Bar muscle-up and other fun

I had a great day yesterday that seemed to be full of successes.

New trainee Donna, in her second session, made huge progress on her deadlift technique. She’s sticking with personal sessions for a while so I can tailor the sessions to her, which is going to be really fun.

Then I had a gymnastics-filled 4 PM class and it went great! I had gone to Dave’s 7 AM class to see how he would progress people through L-sits and then into some tumbling, and I did it his way, mostly. We warmed up then stretched the hamstrings a lot, using partners, in order to facilitate the L-sits. We did a bunch of that, not holding for too long but doing reps.

Then in the tumbling section I came up with a couple of simple drills that seemed to help people go from forward rolls into handstand roll-outs without crashing down. First, during the forward roll I asked people to be sure to put the back of their head on the mat and then roll. If they flew into the roll without putting their head down, I was more afraid they would do the same thing out of the handstand and knock the breath out of themselves. Second, I added a second round of forward rolls that started in a sort of downward-dog position – hands on the mat with STRAIGHT arms; then bend the arms and tuck the chin, round the back and roll.

From there, when we went into the handstand roll-outs (spotting and cueing each other), people were able to lower themselves without crashing. Ten people and only one minor crash. I was very happy with this and everyone had fun.

During my hour break I had a personal success at doing my first bar muscle-up. Yay! Ryan saw me trying it and told me to throw my head forward to help get completely over the bar, and this worked right away. I did two of the bar muscle-ups and could not do any more the rest of the evening. Today my shoulders really feel worked! Can’t wait to try those again when I’m fresh. Here’s a really good video of bar muscle-ups. I couldn’t quickly find one of a woman doing them. Mental note – bring a camera nex time!

And finally, last night at six I had a second session with a very enthusiastic guy who loves working out and is fun to teach. So, it was a great day.

Yesterday and today: cleans

I’m working on full cleans, from the ground, catching in a squat. Yesterday I did sets of three or four or five and worked up two or three kilos at a time to 57 kg – my body weight. By then I was tired. I did some good ones at 52, jumped greedily to 57, did one good one, and then failed repeatedly, even at lighter weights. I was done!

Today I worked up a lot faster to 50 kg, then spent 15 minutes doing broken sets of 3, and sitting down between sets. This went great. I feel like I should keep doing 50 a couple more times until it is boring, then do 52, 54, 56, 57, each on their own separate day. There is something about jumping up with your own weight on a bar and diving underneath it. Something prohibitive, it seems!

Today after that I did yesterday’s CrossFit Seattle workout: for 12 minutes, do as many rounds as possible of 5 broad jumps and 10 heavy kettlebell swings (24 kg). I did 14 rounds of this.

Fun Level 2 workout

I love Dave’s classes! On Saturday at 9 AM we worked on spotting each other (in many cases with two spotters) in working up to an assisted planche. We did this first on parallettes, doing a tuck and pressing the upper back as high as  possible. A spotter put a hand under the shins to help elevate just a bit more. No attempt to straighten the legs at this point.

Next, on parallettes using a rubberband hanging from the pull-up bar, a spotter helped lift the legs a bit while keeping a hand in front of the shoulders and encouraging the athlete to shift forward. Scary!

Finally back to the parallettes without the rubberband. Two spotters helped each person. One spotter held the shoulders and the other lifted the feet. The athlete was cued to press up, lock the elbows hard, tighten the stomach, shift forward, back, forward (with spotter help). This was fun to try. We worked in groups of three and circulated through being the athlete and being a spotter.

Next, we stood near the wall with only shoulders leaning on it, with a dumbbell in each hand. Tighten the stomach to approximate the hollow position, and lift the dumbbells (with straight arms) away from you to just under chest height. This simulates the planche position and makes the dumbbells feel impossibly heavy. With 15 pound ones, I could do the drill and hold it a few seconds. With 20 pound DBs, I could lift them barely high enough and could not hold. The strong guys were using pairs of 20-pound DBs if I recall correctly and they could hold them out for several seconds. This lift is hard on the elbows.

The final part of our workout was: for 10 minutes, how many sets of five chest to bar pull-ups can you do on the higher bar? This meant jumping onto the low bar (about 7’7″ high), then shifting with one hand at a time or both hands at once to the higher bar, doing the five pull-ups, and coming back down the way you went up (or letting go and dropping from the high bar onto the floor). I love the stunt of getting onto the high bar even though I can only do it one hand at a time. It is demanding of nerve, strength, commitment, and skill, and is taxing on its own; let alone five explosive pull-ups and then come down. I felt good about being able to do this. I think I did eight rounds. Some of the guys did a lot more.