Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday 30.11: Shoulder-to-overhead

Sunday. Shoulder press 1-1-1 (max 70kg), push press 3-3-3 (max 80kg), push jerk 5-5-5 (max 80kg). Technique, pause push jerk 3x3 (60kg). Technique, snatch.

It was great to get back in business! After 3 days of laziness (okay, I was sick but anyway) my head was in tilt of not getting any sports done. My system screams for it on a daily basis and I'm definitely not the best of me if I can't get to work on my health and fitness. I started my comeback with classical shoulder strength workout. Plus then worked on some technical issues.


  • Shoulder press 1-1-1 (60, 65, 70kg)
  • Push press 3-3-3 (70, 75, 80kg)
  • Push jerk 5-5-5 (70, 75, 80kg)
  • Pause push jerk 3-3-3 (60, 60, 60kg)
  • Technique, snatch with all variations
Yesterday was Pauliina's graduation party. We had some friends and family at our house to celebrate this woman's long journey in the university. I'm very proud of how she managed to warp it up with good grades, job very well done! Pauliina and her mother had put some fancy stuff on the table and me and Kari went to pick up 2 christmas trees for their house in Klaukkala. It's November and they already have the yard full of christmas stuff, awesome! =)

I had planned on the weights way before I touched on the barbell. Definitely wasn't shooting to max the load after two days of not feeling the best of me. Had to stay away from work on Thursday and Friday, then on Saturday I was feeling okay again. Wanted to go for a little jog in the woods but my better half prevented me not to. Good call baby, thanks for that. Shoulder press today felt good, haven't done those in ages, and I guess I've done 70kg presses maybe 3 times in my life. So considering that it felt great!

Push press was also consistent with all weights thrown around. It felt like the bar was in my control all the way. I was able to go touch'n'go u to 75kg but then at 80kg had to stop it in the front rack position after each rep.

On the push jerk 70kg bar was light. Felt like I could have continued forever. That was a positive signal and boosted my confidence levels. Next set was at 75kg. Bar was tolerable, definitely not too heavy, was able to move it t'n'g style also this time. On the 4th rep I lost balance on the bar a little, it kinda fell back a little so I had to save it and finish the last rep.

At the 80kg bar it felt a little wobbly on some reps. It tends to get a little more shaky at heavier weights and feels like mobility holds me back a little, especially on push jerk. When I split jerk this kind of weights, I feel steady and stable in overhead position. But having my feet rather close together and hands overhead there's something in upper back that restricts the perfect motion.


Afterwards I took couple of sets pause push jerk at 60kg just to work on the "getting under barbell" part faster. This was success. Plus lots of snatch related technique work with empty barbell.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Friday 29.11: Rest day

Friday. Rest day

Had to take it easy today as well. My throat was not feeling great so it was another day off for me. I'll just recover and take care of this body that is rarely sick. Take a look at couple of cool videos. First Julie Foucher hitting a heavy Amanda and then the classic between Froning and Panchik on "Nasty Girls V2". That finish was epic. This is from 2014 Central East Regionals.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday 27.11: Rest day

Thursday. Rest day.

Feeling a bit of a sore throat. Pauliina took the first hit and now I got it too. Slight flu but no fever. I'll fight this through in no time and get back to action. Being sick is not something I'll tolerate. In the meanwhile, take a look at some videos.

How smooth is his movement

Coach talking about early arm pull. That includes me too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday 26.11: Clean and jerk, Clean, Pull-ups, Box

Wednesday. Barbell, clean and jerk, mostly singles (max 95kg). Couple of cleans (max 100kg). Metcon, 11rds of: 4 hang power clean, 8 pull-up, 12 box. Time, 14.27.

Wednesday's seem to be the days when I go to work a little later than normally. There's a good time slot to hit a morning workout. I packed my gym bag and took off 9.15 in the morning. That's good time for me, not too early because I wouldn't that sharp an hour or two earlier. There was a time when I used to do my training at 7.00 but now that seems impossible =) That time there were no options as I had my floorball practice with the team in the evening. Nowadays I prefer to sleep. Agenda for today was overhead strength and metcon.

