Monday night I almost didn’t go to the gym. I spent all day feeling vaguely crummy and fatigued, and I thought maybe I was about to get a migraine. Went to the gym after all and did Fight Gone Bad for the third time. We paired up to count reps for each other, which made the transitions faster between exercises. I scored my highest, but I used a really light wallball and a lighter deadlift and push-press than last time. I was no less exhausted at the end, because the lighter weights allowed me to burn out on more reps. You can’t win the fight gone bad!
Each time I’ve done that workout I’ve used different weights for all three of the weighted exercises:
Wallball 12 lb, score 61
Pushpress 55 lb, score unknown
HP DL 53-lb kettlebell, score 47
Rowing: (no weights) score 45 (if I remembered correctly)
Box-jumps: (no weights) score unknown
Total workout score: 254
Wallball 20 lb, score 47
Pushpress 75 lb, score 26
DL 75 lb, score 52 (score is higher than on June 27 because we deadlifted without high-pulling)
Rowing: calorie score 23
Box-jumps: score 78
Total workout score: 226
Wallball 6 lb, score 82
Pushpress 65 lb, score 43
HP DL 55 lb, score 48
Rowing: calorie score 31
Box-jumps: score 80
Total workout score: 284
We had a good workout today that I especially enjoyed:
7 handstand push-ups
8 front squats
As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.
For handstand push-ups, we all had to use the wall, and I can’t go very deep and still come up out of it, but going shallow I could do all 7 without stopping. It was a challenge. Same thing for the L-pull-ups (doing a pull-up in an L-sit position). Most of us could not do these neatly, so we stood on a bench under the pull-up bar, jumped and lifted our legs into an L, and lowered ourselves trying to hold the L. This also was challenging but it was fun to experiment and see what combination of jumping, pulling, and leg-lifting resulted in the best form while still being possible for me to do. And for the front squats, I used a 45-kg barbell. I managed just a few squats shy of 6 rounds in 20 minutes.
After all that, we went out onto the astroturf in the hangar and did the following:
1 “chariot race” to the end and back (maybe 50 yards) (This wasn’t nearly as bad as last time because we didn’t have to turn the corner.)
1 medicine ball throw-and-chase to the end and back for speed
1 bear crawl to the end and back
I ended up feeling like I’d worked out my whole body and was tired but not totally beat. I did some gardening later and then I was beat.
Yesterday I biked to work 3 miles; walked down and up 41 stories (voluntarily) as part of a building fire drill; rode in someone’s car up to the gym to work out; biked home 8 miles; and mowed the lawn. I was so tired I hated to stand up long enough to take a shower.
Last night’s workout (the portion at the gym, that is):
100 air squats
30 box jumps
30 KB swings with 24 Kg
30 power cleans
30 wall ball
Run 800 meters (twice around building)
I hope I’m not forgetting anything that was on the list. This took me about 18 minutes. For the run, I came around the first time and saw that Dave was timing me, 2:25, and he told me to try to go faster for the second lap. I said, “Yeah, RIGHT!” but I tried to speed up for the final third of that lap and I did beat my time by 20 seconds for 2:05. That was a surprise.
I got eight hours of sleep, so I feel fine today, but a little sore in the back of the legs.
About our building fire drill at work, the idea was for everyone to walk all the way down to the street in order to get familiar with the stairwells and how long it takes to get all the way down. In a disaster, ideally people would evacuate without waiting around, as soon as they think something’s wrong. The “walkdown” was voluntary but encouraged by our firm.
The safety coordinator sent an all-firm email later saying we had a great turn-out, with one-third of the staff participating. I thought “great turn-out” was completely phony; only one-third agreeing to walk down is clearly a terrible turn-out. Instead she should have said, “We can do better!” and challenged people to make it two-thirds next year. It is hard for me to imagine that just walking DOWN was truly too strenuous for two-thirds of our people to do it. A bit difficult, a little uncomfortable, yes, but even so, I think more people could have done it without injury and should have. I won’t let myself get caught behind these resisters in a real emergency, that’s for sure!
Only three of us chose to walk back up. It took me 6:52 to get downstairs and 8:28 to get back up, walking quickly with no running and no stopping. Some others who found out about this thought we were really out on a limb, really extreme, to do such a thing. Others thought it was a great idea (for us). I know lots of people don’t make exercise a part of their lives, but I think it’s bizarre that people actually made a fuss over walking down and thought we were over the top for wanting to walk up. It seems a lot of people voluntarily act incapable, which is crazy behavior, because it leads to becoming less capable in reality. If you won’t walk down the stairs now, how are you going to save yourself in 15 years when you’re in worse shape and there’s a real emergency?
