New kettlebell class starts November 6

The next kettlebell class starts Thursday, November 6. (I didn’t want to start it on election night.) It will continue to be great for beginners. The workouts can easily be tailored on the fly for people who are experienced and fit.

More than one person has told me they’ve lost weight during this class by also eating a healthy diet. And just about everybody has had fun and pushed themselves. In each class, we warm up, learn a few skills and do a group workout. Get in touch with me and join in–you’ll be glad you did.

Class schedule:
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00-8:00 PM
Start date: Thursday, November 6
End date: Thursday, Dec. 18 (12 sessions; no class on Thanksgiving)
Price: $145
Location: CrossFit Seattle in Fremont
Easy parking!
To sign up or ask questions, email me: fran (at) fitnotes (dot) net

Fran-style modified workout

Scott had his class do “Fran” tonight–21, 15, 9 reps each of thrusters and pull-ups. I didn’t want to do a lot of kipping pull-ups and risk re-aggravating my elbow tendonitis, so Scott had me substitute V-ups. I just used a 45-pound bar for the thrusters. I finished the workout in 3:11 and felt a little bit like I was going to throw up. It was great! I haven’t been doing enough CrossFit lately because of the combination of the elbow problem and the fact that in the evenings, when I used to do CrossFit, I’m now training people.

My elbow is slowly getting better. About half the time it doesn’t hurt at all, and half the time it’s mildly symptomatic. I’m seeing and following the advise of the therapists at Integrated Manual Therapies in Shoreline.

Squat workout

Saturday: worked up to 92 kg and did 10 sets of 2.

Because I was sharing a rack with Tom, I remembered to do only 3 reps on the heavier warm-up sets. Usually I forget to save my strength, and do five of everything.

I’m doing 10 sets of 2 these days because I had lost some confidence in sets of 5 after I had to bail one time. When I work out on Saturdays, the gym is crowded enough that it seems like it would be sort of risky to bail out on a back squat. I like the small sets and I hope they’re just as worthwhile. They were heavier than the previous week so I can’t complain.

Hoist: the more you say it, the funnier it sounds

I like non-lifting writers’ descriptions of weightlifting moves. “Hoist” is the favorite verb for any lift. This month, Nick Heil reports for Outside on his workouts at CrossFit offshoot
Gym Jones. Heil goes in
for a weekend seminar and quits in the middle of some
of the workouts. He especially hates the “dead lift.” His use of two words
reminded me of the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. “I don’t understand your
‘work outs’ and your ‘dead lifts’…”

Heil says a deadlift involves “standing in front of a loaded barbell, squatting down, and then hoisting the
weight to your thighs. The more weight you add, the more it feels as if
your spine is going to splinter like a celery stalk.”

Hoist it, baby! Or you could just deadlift it. Get some
coaching. If you learn to pressurize, you won’t feel like a celery stalk. If you learn the right starting position, you won’t think you’re “squatting down” when you’re deadlifting.

Earlier this year, Olympics reporting was rife with hoisting.

The International Herald Tribune: “On her third lift, she hoisted 110 kilograms over her head to safely set the record.”

From Boston.com: “To aspiring Olympian Melanie Roach, hoisting barbells is nothing compared with the challenge of raising an autistic child.”

From ABC News: “…at the Olympic weightlifting trials in Atlanta, Ga., Melanie Roach successfully hoisted 228.8 pounds over her head.”

From US News & World Report: Melanie Roach can hoist a 230-pound barbell above her head.”

Seattle P-I: “Every man reading this is presently trying to figure out if he could lift 234 pounds over his head. Dear sirs, you cannot. In the interests of lower backs — and male egos — across our city, please, don’t try. Most couldn’t hoist it up above their knees.” This article had a bonus verb: to toss. “…she tossed 233.69 pounds in the clean and jerk.” That sounds like a lot of barf.

The Associated Press: “…locked up her spot by hoisting just under 240 pounds on her second attempt… Roach let out a yell while posing with the bar above her head.” Bonus word: posing.

USA Today: “On each hoist, that clenched expression turned into a wide, white smile as the bar soared above her head — and stayed there until she decided to drop it.” Soaring! I like that triumphal word choice.

If you think “hoist” is amusing, Google the phrase “melanie roach hoist” and see how many hits you get.

Using verbs other than hoist is Anthony Lane in The New Yorker, in his excellent and funny reports from Beijing: “In less than ten hours, tiny Chinese weight lifters would start picking up lumps of metal as heavy as the man from Guam and holding them over their heads.”

Various beatdowns without elbows, if possible

My tennis elbow turned into a serious problem while I was trying to ignore it. Now I have to do special exercises, massage, ice, and hardest of all, rest it. It’s very discouraging having to work with clients and try to stay in shape virtually without using my left hand.

Last night’s workout with Dave’s class was run 800m, 100 push-ups (which took me just under 10 minutes), another 800m run. I was the last person to finish. I haven’t been doing enough CrossFit lately by a long shot, but oh well, I’m doing what I can and am happy to be there. I was grateful to Dave for giving us a non-pulling workout because of my elbow.

I went for a long run (for me) on Tuesday, just over five and a half miles. I ran for an hour without stopping. It was a sunny day and I was running along the lake so that made it tolerable. Later my left psoas was killing me. The massage/physical therapist who I saw for the elbow also gave me some therapy I can do on my own for the hip flexors–mainly rolling the IT band on the hard foam roller. I dislike doing that, but I’m doing it, and I can tell it’s loosening up my legs a bit already. I won’t be doing a lot of five-mile runs but running is one thing I can do that makes the elbow feel better instead of worse.

Today I worked on back squats at the gym, working up to 10 sets of 2 reps at 90 kg. Last Saturday: 5 reps at 85, then 5 x 3 at 85, then 3 x 10 pull-ups, mostly dead hang, some kipping.

The previous Thursday, the 2nd: 200 kettlebell swings then an 800-meter run. This plus the training sessions in the next few hours hurt my elbow a lot and prompted me to go see the PT.