Final time 14.27 on the metcon. It took me couple of seconds to push the timer off

  • Clean and jerk 5x40, 3x50, 3x60, 1x70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 75, 80kg
  • Clean 1x90, 95, 100kg
This was great, it was awesome feeling to have the barbell overhead with heavy weights on. I'm not saying this was a perfect session but I felt like I'm back in the game. It's been rare to push / jerk the barbell overhead because of this minor injury but today there was some light on the issue. Started with easy weights, just getting accustomed to the barbell and the movement.

After 60kg I took only singles, there was no max lifts in sight at any point, that was not the purpose of this day. However, I was looking to building up to heavy lifts. Most cleans were technically sound and similar, some of them were a bit off but I'm happy with them. On the jerks my front leg seems to work with lighter weights but when heavier loads come in to play front foot is not going forward enough. That means I'm not dropping below the bar enough which makes it more challenging. Better technique would result in heavier kilos obviously. That has a tremendous effect.

Recap of barbell work

Metcon. Time, 14.27
  • 11 rounds of:
  • 4 hang power clean, 60kg
  • 8 pull-up
  • 12 box
This was created on the spot. The only thing I came up was doing couple of pull-ups, everything else was imagination. Somehow cleans ended up partnering up with pull-ups so there were 2 different pull movements. Had to get a friend for these guys and box jumps felt a superb idea. And it actually was. There was some walking between stations. Barbell was about 10m away from pull-up and box stations. It was actually good recovery between movements. Don't know if it would have fastened things up if they had been closer together but this was the way the set up was created.

This was supposed to be a 10-rounder but I messed up with the timer and after the workout it stated there were 11 rounds instead =) Round times were astonishingly similar. It was basically 1:30-1:35 all the time. First 2 rounds were faster as well as the last round which was about 1:10. This was a good metcon for sure. Everything was done unbroken. Nothing too taxing, not too light. Just kept going and pushing through with steady pace.

There are some serious lifts from these guys!

Tuesday 25.11: Air Force

Tuesday. Benchmark workout Air Force.  Time, 9.48.

Today I had time to hang out at the gym for just a little while because we were heading to a dinner and theater afterwards with a bunch of colleagues, Toni including. We were both planning to hit a workout but unfortunately he missed the session. I decided to go for a classic, Air Force. I'll write more about it later. Now I have some issues with internet connection. To be short: it was brutal!

Mobility getting better!

Air Force. Time, 9.48. Compare to 30.8.2013
  • 20 thrusters
  • 20 sumo deadlift high pull
  • 20 push press
  • 20 overhead squat
  • 20 front squat
  • On top of every min, complete 4 burpees
  • Barbell at 42.5kg / 95lbs
Okay, internet connection is back and I'll try to re-live the feelings of yesterday's workout. That was some nasty shit. Toni did this one this Wednesday too and thought it was horrible. I've never done this rx'd. Once as individual February 2013, that time I did it as written except for the overhead squats which I didn't do at all. And one year ago in August as a partner workout with Toni. But that was way lighter as pair wod.

The point of this workout is to crawl in to that dark place and fight through the emotions. Just think about a happy place and grind through. There are 4 burpees on top of every minute which brings this to another level. You throw that 4 burpee element to any workout and it's a different game.

I got the thrusters done in the first minute and it was time to thrown chest to deck immediately after that.  I was happy for not having to pick it up anymore for 1-2 reps. That would have been a turn off. This was probably first time doing sumo deadlift high pulls in 2 years or so. I honestly don't remember having done them except for the Air Force workouts last year of course. This was the first time this movement felt natural. It was so awkward in the beginning of my crossfit training. I got these done in maybe 14-6, that means to say I had to do burpees between those sets.

I remembered these were supposed to be done as push presses so I didn't jerk the bar. Just today, one day after the workout, Toni revealed the true nature of that shoulder-to-overhead standard. I was desiring to push jerk it but stuck to push presses as I thought that was the rx'd version. Don't remember how many reps per set but I recall doing them in 2 sets. I guess.

Overhead squats… This was easily the most challenging element for me, hands down! I took 'em in sets of 3-5 reps. Then I had to drop the bar down, reset, complete the punishment burpees, raise my head again and start working. On the first minute of ohs I power snatched the bar, from then on I took it clean and jerked it on my back rack from where I jerked it overhead for the squat. Now as I write it down it sounds kind of irrational but at the moment power snatch didn't feel like a good idea. On the first set of ohs I didn't have much positive thoughts concerning this benchmark workout but after 2-3 sets I got my hope back.

