way, reminded us of Wholefoods food court in LA. That was a sweet memory, we both fell in love with that health food stuff when we were back in California in May.

After chilling out for a while I got a grip of myself and put on training shorts. Here's a barbell, pull-up bar, sled, kettlebell and wall ball. From this mix it turned out to overhead walking lunges, wall balls and burpees.

Those overhead lunges are a killer on shoulders. No need to put that much load on the barbell, it's gonna burn 'em anyway. Having more weight would probably put a lot of pressure on the core but this weight was tolerable. It's much more taxing on shoulders and legs. My warm-up wasn't the best possible so the first set of lunges was the toughest. Hip flexors were kinda tight but then flexed up during the workout.

This wall ball of mine is just a tool of perfection. I went with 20 shots per round. Felt good on those and I found a good rhythm on the movement. I haven't measured the hight of the target but there's a horizontal reference point above which I throw the ball. It feels like it's over the standardized hight of the wb shots.

Burpees are always cool. Taxing but somehow rewarding stuff. I did 20 in a row each round. Those were nasty towards the end, no doubt. But I went unbroken with them anyway. I remember Graham Holmberg once said there is no reason to stop on burpees. It is such a simple movement. Just go down, hit the chest on the floor and come back up.

  • 100 push-ups
After resting for 5 minutes I hit an extra 100 push-ups just for the fun of it. Not timed, just work through them. First set 20, then 10's in the end. Push-ups are also such an easy and simple movement but really gets under your skin after hitting them for a while.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday 25.7: Front squat, Hspu, T2b

Friday. Strength, emom, 3 front squat per min, for 8min (100kg). Metcon, in a 60sec time window, perform 8 hspu, rest of minute t2b, then 1min rest. For a total of 10min.

Squats! You don't know how much I've missed 'em. I was still a bit afraid to load up and squat but my legs felt good. Kept the weight at moderate weight. Then some skills based metcon. Two skills-oriented movements to get my heart beat up. Great session. And efficient one.

Strength. Emom
  • 3 front squat per minute
  • All sets at 100kg
This barbell with 100kg weight felt good and solid today. I tried some pause squats with empty barbell but those created some unwanted tension in my calf so I stayed with normal front squats. The weight felt heavier than to what I'm used to but still there was no doubt to make all the lifts. Yesterday's kettlebell swings can be felt in my hamstrings for sure.

  • In a 60 second time window, perform:
  • 8 handstand push-ups, rest of the minute as many reps as possible of toes-to-bar
  • Repeat for 10min
  • Result, 22, 18, 16, 14, 12 toes-to-bar
Interval training with hspu's and t2b's. Something like what our host at the Crossfit Games - Pat Sherwood - is used to do a lot lately. I combined these two movements. Put the clock running, complete 8 hspu's right on, then use the rest of the minute for an amrap of t2b's. When you finished 60 seconds of work, rest for another 60 seconds. Then start all over again.

I continued this for a total of 10 minutes, that is 5 rounds of work (and 5min rest). I got those hspu's done unbroken and I was positively surprised I got them done touch'n'go style. Didn't have to stop at any point to catch a breath and squeeze in the last reps. No, I kept moving up and down against the wall. That's the reason I had same amount of time to be used for t2b's after handstand push-ups.

On the first round it was 22 reps before the time came up. On the second round I got 18 reps. From then on I had to drop down from the barbell at some point. First 2 sets I went unbroken with one grip only. My core was on fire! This was a good workout, no doubt. Not the toughest on lungs but doing high-rep sets of any movement is always more challenging than doing them in sets of only couple of reps.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday 24.7: Outdoors, Kettlebell, Squats and T2b

Thursday. Metcon, 5rds of: 20 kb swing (32kg), 40 squats, 10 t2b.

After work I went to the gym with a pal who's interested in making a life changing turn on regards to sports. I've been brainwashing him to crossfit and today he lost his virginity to crossfit. It was his first wod: metcon of squats, kb swings and db presses, then short rest and 30sec on / 30sec off row intervals. I'm very proud of this fella and we're definitely gonna put more effort in with him. It was heart-warming news as he texted me after the session he went to buy a 28kg kettlebell for future training purposes! =) I didn't have time to do workouts at the gym myself so in the evening I put on my shorts and went backyard for some kb action.

