Two Long Rounds

This one was perfect for a Monday after two rest days in a row. I just hope my hip flexors don’t end up painfully sore like they did during the previous two weeks on and off.
Tonights workout was two rounds of the following exercises. We did them for a minute each and then wrote down how many reps we did. So I have two scores for each exercise:
Bent-over row, 65 pounds: 15, 12
Dips (unassisted): 15, 11
Hyperextension sit-ups: 23, 19
“Corner twist” : 17, 12
Back hyperextensions: 25, 20
Dumbbell military press (15 lbs): 15, 11
Hanging leg raises: 16, 20 (second round had higher reps ‘cause I lifted my bent knees instead of straight legs up to the bar)
Push-ups: 22, 20
The “corner twist” consisted of a barbell with its low, empty end braced against the corner of the room on the floor and its high end holding a 10-pound disk. You had to grasp the weighted end about waist high and twist your body, arms straight, hoisting the weight over to the other side of your body while the floor corner braced the empty end. Going both ways was one count. For some reason (i.e., I’m a dummy) I could not master the proper grasp for this exercise so on the second round, when Dave wasn’t right there to show me the grip AGAIN, I just fumbled it back and forth.
For the dumbbell military press, we were to alternate arms and count both arms as one.
I had caught a ride from the office to the gym with my friend from work, and she dropped me off on her way home and I walked about a mile the rest of the way. It was a gorgeous, sunny evening, but I quickly realized how tired my legs were. I’ve walked that route a million times and this time my feet were dragging.
I’ve spent the rest of the evening turning over my compost pile and bucket-watering some plants, so I’m really beat now!

Fun Friday

We had a fun workout last night. I probably thought it was fun because it wasn’t a total death-struggle for me. First we did a bunch of sets of front squats. My eventual heaviest lift was 152 pounds for two reps. I did two reps of it as a back squat first, rested, and then did two as a front squat. My max front squat a few months ago was 158 pounds. Last night I felt like I could have done one rep at a higher weight than what I did, but we had another phase to the workout, so hitting the max wasn’t the point.
We went out onto the astroturf in the hangar and did this:
Squat-thrust and long-jump about 40 feet out
20 V-ups
Squat-thrust and long-jump about 40 feet back
10 one-arm thrusters (5 each arm) with a 16-kg kettlebell
Repeat for three rounds.
I like long-jumping, and the front squats had not completely tired out my legs for some reason, so I got through these three rounds pretty fast and enjoyed it.
The week before last I got to the point where my hip-flexors, quads, and hamstrings were all really sore at the same time. I was so sore that every time I stood up from sitting, I couldn’t walk normally. Then we went away for the few days and I missed about a week at the gym and felt a lot better. I went back last week and promptly got just as sore as I’d been. I was so tired of being that sore that I started to wonder what exactly is the point of all this working out. Couldn’t I just ride my bike, watch what I eat, and stay fit enough?
But when we did those heavy and slow exercises on Thursday, the Sotts presses and pull-ups, it really did decrease my soreness as Dave said it would. I wonder why it works that way? Since then I’ve gotten my enthusiasm back.


Last night three of us worked out together and finished almost simultaneously, which made for a really competitive and intense finish. The workout was three rounds of: 15 thrusters (65 pounds for me), 21 wall-ball sit-ups, and row 500 meters. I was able to keep up with the two guys probably because they lifted heavier weight for the thrusters than I did, and if they got a bit ahead of me I caught up with them on the sit-ups.
I was happy because I did the first two rounds of 15 thrusters without breaking the set. On the third round I took one break during the thrusters.
At the end we were all on the rowers and Scott was standing over us calling out who was ahead and telling the others to catch up. I find a third round of rowing 500 to be pretty miserable and I know I wouldn’t have worked nearly as hard at it if Scott wasn’t urging us on to compete with each other. When it comes to discomfort, I lose my faint competitive streak pretty readily. So two of us finished at the same instant and the third guy was only a couple of seconds behind us. I stood up and tried to calmly walk away from the rower to the water cooler, but I quickly decided to lie down flat on my back for a few minutes first! My time for the workout was 14:29.

“Chelsea” revisited

Monday night we revisited “Chelsea.” Five pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air-squats every minute on the minute for 30 minutes. I started out doing unassisted kipping pull-ups and kept this up for the first nine rounds. Somewhere during that time I went, on the push-ups, to five regular and five knee push-ups, because I guess the pull-ups were killing the push-ups. After round 9 I switched to jumping pull-ups and eight knee push-ups. Eventually I had to lower my reps on the squats as well, to 12.
Everybody was happy when this workout was over, and those of us who had done a bunch of unassisted pull-ups had ripped, raw calluses on our hands. I’ve been sore ever since. I went back last night (Wednesday) and we did several sets of Sotts presses alternated with dead-hang pull-ups, then some sets of hanging leg-raises (toes to bar), then 100 kettlebell swings (16 kg for me). Three or four of us had also done “Chelsea” on Monday and last night’s pull-ups and KB swings were really hard on the poor sore hands. My hands look really gross, but I found myself showing them to my coworkers just because of the sheer weirdness of it.

Suffer on Saturday: “Helen”

Three rounds:
Run 400 yards around building
21 kettlebell swings, 16 kg for women, 24 kg for men
12 pull-ups
If you do it in under 10 minutes, you win a sub-10 T-shirt. Tom won his. He shaved 1:04 off of his previous “Helen” and finished this one in 9:44. Four or five other super-fit men got sub-10 also, and they all got their picture taken in their T-shirts. They looked like they should be on a hunks calendar.
I hadn’t done “Helen” before. I had wishful hopes of doing sub-10, but I made it in 10:54—not bad! I’d like to work on improving my running-when-tired speed. My first run is usually decent, but it changes completely after I do something like KB swings, squats, or other runs. Maybe I can slice 55 seconds off by the next time Helen comes around.
Lots of fun today, with so many people working so fast and strongly and cheering for each other. Tom was completing his final pull-ups right in front of me for his sub-10 as I was doing my final KB swings. Dave was next to Tom counting pull-ups and watching the stopwatch. I was trying to count my KB swings while watching Tom, and somebody saw me grinning and hollered, “Fran, focus!” Good advice!