After the last set of ohs I had time to complete couple of front squats before the last burpees. Those few reps were crucial because I decided to mentally push through the pain and burn in my legs no matter what. The burn in my quads was enormous after completing the last 14 front squats in the last minute. Finally the clock stopped at 9.48, and I was happy again =)

I was hoping to catch the entire workout on tape but unfortunately I forgot to empty some old videos there so memory card got full of old training clips. Here are the first 2 minutes of it, thrusters, burpees and some sdhp.

Start of Air Force

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday 24.11: Front squat, Ohs, Row

Monday. Front squats 5's (max 115kg). Ohs singles (max 70kg). Metcon, row intervals, for a total of 3.600m.

My calendar said it was time to squat. Back squat 5's with semi heavy weights. In my car on my way to the gym I had the ultimate desire to do front squats. I couldn't overcome it so front squats it was. After having done my squats I decided to take couple of overhead squats. My strategy is to hit snatches, snatch balances, overhead squats and snatch grip push presses / jerks more often. Just to get used to the mechanics and bar paths. After bar play I stole a workout from Joni who just finished the row interval workout earlier today.

  • Front squat, 3x80, 95, 105kg, 5x115, 110, 110, 110kg
  • Overhead squats 2x40, 1x50, 1x60, 1x70kg
It's been freaking long since front squatting last time. Smolov made me back squat on high intensity and there was no room for front squats. Now my wrists have been bothering me for about 3 weeks and it's not totally over on the right wrist. Left one is totally fine. Right one is still sore in certain positions.

Hand didn't feel the best on front squats today. Maybe back rack would have been a better call. But it was fun as hell to have some good old school load on front rack and then hit it all the way to the floor and back. Had no idea hoe the weights would turn out. First sets were light, then I realized at 115kg that it made my hand a bit sore. Plus it was quite heavy stuff. So I dropped 5kg and it felt much better in every part of my body. And it turned out to be heavy after all.

As I wrote earlier, if I'll take some forms of snatch more often, it has to convert to squat snatch too. The weights were feather light all the way to 70kg. It didn't feel heavy at all in my legs, core nor shoulders. I felt much more confident with the weight than before. My hand just didn't feel good in the twisted position so I stopped at 70kg. I took one missed rep at that weight but it was a lack of concentration. No biggie, repeated it and took a successful one.

Recap of squats

Row intervals. Result, 3.604m / 278 cal
  • 1 min row
  • 60 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 50 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 40 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 30 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 20 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 10 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 20 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 30 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 40 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 50 sec rest
  • 1 min row
  • 60 sec rest
  • 1 min row
This gem was from Joni. It might have been from his old crossfit affiliate from CF Basement, Helsinki. Had to think about this one for a minute before taking the first stroke. There were so long breaks in the first about 3 intervals that I decided to give it a go in the beginning. The first sets my pace was sub 1.40/500m, something like 1.36-1.38.

After there was only 30 seconds recovery period I changed dropped it to around 1.40 or a 1.42, somewhere around these figures. Those middle rounds were miserable ones as the recovery was so short, 10-20 seconds between 1min rowings. I didn't try to hold on to the pace so it got to somewhere around 1.48 for those 3 most challenging rounds. Then it helped a little as the recovery came back to 30-40 seconds. That had a direct effect on my rowing pace and I was able to make it up again at around 1.40. Last 2 rounds were again sub 1.40 pace. Great workout! There was a total of 12 x 1min rowing intervals with changing recovery periods.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday 23.11: Cleans, Snatches, Burpees

Sunday. Emom, 1 hang squat clean + 1 squat clean. Start at 80, add 2.5kg per min. Result (100kg). Metcon, 17min amrap of: burpees and snatches. Result, 150 reps.

Now this was a good day. Back on track! I took on cleans for barbell work, always a sure bet. I love the movement. You need to be fast to get them going. Well I'm not that fast but it felt great to get under the barbell with heavy load. I had plenty of options for metcon, all kinds of benchmark workouts came to my mind yesterday evening. Finally I ended up doing 2013 open workout of snatches and burpees, modified so that I could keep up the intensity all the way. Great workout!