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 20 kettlebell swing, 32kg
  • 40 air squats
  • 10 toes-to-bar
There's not many things I dare to do currently. I tried one clean & jerk with this 2-pood bell and my calf was on a different opinion immediately. I really hope to get rid of this kind of nonsense that's preventing me to go 100% and all movements. Usually there's some sort of jolt with feet against ground.

However, on these movements that I performed I managed to come up with such a combo it's gonna put pressure on legs but not bother otherwise. Workout was simple but taxing. Classic stuff. Kids' playground swing beam was good enough pull-up bar for me this time for the toes-to-bar movement.

I got all kb swings unbroken. It started to feel unpleasant but still I nailed them ub. Air squats were surprisingly the toughest movement. Had to break them down. On the first round I went unbroken but then I guess it was 25-15 or something close. There could have ideally been more t2b but I had to take into consideration that the bar was not round but square and thus not very good for grip.

Good workout!

The CF Games have begun. Jonne Koski performed great on the first event and placed second overall, c'mon! Rich Froning have clearly learned how to swim and is on top of the leader board after first day (The Beach event and 1 rep max overhead squat). Kara Webb leads the women by placing great on both events (3rd and 1st). Check more on

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednedsday 23.7: Muscle-ups, Bench, Cardio

Wednesday. Skills, muscle-ups. Strength, narrow grip bench press 5x10 (max 75kg). Cardio, crosstrainer, 30sec on, 30sec off, for 10min.

I'm going to work for later in the afternoon so I had a chance to do a workout as I dropped Pauliina to work in the morning. This was an easier session because of that leg of mine I wrote about. It can't take hit so I got to do a lighter workout until it's fully recovered. Took muscle-ups in the beginning, then something I haven't done in months: bench press =) And finally I needed to get my lungs to work so I took crosstrainer intervals.

  • Muscle-ups
It's been a while since I last time did muscle-ups. I took one single rep right after coming back from Spain but the time before that was way back. It was a bit nerve-racking to get a grip on those rings before the first rep. I nailed them pretty efficiently (in my standards) and there was no doubt to get the reps done. There are lots of deficiencies as I look at it on the video.

My torso doesn't look to be controlled that well, it's not one tight combination which hinders the utilization of aggressive swing of the movement. Also the swing backwards is too short and I can't get any momentum of it. My hips do not raise that high vertically and I have to use a lot of upper body strength to nail the rep. But the most important thing is: I can get them done! It was a long process to get muscle-ups in my skills repertoire and I'm enjoying every single one of them =)

  • Narrow grip bench press 5x10 (50, 60, 65, 70, 75kg)
I'm already looking forward to squat! It's about time. I still need to be patient and not be a fool. Let's get these legs recovered and then I'll nail some squats. Bench press is kind of a boring movement for me but from time to time it's okay to do this too. I tried this version of bench probably for the first time, narrow grip bench press. Weights were somewhat lighter and there was definitely not a purpose of hitting max weights. More like getting some work done in my system.

This felt different than regular bench. Well, no surprise, you have different width in the grip so it focuses on different muscles. The last 2 sets felt heavy for me but they were manageable.

  • 30sec on, 30sec off, for 10min of crosstrainer
This was a compromise I had to take. Rowing would have been cool in the end or actually metcon was something I wanted to do but this calf needed some softer action. There's a crosstrainer at our gym so it felt like a perfect solution to get heart beat up, get the body work and not worry about having pain in my calf. In the end, I'm very satisfied to this decision!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday 22.7: Row, Snatch, Hspu, T2b and Burpees

Tuesday. Metcon, 7 rds of: 250m row, 3 hang power snatch (40kg), 6 hspu, 9 t2b, 12 burpees. Time 24.17.

Today's session was difficult to come up with. My right calf is somehow sore still from cramping on Sunday. Yesterday was all about presses and pull-ups in different variations and weights. Today's workout was supposed to be a little easier at least considering the pace on which I was thinking about moving ahead.

Metcon. Time 24.17
  • 7 rounds of:
  • 250m row
  • 3 hang power snatch, 40kg
  • 6 handstand push-ups
  • 9 toes-to-bar
  • 12 burpees
I thought about just putting the clock running but not concentrate it at all, just forget about it and work with these movements with your own pace. You know, just do the work with 70% effort. Well, I started working, did the movements as written and at some point I realized it was indeed a metcon and my heart rate was through the roof at times. Especially after those burpees. Kept a pretty steady pace throughout these rounds, at around 3:30 plus/minus something.