Last night we had three rounds of:
Row 500 meters
21 thrusters (two 8-kg kettlebells–18 pounds roughly)
The kettlebells didn’t seem heavy, but my legs were killed by the rowing, so I had to break up every set. The pull-ups went very slowly too. I’m not sure which is harder–doing lots of pull-ups, or jumping back up to the bar after jumping down for a rest. Rowing times were 1:55, 2:05, 2:14. My total time for the workout was 15:50.
My time for the workout “Fran,” which consists of 21, 15, 9 reps of 65-pound thrusters and pull-ups (but no rowing) was 7:54. That one is a total of 45 of each of the two drills. Last night’s workout contained 63 not-heavy thrusters and 36 pull-ups–99 total reps. Adding the 9 reps plus the three rowing sets made my time twice as long for last night’s workout compared to “Fran” despite the lighter-weight thrusters.
Today we had a great time with Fight Gone Bad: my second go with this one (my other time was in April), and Tom’s first. I’ve decided to put each named workout into its own category, so they’ll appear on the righthand side of the blog and I can quickly find and compare them.
Today I used a 20-pound wall ball compared to last time’s 12-pound ball; deadlifted 75 pounds vs last time’s 53; and push-pressed 75 pounds vs last time’s 55. In other words, I made three of the five exercises a lot more difficult. My overall total reps were 226 compared to 254 in April. Tom scored 254 today.
I scored a lot higher on rowing for calories in April, almost twice as high. It was because there were only two of us working out, we had the rowers right next to the push-press rack, and Scott was right there to help us get our feet in the rowers for a fast start.
Anyway, it’s a great workout. Tom and I had biked up to the gym, so on top of that we had a 17-mile bike ride round trip. It was sunny and perfect today. We stopped on the way home to dangle our feet off the canoe dock at UW.
I had a rematch with the workout known as “Fran” last night, my first night back at the gym since coming home from Chicago. Last time I did “Fran,” I felt like a complete flop because my pull-ups were so weak and slow. That was the last time I ever used the rubberband for assistance with pull-ups; it seemed to restrict me to dead-hang-style pull-ups that were too tiring, even though the rubberband is supposed to make pull-ups easier. Also I was disappointed with myself because I reduced the weight that time from the prescribed 95 pounds to just the 45-pound bar.
“Fran” consists of 21, 15, and 9 reps of 95-pound thrusters and pull-ups.
Last night I couldn’t remember my weight or my time from the last “Fran.” At Dave’s suggestion I used a weight of 65 pounds for the thrusters. I broke up all sets of both exercises, but in spite of the increased weight I took almost two minutes off of my time, finishing in 7:56 compared to last time’s 9:54. The unassisted, kipping pull-ups went faster than the rubberband ones used to. I broke the pull-ups into three sets of 7, three sets of 5, and three sets of 3. I was really happy with my time and was completely wiped out.
Tom and I went to Chicago on vacation last week and stayed with my sister-in-law up north near the Wisconsin border. While we were there we went twice to work out with Ryan of CrossFit Racine. It was around 90 degrees outside both times. The first time, we warmed up on the front lawn with pattern jumps (as if we weren’t warm enough already). For the workout, we did a bunch of cleans to practice the technique, then when we were nice and tired from that, we ran a mile. My mile time was 7:26. That seems a little fast for me and I can’t help wondering if it was really a full mile! Ryan has measured it, though. The second time we went up to his place we did four sets of 50 air-squats; between sets we did a set of cardio work. For the cardio we did a 400-meter run, rowed 500 meters, rode .67 mile on the stationary bike, and jumped rope for 30 doubles. I finished in 17:21 if I remember right.
Ryan was a generous host and encouraged us to use his backyard swimming pool after the workout, which felt unbelievably good.
Another day, we went into Chicago and rented bikes at Foster Beach on the far north side. We rode down the bike path through Lincoln Park and Grant Park as far south as the Shedd Aquarium. In Lincoln Park we stopped at the rings set-up, one of the stations on the Fit Trail along the jogging path north of Diversey. Tom did a muscle-up while I took pictures. He’s getting smoother at those. He says the transition point (between pulling up and then starting to rise out of the dip position) has suddenly “clicked” and become easier. A few blocks farther south we stopped again at the pull-up bars and tried not to watch a jogger doing pull-ups. He did eight or nine of them from a dead hang, which is great, but we could not help noticing he wasn’t fully extending down before starting his next pull. It’s so hard to perceive that on your own, and I’d do the same thing if I hadn’t had the CrossFit people to harangue me to fully extend. After the jogger left Tom and I did a few sets of 10 pull-ups. I can’t do that many from a dead hang, so instead I wore my grip out and got a blister from kipping, as usual.
Chicago keeps improving and adding to its lakefront bike paths and they’re more of a treat than ever. And they’ve put in new flowerbeds around Belmont Harbor and other places, and added a whole new Millennium Park downtown, which we loved.