  • Every minute on the minute
  • 1 hang squat clean + 1 squat clean from ground
  • Start at 80, add 2.5kg per minute
  • Go for as long as possible
  • Result, 100kg
This was exactly what I needed. Complex style work with cleans. It was allowed to drop the barbell, no need to do them touch'n'go style. Actually mostly they were singles. The loads were rather big for me so t'n'g was out of question. I had hoped for reaching 100kg which is somewhat a benchmark weight for me from hang position. No prob if taken from floor but hang is a different game. Plus the intensity got higher because of short recovery time.

I took warm-up sets at 40-60-70kg before starting the workout. Felt great all the way! One rep at a time.  The reps were short and quick naturally as they were singles but I took some time between the hang and floor position snatches so it was probably something like 30 seconds that it allowed me to change weights and recover. Towards the end it got shorter and shorter. I was just able to nail 100kg in the time frame.

As I look at the reps on video afterwards, the reps regardless of the weight look pretty similar to my eye. I ain't a professional so there might be a lot of variance but to me they look like a solid effort. I'd like to see my lifts look consistent, no matter if it's warm-up or PR attempt.

1 hang clean + 1 clean

The bar got high enough for me to catch it in high position and then travel it down to deep squat. This kind of squat is what I'm looking for in the snatch too. My mobility now allows me to front squat and back squat as low as I could possibly get physically but overhead squat / squat snatch is still shallow. There's only one option: to fix it. I'm very happy on today's lifts, no doubt about it.

Metcon. Result, 150 reps
  • 17 min amrap of:
  • 40 burpee
  • 30 snatch, 40kg
  • 30 burpee
  • 30 snatch, 50kg
  • 20 burpee
  • As many reps as possible in the remaining time of snatch, 60kg
This was a journey back to 2013 CF Open. The first workout that year was 17min amrap of: snatches and burpees, the difference was on the weights. That year the first set of snatches was 35kg and the second 60kg. That day I nailed my Personal Record on snatch about one and a half years ago, to 60kg. Same happened with my training partner Toni.

Still, my snatch is not on a huge level so knocking 30 light snatches (35kg) and then struggle with 60kg snatches for the remaining time was not something I was looking for. I wanted more intensity so that's the reason behind this decision on weights. If 60kg would be lighter for me, this workout would have rocked as rx'd.

It started with 40 burpees, always a pleasure in a workout =) I took my time with these, did them in 20-10-10 with just short breathing before hitting chest to deck again. I learned my lesson from yesterday's Fran of not running through the gates at 3-2-1-go. Burpees started to feel in my shoulders. They were warm to say the least.

Breathing was under control at this point because it was the first element, 40 reps done. There was 40kg bar waiting to be lifted. 30 snatches @ 40kg. Took 'em in sets of 6 reps, total of 5 sets. Had no idea how this would turn out but at the first sets I decided to go be feeling. Took 6 reps and thought this might be okay set. Didn't wanna make a stupidities by gassing too much. I believe these reps were perfectly fine for me at this weight.

After snatches had been done it was time for more burpees. By the way, I guess these were done on a 15cm target above the athlete's max height when he has his arms straight overhead. Today I did regular burpees anyway. That brought me enough intensity anyway. I did the set of 30 burpees in 20-10 reps, inhaling couple of times between sets. It didn't help so I figured going down again.

At this point I changed the plates on the bar and started lifting 50kg snatches. My shoulders were a bit afraid how that bar would feel like as they were getting fatigued. After first snatch I realized there's no need to stress about. It was definitely heavier than the 40kg bar but totally manageable. I had no misses at any point of the workout. The sets were 5 in the beginning, then a 4, and triples all the way from there on.

I felt like a winner after having completed all the snatches. Secretly I had wanted to finish them and I would have been pleased. Hadn't calculated how far I would be able to go but mentally I just wanted to get these done. There were still some tens of seconds to go so I started moving up and down on the burpees, 20 reps was ahead. At this point I must say they were not pleasant stuff but there was only one thing to do, move the body. After getting the final rep done there was 10 seconds left in the clock. Next station would have been 60kg snatches and I still had 50kg on the bar so no way I could have changed the loading.

Recap of metcon

This was an awesome metcon and a training day in general. Couldn't be more satisfied on my crossfit needs. Below you'll find out how Fran is done Games Athlete style =)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday 22.11: Squats, Snatch, Fran

Saturday. Squats (max 135kg). Snatch (max 45kg). Bechmark workout Fran, time 4.20.