The goal was to keep moving for the entire long workout. Not gas out at any point. Everything went unbroken. That was no surprise to me as the reps were moderate for each station. It doesn't mean it didn't hurt at times. I'm feeling good that snatches felt light, hspu's went touch'n'go style almost every rep, and t2b's were the easiest for me.

Burpees sucked in this workout. As they should too! That's what they are created for =) I have a love / hate relationship with burpees. Probably quite the ordinary story among crossfitters. Such a beautifully simple movement and still, it takes you to dark places when having a high-rep burpee-workout. I battled them through unbroken, paced it though the end a little slower but still managed to keep my body moving constantly.

This workout was somehow great in its own nature. All movements were thought out so that I can move through them without stopping at any point. My focus was not to get the best possible score in the beginning but it changed somewhat during the process of this 24min workout. Originally I thought about possibly taking breaks and then continue but once I started the workout I did it in a regular style and tried to keep up with my round times the further the workout continued.

It was a bit difficult though to move through this workout as my right calf was hard as a rock. It cramped again as I came down from the wall on hspu's on the first round. Then it was tough all the way. I had to do burpees with one leg for couple of rounds as it was a little too sensitive for the jolt with the ground. Got to stretch it out for proper recovery.

The Games start tomorrow for individuals but Masters have already begun. Go and check the live stream at for further information. Now it begins guys, are you ready?!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday 21.7: Mainsite workout of presses and pull-ups

Monday. Mainsite workout from yesterday. Max reps of shoulder presses in a descending weight ladder and pull-up variations.

Better leave this lower body chill out for a while, my right calf went to cramp during yesterday's workout in the last two rounds and has not recovered since so it's been a limbing day =) Anyway, that's not an excuse to skip the gym so I went there and reckoned the main site's workout from yesterday would turn out perfect for me. And it certainly did. Got to mention that Pauliina continued her burpee project and smashed couple of tens them again. I'm extremely proud of her!

Workout. Total of 54 shoulder presses and 57 different pull-ups
  • Max reps shoulder press, 60kg (result 6 reps)
  • Max reps L-pull-up (result 10 reps)
  • Max reps shoulder press, 50kg (result 10 reps)
  • Max reps strict pull-up (result 12 reps)
  • Max reps shoulder press, 40kg (result 16 reps)
  • Max reps chest-to-bar pull-up (result 15 reps)
  • Max reps shoulder press, 30kg (result 22 reps)
  • Max reps pull-up (result 20 reps)
The weights were described as in pounds, I wasn't so precise them. They should have been 135, 115, 95 and 65lbs. I rounded them up to the nearest ten kilos. Started at 60kg and dropped 10kg after each set. On the pull-ups the style changed every round, starting from L-pull-ups coming down to regular pull-ups.

This looked easier on paper than the feeling in my body was during and after the workout. It was not a timed workout. The main point was to put max effort to the table and see how many reps you can nail in every press / pull-up set. My shoulders and arms in general were burning like crazy, already in the 50kg presses. My entire body was shaking, legs included, when I pressed the bar up for max reps. It was a sick feeling to have it as whole-body feeling even though this was targeted to upper body mostly. I guess I gave it my all in this condition as my body was shivering all the way.

L-pull-ups are something I rarely do. To be honest I've done them just couple of times in my life so I didn't know what to expect from them. In my opinion they went pretty well. Got two-digit numbers and that satisfied my hunger. On strict pull-ups I was looking to get somewhere around 15 reps but my strength started bailing me after couple of reps and I couldn't find a good rhythm. Those presses prior to this one definitely had its' effect. Then on the other hand C2B's went very well. Having done them clearly shows in this number (15 reps). At this point my upper body was numb and I still got 15 reps done so I'm happy. Last set of regular pull-ups was not cool either because shoulders and arms had taken so much hit.

It was a very good strength type of workout. As this one was not a timed workout, I took my rest times between attempts and heart rate was high only occasionally but for a very short period of time. These mainsite workouts seem to always kick ass!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday 20.7: Clean emom, 20min amrap

Sunday. Strength, every 30 seconds, perform 1 hang squat clean (70-85kg), for 8min. Metcon, 20min amrap of: 3 power clean (70kg), 6 ring dip, 9 box jumps, 27 double unders. Result 496 reps.

