CrossFitters on Tour

I was doing my O-lifting workout by myself yesterday at about 3:15 when some guys walked into the gym. They were in town from Texas for a conference. Two of them, Josh and Michael, said they were CrossFitters from Dallas and had never been in a CrossFit gym before–they work out on their own in a mainstream gym. It was fun to see them so excited about being in the gym–“Wow! A real CrossFit gym! This is so great!” They had been working on their kipping pull-ups, so I was able to help a bit with that. The other guys, the non-CrossFitters, watched and critiqued their kips.

We had the very common conversation about why CrossFitters do kipping pull-ups instead of strict ones. My explanation, which I think they already knew but hadn’t had the opportunity to talk about with other people, was that kipping is both easier and harder than dead-hang because it requires so much more of the body. You can crank out more pull-ups faster because you’re generating more power, but you end up exhausted all over for the same reason! And that’s good. We want to work as many systems at one time as we can in the workouts.

I was so glad I was there when the guys came by because who knows if they would have had another chance to stop in.

Crazy Eights

Tom and I took my kettlebells to Jason’s (a friend from my ex-job) kung fu school to show him some kettlebell moves that he was interested in, and to work out, CrossFit style of course.

8 kettlebell snatches per side
8 push-ups
8 kettlebell front squats
8-second handstand

8 rounds for time
Tom: 24-kg kettlebell, 17:06
Fran: 16-kg kettlebell, 15:15
Jason: 12-kg kettlebell, 15:00 (he undoubtedly could have used 16 kg.)

Barbell training weekend

I just added a page of notes that I took at Mark Rippetoe’s CrossFit barbell certification course. It’s listed under Pages on the left.

Today’s workout at CrossFit Seattle, with Tim, was:
Run 400 meters
Tabata mash-up (alternating burpees and sit-ups) for 8 rounds
Run 400 meters

I did a total of 125 burpees and sit-ups, much fewer than the guys I worked out with. But my second run was three seconds faster than my first one. I tore around the second corner and made up my mind to pass someone, which I did in the middle of that block, and then felt like I was going to die as I became more desperate to stay ahead of him. My two run times were 1:30 and 1:27.

21-15-9 up one side and down the other

Run 400 m
21 thrusters (I used 25-lb. dumbbells)
9 burpees
Run 400
15 thrusters
9 burpees
Run 400
9 thrusters
21 burpees

Time: 14:25

Afterward we did a few small sets of weighted pull-ups. I did three with a 8-kg kettlebell on a belt/harness, then three sets of three with a 10-lb dumbbell held between my ankles.

Then Erika and I worked on barbell presses, doing sets of 5 until they got heavy (around 30 KG), then doing sets of two. I eventually got up to a new PR of 39 kg for three singles.

Kettlebell class

Last Thursday was our second class meeting of the 12 sessions. I have 11 people in the class and all but one are women. At least three class members have done some CrossFit. Our one male has been a CrossFitter for the better part of a year and he wanted to brush up his form on the kettlebell exercises. He gets just as good a workout as the beginners by using heavier kettlebells and moving faster.

Some of the women have said they took the class feeling skeptical that they’d be able to do the exercises. It shows nerve and motivation to show up feeling that way! I should ask them before I make this statement, but I think it’s fair to say that in two sessions they have already worked out harder than they thought they could, and learned some new exercises that they might have doubted they could do as beginners. Taking a class is great for both of those elements because (1) most people work harder while being instructed and watched than you might on your own, and (2) the exercises are not technically difficult when taught safely and clearly; what’s difficult is doing the workout that is put together with them.

Last Thursday the class finished the workout 15 minutes early, and instead of wanting to leave right away, people wanted to try out the pull-up bars and the rubberbands and rings that are attached to them. They learned how to do three kinds of assisted pull-ups: jumping pull-ups, rubberband pull-ups, and ring-rows. Would you like to learn these along with kettlebell exercises you can do on your own? Email me – fran at fitnotes . net

Exercising while pregnant? Take a look at this

Yoana Snideman, RKC performing the RKC snatch test with 16 kg eight days before the birth of her daughter.

Look at the January 25 entry for a peek at her post-delivery shape – wow!

Yoana was on staff last June at the RKC event I attended. She was an impressive kettlebell athlete then at 10 weeks pregnant. Her husband Franz was the team leader for my team so they both made quite an impression on me.

Fingers crossed.

After a couple of weeks of trying, I finally got some clues today from tech support (paid) and a couple of forums (MT and Apple) and managed to customize the look of FitNotes. I still want to find out how to put pictures along one or both sides to liven it up. Pictures of people using some of the cool gym equipment, that is.

Since making my career change to CrossFit fitness trainer official a couple of weeks ago, I’ve had some fun personal training sessions and classes. The first night of the beginners’ kettlebell class went well, judging by everyone leaving all sweaty and smiling.

I also am phasing into teaching the weekly CrossFit class for the women who belong to the Team Survivor Northwest organization. TSNW provides a lot of activities for their members (women of a range of ages who have had cancer), and our fitness class is just one of them. The women love working out under Dave’s instruction and so far they seem to like me too. They are a hardworking, tough, fun group.

Half-bodyweight thrusters

Getting a new start on this blog, which contained about four years of workout-related writing before I wrecked it while upgrading Movable Type. I’ll work on the design gradually.

Last week we did two max sets of thrusters at half bodyweight. I used 30 kg and did 25 and 21 reps. It would require 45 reps at half bodyweight to achieve Level 2 in the athletic skill standards.

Another recent benchmark: I snatched a 24-kg kettlebell. I’d never had one overhead before a recent workout with Dave, where I push-pressed it. This gave me about half the nerve to snatch it. After a workout on a Friday night, a couple of guys and I were messing around with kettlebells and I mentioned I thought I might be able to snatch the 24. Keith said, “Do it!” He said if I snatched the 24, he’d snatch the 32. So we both did at least one on each side.

I’ve tried it a few times since then and succeeded on half the attempts. I only try it twice and dump it if I can’t lock it out at the top. Then I pick it up and push-press it instead.