This was one of those days when nothing seems to go my way. Shortly put, squats felt heavy, snatches felt a little off and Fran took all my energy and I simply sucked at it. Yesterday was rest day so I had a bit higher hopes for making success today but that wasn't the case. After sinking in this misery for a moment I drove home and thought about things. After all, I'm very happy on the level of fitness I've been able to create in the past 2 years. Can't let a shitty training day ruin that fact.

  • Back squat, 3x90, 105, 120, 2x135, 5x130kg
  • Squat snatch, 3x30, 40, 45kg
To be honest I was looking to hit 5x5 at 135kg in the end after warming up. Don't know why but my body wasn't warm at any point even though warm-up was more than enough. First set of 135kg was brutally heavy and I only took 2 reps, then racked it as I reckoned it's too much to handle for a 5. Dropped down just 5kg and finished 5 reps. I could have continued with that weight further on but the feeling was weird. I felt weak.

Decided to work on squat snatches for a while. Just light weight, taking one rep at a time, between 30-45kg. My timing on catching the barbell was a little off. I'd like to see me catch the bar on my way down, and then hitting rock bottom squat position just like in squat clean where it feels very natural. There was something I liked in the reps though. I'm gonna make it work in the long run.

Fran. Time, 4.20
  • 21-15-19
  • Thruster, 42.5kg
  • Pull-up
I took this on the spur of the moment. This lady is one I'll try to avoid =) It makes my lungs burn so much afterwards it makes me sick already on the thought. Now after having done this about 7 hours ago, I'm still coughing and sneezing constantly and it feels like I'm gonna get sick. I ain't but that's always the feeling after Fran. It really tests the entire system in my body.

This time I probably started off too hastily. I should have kept a longer pause after thrusters. The wall hit me way too early. Last times I remember going unbroken on thrusters every round and then cutting it maybe in 2 sets on the round of 15's and something similar in the last round. Going too fast in the beginning brought a stop that was difficult to overcome. Gotta have better tactic on benchmarks. Thrusters must be unbroken because you lose too much time in picking up the barbell. Preferably pull-ups also ub if possible. If you gotta break something up, it had better be pull-ups. It's faster to get back on the pull-up bar.

I had to break the thrusters up on the round of 15's (9-6 reps). On pull-ups I came down at 15 reps on the first round. Should never happen. That's nothing. On the second round it was even more difficult. I thought about making it 5-5-5 but couldn't nail that. Anyway, it was a battle all the way and I'm happy I got through this one. Next time I'll plan my rest periods better in order to being able to go unbroken on the sets.

Friday 21.11: Active recovery

Friday. Active recovery.

Pre-Christmas party at work, what a blast! There's a total of 50 people at our sales unit, out of about 45 were present at the party, huge hit rate and it was a great time from the first minute. This was a rest day for me crossfit-wise.

We went to play "elephant football" after work. That means a sport which resembles soccer but is played with a huge gym ball, not with a regular football. That means to say there's not that much skills involved as you can't control the ball that well. Basic thing is that you somehow try to convey the ball to the other side of the field and score a goal. Today was the first day of real snow in Finland and the weather was pretty interesting. That made the sport even more awesome in my opinion. One of my coaches used to say back in the days that "there are no bad weather, there is just bad clothing". Word.

After football we headed back to work for party premises for sauna and dinner. We also have table tennis arena with two tables that were running full throttle for several hours. We played a tournament and there was probably someone playing throughout the evening. Food was good, company was great and everyone seemed to have a blast. Great success!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday 20.11: Shoulder-to-overhead

Thursday. S2O, triples (max 90kg). Metcon, 3rds of: 2min amrap of push press (60kg), 2min rest. Result, 57 reps.

Earlier this week I felt like it would be time for a day off. However, today I felt actually great in my body, and my legs had also recovered well. It's like my legs have been put to a real test. They are taking a hit on a daily basis so it's been tough times for them. Now I feel great and it was a session focusing primarily on shoulder strength.