My legs are shaking. Lots of pressure on them the last two days. I had determined to do some more leg work today and I couldn't persuade myself out of it so I had to hit it as planned. Tomorrow was supposed to be back squat day but it's not gonna happen. Have to change the game plan. But today's workouts were great, both the strength part and the metcon which was actually taken from the main site, couple days ago. There was also something extra good happening at the gym as Pauliina tried some crossfit stuff in the form of burpees, box jumps and clean technique. That was spectacular!!!

Strength. Emom
  • Every 30 seconds, perform 1 hang squat clean, for a total of 8 minutes
  • Reps at: 1x70, 2x75, 6x80, 7x85kg
Even though those legs were sore already when walking at the gym I got them warmed up pretty well and they were able to take more hit in this strength section. I find squat cleans very useful and important movement for a number of reasons so I want to keep them on my programming constantly. My 1RM taken from floor is 112.5kg. And if you saw the post I put on during that last PR day you probably also noticed I pulled the bar as high on the failed 115kg attempt as I did on the lighter ones. So we figured with Joni who was training with me that day that maybe I should be doing high hang squat cleans with heavier loads so that I would be forced to get under the bar quickly. Because that was exactly the reason I didn't take it home on the 115kg attempt. Have to get under the bar more quickly. There is enough strength to pull the bar high enough.

That was the reason for today's high hang squat cleans. I did them emom style, one rep every 30 seconds. I didn't determine the loads beforehand but went by feeling. The first one was too light so I added 5kg more. Those 75's were too light as well so I went to 80kg. Took couple of them before making it to 85kg. I got them all done pretty well. I have once hang cleaned 90kg, but mostly it's been around 80kg. Considering that these weights were very good for me.

My hang cleans are mostly from pocket, i.e. from high hang position. Mostly when you say high hang, people tend to lower the bar to just above knees from where they take advantage of the second pull and the upward motion's momentum. For some reason I have always cleaned high hang reps from the pocket. I could probably clean more weight from low hang but this is the way I'm used to do my thang.

Metcon. Result 496 reps (11 rounds + 1 clean)
  • 3 power clean, 70kg
  • 6 ring dip
  • 9 box jump, 61cm
  • 27 double under
This was posted on the main site just couple of days ago, on the 16th of July. The difference was the cleans. It was rx'd at 84kg and they were to be cleaned as hang power cleans. Hmm, that's too heavy stuff for me so I scaled it to 70kg power cleans. That was proper weight indeed. It was a 20 min amrap so there was a lot of work ahead of me.

I know how my body works and what I'm capable of. It's much easier nowadays to pace myself and not burst out of the gates because I know pretty well how this human being operates. It's hard to say what part of the workout was toughest. Those power cleans started to weigh much more than just regular 70kg cleans. I did them touch'n'go every round unbroken so even though they weren't easy they certainly were nasty.

Luckily there were only 6 ring dips after the cleans. Otherwise I might have had to break them down at some point. Now I got them done 6 per set on one attempt all the way. There were no doubt at any point I wouldn't do them ub but I took a short breathing session after the cleans before jumping on the rings.

Box jumps seem to be my thing. I do them a lot. Jumping up and down causes breathing to go heavier and legs a bit soft but it's always manageable to do them. I think I mastered them well today every round.

Beforehand I was thinking about the double unders and how big the number of reps would turn out eventually. 27 reps is not bad for a couple of times but this was more than just couple of times. Total of 11+ rounds was my result and I'm more than happy to write that I got them unbroken on each round! Don't know if that's a great success story but it feels awesome to nail through the workout without having to stop at any station for any reason at any given point.

My round times were consistent and that is always my goal for a workout this long. 20 minutes of constant moving around is a long time. I had my breaks in the transitions between movements but when I started working I did everything unstoppable.