  • 40kg: 3 shoulder press, 3 push press, 3 push jerk, 3 push jerk behind the neck
  • 50kg: 3 shoulder press, 3 push press, 3 push jerk, 3 push jerk behind the neck
  • 60kg: 3 push press, 3 push jerk
  • 70kg: 3 push press, 3 push jerk
  • 75kg: 3 push press, 3 push jerk
  • 80kg: 3 push press
  • 85kg: 3 split jerk
  • 90kg: 3 split jerk
My intention was to build it up to a heavy triple. There were a lot of eagerness in the beginning so I did some complex stuff. Different styles of getting the bar from rack position to overhead. Mostly from front rack but some behind the neck (btn) too. Gradually I built it up to 90kg for a split jerk triple.

It's freaking awesome to being able to do things again without having to think about them too much. There's no pain in my wrist but I'm not going to try hspu's and push-ups just yet. Their time will come still. Lightest weights went up as shoulder presses too, that was one heck of a complex pushing / jerking the barbell up several times in a row.

At 60kg I dropped shoulder press and behind the neck jerks from my workouts. Decided it's gonna be more efficient this way. It's quite common for me to find it a little shaky on the heavier push jerks. Today my focus was on getting below to really move faster. Don't know how that turned out though =)


Metcon. Result, 57 reps
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 2 min amrap of push press, 60kg
  • 2min rest
This is great. I've done this similar way before just to work on muscle-endurance. This is stolen from the Champ himself. I'm happy I once saw the workout. This time m shoulders were not in perfect condition towards the end tof 3 of all lifts started to feel heavy. There was not doubt at any given moment of the workout whether I would complete the reps or not.

My result was probably something like 23 - 18 - 16. So from the first round it dropped each round but I was more interested in burning my shoulders, having good intensity and enjoying my time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday 19.11: Snatch Balance, Pull-ups, Ohs, Run

Wednesday. Barbell, snatch balance (max 60kg). Metcon, 3rds of: 15 pull-ups, 10 ohs (40kg), 400m run. Time, about 10.20

Evening at work and morning at gym. That was the game plan for today. I felt the urge to get my hands on snatch balance. That was spectacular. I had no rush at all, just kept working on my technique on snatch balance. My metcon was supposed to be something else but it felt like a great idea to do overhead squats as a continuance to snatch balance.

  • Snatch balance, sets of 1-3 reps at 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 60, 60, 60, 60
I really think this might be the key to success on snatch. Coach Burgener seems to think that way too. I got to step up my game with the snatch. 10-year old kids lift more on snatch than I do. I'll add snatch balance to my warm-ups to some extent and olympic lifts must be a regular thing in my programming. I've neglected snatches in all forms for way too long. My mobility has neither been on a level where I could do squat snatches so that has had its effect. Now that shouldn't be that big of a prob anymore. It has to get better still but it's already taken huge steps forward.

This time I took couple of snatch grip presses / jerks, then mostly triples of snatch balance. Focusing on trying to find the correct path down in the hole. Plus I focused on getting below parallel. It was good job when I held the bar back enough. At times I was probably too nervous and pushed the barbell in front a little which created problems in stabilizing the bar overhead in the squat position.

All in all, I'm very satisfied to this practice. I've never probably gotten an accepted rep on snatch balance. And the heaviest no-repped attempt has been at 50kg. Why they have not been okay reps is the depth on squat. This time that was good in majority of the reps, some definitely stayed above parallel though.


Metcon. Time, about 10.20
  • 3 rounds of:
  • 15 pull-up
  • 10 overhead squat, 40kg
  • 400m run
This was fun in its own way. There's been tons of pull-ups lately. Actually there's been about 400-500 this month and about the same amount on the last weeks of October. Okay, I promised myself I'll put them back to where they belong but it's also because there have been restrictions on things I've been able to perform.

Anyway, I love pushing through those pull-ups on a regular basis. Plus it was cool to do overhead squats. Because there was running included I had my nano's on. Still, it felt natural to complete those ohs reps below parallel without having mobility issues. This means to say something positive has happened after squatting my ass off on the Smolov program. Hip mobility has improved a lot and some good things have happened on the shoulder / back section too.

I didn't rush with this workout. It was more like to just grind the reps in the books. Go unbroken on pull-ups and overhead squats. I didn't time this so precisely but on the video I count it was approximately 10.20. Good moving around in general. I liked this session!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday 18.11: Squats, Cleans

Tuesday. Strength, back squat (max 135kg). Clean triples (max 95kg).

Back to squatting. There were some questions in the air as my ass was sore and hamstrings were tight. All because of Sunday's metcon of wall balls and lunges. I took some extra doze of magnesium yesterday to recover and foam rolled my legs enough to get back in action this Tuesday. This time I left metcons alone and concentrated in barbell work.

  • Back squat 3x100, 3x112.5, 4x127.5, 4x135, 3x135, 3x135, 4x130kg
  • Squat clean triples (40, 60, 70, 80, 90, 95kg)
These squats were a bit on the heavy side for today's shape. Having sore legs in the first place wasn't probably the most ideal situation to go squatting. I was looking to fight for 5's with 135kg in the end but damned that barbell was heavy at 135kg. I was able to go for 4-3-3 reps with that weight. 

On the last set I decided to take one step down to finish strong. And it sure was, that was light as a feather. Well, maybe a little exaggerated but you get the point. There was some psychological element involved by dropping down 5kg. The weight felt like it was 120kg.

Next focus was on squat cleans. Yesterday I took some power cleans in the metcon but squat cleans are a totally different ball game. Wrist must be in a little more flexed position so I wanted to see how it feels like. It's been okay yesterday and today so I was confident of hitting couple of cleans. I took couple of triples, building up to moderate heavy weights.

Those cleans felt awesome all the way, no pain at all! I was super stoked over this. My legs were spaghetti but the cleans were light for me. I'm definitely trying to take it easy on the wrists but still I want to start handling the barbell quickly. Let's see how much patience I really have.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday 17.11: Push jerk, Clean, Pull-ups, Du's

Monday. Barbell, 7x3 push jerk (max 70kg). Metcon, 6rds of: 5 power clean (60kg), 20 du's, 10 pull-ups, 20 du's. Time, 12.22

God damn my legs hurt. Don't remember when they were this sore. Squat days don't make that kind of effect anymore as I squat that often. But yesterday's combo of wall balls and lunges was brutal. On the bright side my wrist felt okay this morning so I took a shot and went after push jerks and then cleans in the metcon. Great stuff!

Barbell. Light technique work
  • Push jerk 3-3-3-3-3-3-3 (50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 65, 60kg)
I was so eager to go heavy with the barbell. I took the first reps very carefully but my hand allowed me to go further. I had the wrist wraps as tight as they could be to give a proper protection. Thought it would be smart to stay light in the beginning as this was the first time putting bar overhead in two weeks. Okay, last Friday we did light work with Toni as a pair workout. Other than that this was the comeback workout for overhead strength.

I loved every second of this. I've been longing this a lot. It was very difficult to stay light as it felt like the bar was moving under my command pretty well. Towards the end I was more and more thinking about dropping faster under the barbell.

Push jerks

Metcon. Time 12.22
  • 6 rounds of:
  • 5 power clean, 60kg
  • 20 double unders
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 20 double unders
Another element that has been missing from my metcons lately: cleans. Freaking awesome to getting them back! It's funny how the barbell got heavier after working a lot with only bodyweight lately. Even though I've had metcons all the time and the intensity has been at a good level but barbells in metcons are a great thing to add on a steady basis.

Today my body was way too smashed on the legs which resulted pretty much everything feeling heavy. So my performance in this workout wasn't ideal on any of the movements. Cleans felt heavy, I had misses on double unders and pull-ups had to be broken after probably 3 rounds. Time on this workout was not on the essence, just needed to work through the reps.

That doesn't bother me that much. Main thing was that my wrist felt better and I was able to do cleans and jerks. Hopefully this is a turn to better and I can keep these in the program in the future.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday 16.11: Wall balls and Lunges

Sunday. Metcon, 50-40-30-20-10 of: wall ball (9kg), walking lunges. Time, 12.57.

I had planned to go for some overhead strength action at the gym in the early afternoon. However, the weather was perfect for outdoor training. Sun was shining, it was crispy as it should be at this time of the year and it was all dry outside. I wore some long sleeves and took my wall ball with me and then we headed to a nearby place where there are good surroundings for metcons.

Metcon. Time 12.57

  • 50-40-30-20-10 of:
  • Wall ball shots, 9kg
  • Walking lunges

I was open-minded for the workout. Only thing that was in my mind was wall ball. Yesterday it was weight vest time, and today wall balls. Had to turn to Pauliina and discuss what would be a good element in her opinion to accompany wall ball shots.