And hey, have you guys realized the Crossfit Games begin in 3 days!!! How sick is that. There's gonna be a rivalry we haven't seen before. There are so many candidates for those podium spots in both men and women that it's hard to understand. Rich Froning, the 3-time champion. Scott Panchik who was close to Rich in every workout at the Regionals. Jason Khalipa, a former champ and second place last year. Let's add couple of more names to the list: Ben Smith, Josh Bridges, Dan Bailey, Neal Maddox, Chris Spealler, and rookie Matt Fraser who crushed the Regionals. Plus of course our very own Jonne Koski, the bad ass from Finland who won the European Regionals this year. By the way, he's been mentored by The Champ, Mikko Salo.

On the women's side last year's champion, British Sam Briggs couldn't make it to the Games but 2-time champ Annie Thorisdottir from Iceland is making a comeback after skipping last year due to injury. Also Julie Foucher is making her comeback and is aiming to the podium. There are tons of ladies reaching for that number one spot: CLB a.k.a Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Alessandra Pichelli, Talayna Fortunato, 7-time Games athlete Rebecca Voigt and naturally Valerie Voboril as well. Last year Garrett Fisher made it 5th as a rookie, how does his rookie sister Lauren Fisher make it? The set-up on both men and women is sick, I can't wait to see the fittest of fittest compete against each other!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday 19.7: Handstand, C&J, Metcon

Saturday. Skills, handstand. Strength, complex of 1 clean + 3 jerks (max 90kg). Metcon, 21-15-9-6-3 of: hspu, front squat (70kg), bar-facing burpees.

We had an amazing day with my lovely fiancé in downtown Helsinki. We put on our "tourist glasses" on and wondered around the city like we were in a foreign country. Tried to absorb everything inside and astonished all details of our magnificent capital of Finland. It was simply awesome to walk around the city. Helsinki is a place where you can really walk to anywhere. Very much different from the american style cities where you mostly need car to move around. At least from where I've traveled. Don't get me wrong, I love the States, it's my favorite travel destination, hands down! In the evening I went to the gym to bully my body big time.

  • Handstand
Haven't done much handstand in Haaga, mostly outdoors or in places like Liikuntamylly or Eltsu. Now the gym was empty and even though the there's not much room I decided to give it a shot. My skills have gotten much better and the tiny space didn't bother me. There was some pressure to stay still and not move around. Maybe that was a good thing and I was able to handle my skills pretty well.

  • Complex of:
  • 1 clean + 3 jerk
  • Sets @ 60, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90kg
I wanted to put some weight overhead. Thought it would be a good idea to take the bar from ground anyway. I kind of get my hands on the bar better when I clean it from ground compared to grabbing it from a rack. My hands go around it more naturally when I do the front squat, bounce the bar up and catch it airborne over my shoulders. Funny but that seems to be the case. It's more natural for me.

Recap of the training day

My goal was to go as heavy as possible in touch'n'go style. It felt very good on almost all sets. There were maybe two reps where I jerked it too much forward instead of upwards but the tng style worked well for me. The last set that I got as planned was 85kg. On the 90kg I had to re-rack the bar in the front rack position before completing the last rep. Anyway the first two reps went touch'n'go on that set too.

  • 21-15-9-6-3 of:
  • Handstand push-ups
  • Front squat, 70kg (from ground)
  • Bar-facing burpees
This was a pain cave! I'm telling you I was so deep in some dark place that I was thinking about dropping crossfit. But as it always happens, you just push through and keep thinking about happy thoughts until you reach what you came to the Box for. And once you nail that last rep, get a grip of life again, you feel like a king and are ready for another challenge. That is crossfit. You overcome the barriers thrown in front of you. Period.

This workout was something similar to the Regionals' workout. I did something like this once before because the Regionals workout looked cool when I first saw it. Those handstand push-ups are always a battle. Not that bad when you do something like 5 reps per round in a workout but these high rep rounds are killers for shoulders. Today I got them done okay but my shoulders were burning big time. On the first round I did maybe 10-5-4-3. On the round of 15's it was probably 5-4-3-3, round of 9's was 5-2-2 and then 3-3 and unbroken the last round.