After throwing ideas for a while it formed to walking lunges and the rep scheme was brutal for me. Thanks Pauliina for this great workout! A total of 150 reps of wall balls and lunges in a descending ladder, coming down 10 reps after each set, starting at 50 reps.

Probably not a surprise to anyone that when you do Karen with this kind of a twist, legs are gonna take a big hit. We went there at noon and now at 6 in the evening I can still feel the burn in my thighs. Wall ball seems to be a perfect movement in all possible ways. Usually my shoulders bail on me earlier but today legs were screaming too. Normally my legs can take the burn well. The combination of these two made it more miserable for lower body too.

I got the wb's done on 32-18 in the first round. Second set was most likely 15-15-10. I'd suppose the round of 30's was 15-15. Set of 20 was done in two sets 10-10 and the last one unbroken. I felt the need to cut these sets because muscles were getting fatigued.

The parking lot was 14 steps wide when completed as walking lunges so I went back and forth for that distance. Basically it was about 2 times each way on the first round. Those turns were the times when I got to let my legs recover and get the tension off. Smaller sets (30-20-10) could be done in one back-and-forth set.

At least for me lunges make legs burn a lot. Usually in metcons there are quite a number of them at a time. Changing it directly to wall ball shots was not easy on legs. Had to shake them a little before grabbing the ball.

This was a great workout that could be completed outdoors. I enjoyed it tremendously, quality family time. I was able to workout and Pauliina likes to work with the camera =) Couldn't be better

Saturday 15.11: Row, Box, Burpees with weight vest

Saturday. Metcon, 20min amrap of: 500m row, 10 box, 10 burpee. Wear a weighted vest (9kg) throughout the workout. Result, 5rds + 200m row.

Quality time with my fiancé. We didn't have any planned action to go for this weekend so we utilized the opportunity to sleep late, eat a humongous breakfast of healthy smoothie and californian style omelette with spinach, turkey and avocados. Then we headed to "Jumbo" mall for some shopping, and Pauliina ended up finding the wedding ring of her dreams, great! In the evening we drove to the gym for another throwdown.

Metcon. Result, 5 rounds + 200m row

  • 20 min amrap of:
  • 500m row
  • 10 box
  • 10 burpee
  • Wear weighted vest (9kg) throughout the workout

Yesterday we had a great pair workout with Toni and it really feels in my body. Don't know it it was the push press or ring push-ups or the combination of them and high rep pull-ups but my shoulders and triceps are killing me. It feels great! I've been longing to have a barbell up overhead and yesterday I finally got to do it. I'm resting from squats so I really had no plans for today. At some point I thought about throwing wall ball outdoors but then we headed to the gym anyway.

I decided to get my weight vest with me after a long break of training with it. Smooth move, I liked it a lot. Brutal stuff, it makes training more harsh. I've got it from Pauliina about 2 years ago, love her! This was the first time it was on me while rowing or jumping on a box. Burpees are familiar with this equipment on.

What I had in mind was a longer metcon. I basically wanted to breath heavy and keep moving for a while, building engine. Rowing was somehow a little different with a vest. Breathing was more burdensome than normally. It was like my lungs weighed more. Or something, hard to describe.

Anyway, I got the machine moving pretty well after all. It was about 1:45 pace for 500m in most of the sets. Towards the end it was closer to 1:50 but it never went over that. This was by far the most challenging part of the workout. There was a total of 2.7km of rowing.

Box jumps were completed on the same height as regular jumps. With a vest on I decided to step down after each rep to prevent too hard impact on lower body. I kept moving on constantly which means to say I didn't rest or recover at any point, but jumped right up after stepping down.

Burpees are always a pleasure. No matter whether you have a vest or not. I wanted to have those because I know they make me breath heavily and get the adrenaline up. Luckily though, there were just 10 reps of them. The vest started to unravel on burpees as it was swinging back and forth as I dropped down chest to floor.

This combo of movements was exactly what I was looking for. After finishing the last 200m on the rower, I was definitely done and over this one! Good heavy breather as was the objective of this one.

I'm having high hopes of being able to push the barbell overhead somehow. Let's see how that turns out tomorrow.