If hspu's made my shoulders go numb, front squats were destined to make my legs spaghetti. 70kg front squat isn't bad when you do couple of reps. But hey c'mon, 21-15 sets are not cool with this weight. On the first set I got them 11-5-5, the second set was 9-6 and then it was unbroken on the remaining sets. They felt grueling on my lower body. I had a week's pause on squatting (and barbell work in general) and my legs were a misery all day today as I squatted yesterday. I figured more squatting would help. A man's logic… Let's see how they feel tomorrow =)

So the first two movements made my strength leave my body and bar-facing burpees were left to destroy my engine. They made me breath like a maniac. I kind of love and hate those burpees. No doubt they are a pain in the ass but they also bring you the mind-blowing feeling afterwards as you realize you can hit them and don't let the workout beat you. Bar-facing burpees are way tougher than normal burpees. If you haven't done them, try them and you know what I'm talking about.

World class breakfast in Don's Kitchen (okay, Wifey's Kitchen)

Great day in general! Loved the day with Pauliina earlier and then I survived the evening training at the gym too. It was also great to get some handstand action done too.

Enjoy the summer!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday 18.7: Squats, 7min metcon

Friday. Strength, back squats 5x3 (across 100kg). Metcon, 7min of. 2-2, 4-4, 6-6 etc, squat clean (70kg) and ring dips. Result, 60 reps.

We got back home last night from Spain. It was a great trip, no doubt about it. Always great to go on holiday. It was a night flight, we departed somewhere around midnight so it wasn't the best of sleep deposited in this body. Got to bed around 8.00 in the morning and slept for 4 hours until noon. In the evening I was exhausted but still determined to hit the gym and get some workout done. I decided to try muscle-up, just to remind my body what it feels like. Then some light back squats because after the american trip my hip flexors got inflamed due to heavy pause squatting after a long flight. In the end I took a short metcon of cleans and dips, inspired by Toni.


  • Back squat 3-3-3-3-3 (across @ 100kg)

Squats are something I always long after if I can't get access to a barbell. I also think a man should be squatting 2-3 times a week to keep the legs strong and improve them. Without squatting that's too difficult. So first session after landing in Finland involved some squats. As I wrote, they were lighter in nature, just triples at 100kg. They caused no problem whatsoever. It felt good to have them and definitely gotta keep 'em in the schedule frequently. Below you'll see most of the sets.

Metcon. Result, 60 reps.

  • 7 min ladder
  • 2-2, 4-4, 6-6… of:
  • Squat clean, 70kg
  • Ring dip

I got this from Toni. It looked good on paper immediately and I put it away in my notes right away. Yesterday in the airplane I had time to think about the following days' programming and this popped in to my eye. Decided to give it a go. My energy levels were not through the ceilings so I took it a little easier than I have potential to. I was a bit careful on those hip flexors too because I didn't want to duplicate the problem that happened in the end of May.

This was anyway a good workout. I liked it a lot. Ring dips are not my favorite movement but they are coming better together nowadays as I've done them quite a number. They are not such scary stuff anymore when I put them as part of a metcon. Squat cleans were moderate weight. I'll clean 110+ kilos on a good day so this weight seemed good for today after practically not touching a bar in a week. It's always different to train with bodyweight and barbells.

It was awesome to get back in action for real. I'll keep working myself towards a better athlete tomorrow. This was a good opener for regular training!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

We-Thu 16-17.7: Beach metcons

Wednesday-Thursday. Beach workout on both days.

Our apartment is right on the beach and it's a tradition to cast the folding chairs and sun umbrella's in place early in the morning. Kind of build up our camp right on the ocean line. For 2 days in a row we have thrown workouts with Kari right after having done our responsibilities. Running and bodyweight movements have taken place.

Wednesday metcon.
  • 10 rounds of:
  • 100m shuttle run at the beach
  • 10 burpees

Great one! We decided to run in the sand, a little variation to a hard ground. We ran so close to the ocean that I was soaking wet as the water splashed all over me. It's a bit more taxing to run in soft sand and also those burpees felt different as legs and hands sunk in to the sand. This was a great wod and it was mind-blowing to take a recovery swim right after!

Thursday metcon.
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 200m shuttle run at the beach
  • 24 lunges
  • 24 push-ups

Same schedule, same guys and same state of mind. Do some work! We doubled the length of the run and changed burpees to lunges and push-ups. Something like a Loredo workout. I was able to keep a steady pace all the way, didn't stop at any point and got everything knocked unbroken.

And right after finishing those five rounds I dived in to the ocean. The nature really offers its best in these surroundings! It's been great to see Kari hit a wokrout for the last 4 days in a row. He's been working hard and it's gonna pay dividends in the future.