“Fran” PR

Last Wednesday, 7/25: Deadlift up to 10 at 175. Later: “Fran” Rx (65 lbs and butterfly kips), 4:43.  “Fran” times in 2011 were in the 6:20ish range. All time best Fran before last week was at CrossFit Seattle in March 2008, 5:34.

What made me faster, I think: being able to do butterfly kips; and the pull-up ladders I’ve been doing recently with a lot of my classes. Ladders of small numbers of strict pull-ups have helped my strength but, maybe more importantly for “Fran,” they seem to have helped my grip. I felt pretty well attached to the bar. I was surprised when I finished and looked at the clock.

Barbells today

I practiced bench pressing in order to review for a personal training session! I love the bench press, but I hardly ever do it since I don’t normally have anyone to spot me. Today I thought, don’t be silly, just bench a little bit and you can do without a spotter… so I got up to only 65 lbs. Two sets of five then a set of 8. I alternated those with front squats up to 2 sets of 8 at 140. Next time 145.

Unplanned, I jumped into today’s WOD with my noon class.
10 clean and press (I used a 45 lb barbell)
10 double-unders
AMRAP 10 minutes
I got 7 rounds. Would have gotten more but I didn’t start right at the start of the 10 minutes, and I stopped a few times to check on somebody. My shoulders feel great.

Saturday I worked on muscle-up attempts a little bit. I had learned I need to keep my chin way tucked, and then Tom pointed out that I also need to pull up at an angle in order to pivot forward. I’ll keep trying. Yesterday we went to Discovery Park and did a bunch of jumps onto log barriers, log rails, bench backs, drift logs… Jumping around, lunging, stretching, etc. makes going for a walk in the park feel so much better than just walking.


Today: Run 400m, 15 overhead squats supposed to be 65 pounds, five rounds. I used 35 pounds and finished in 15:51. Last time I used 65 pounds and finished in 17:41. I went light today because I was tired from what I did yesterday:

Deadlift at noon up to 5 x 205 and then 1 x 210; deadlift again at 5:30 up to 1 x 205. Plus at least two pull-up ladders and lots of failed muscle-up attempts.

Today I did weighted pull-ups up to 1 x 53 lbs. Also did a bunch of pull-up styles, like chin-ups, alternating grip, kips, and butterfly. I used these for my skill part of my classes today.

Press and front squat


5 sets of 8 shoulder press, finishing with 1 x 8 at 70#
5 sets of 8 front squat, finishing with 1 x 8 at 140#

I set up two bars and alternated the two lifts. The bars are still there in case I come back for the noon class and want to do one more set. I should still be warmed up because I’ll probably walk down here.


Yesterday: front squats, 5 sets of 8 up to 1 x 8 at 140. In between sets, I did shoulder presses, 6 sets of 8 up to 1 x 8 65. Bodybuilding.

Today: deadlifts up to 1 set of 5 at 190. Last time I did a heavy set of 5 it was 210, but that was several weeks ago, before my muscle-up obsession started. (Still no muscle-up.) Later today, a few sets of push-presses while people were doing a WOD. I ended with 2 x 8 at 83 lbs.

I know nothing about bodybuilding except: higher-rep sets, such as 8 or 10 instead of 5 reps, along with 3+ minute rests between sets, are better for hypertrophy than for max strength. That’s why I’m doing them. I want to do a little bit of bodybuilding because I met CrossFit Games athlete Angie Pye at Carl Paoli’s seminar and I want to have big shoulders and legs like hers! Also I think a mild bodybuilding habit may be good for sleep. I have to keep practicing the muscle-up drills. I did some today–the band false-grip ones and the “dip balance.”

Kettlebells and sprints

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
kettlebell swings
goblet squat
Turkish get-up sit-ups (up onto the hand)

I used a 16-kg kettlebell for everything, so the sit-ups took me forever. Time: 20:01. I hope Carla, Susan, or Heather will come in this afternoon and smoke my time using the same weight.

Tomorrow I’m going to Chicago to see my dad for probably the last time. I’ll spend two days, with a day of travel on both ends.

Back to normal

I spent the past ten days wondering, in the back of my mind, if I had breast cancer. After all the muscle-up attempts two weeks ago which taxed my upper body so much, I felt a lump in a lat muscle… which turned out yesterday, under an ultrasound following a mammogram, to be a small lymph node. It was clearly visible in the ultrasound when the image was enlarged. That and a couple of other worries had me feeling very distracted. In the gym, I continued to work on ring dips, muscle-up drills and strict pull-ups, doing pull-up ladders along with our clients.

Today I had more of my energy back. I did several sets of eight front squats, up to two sets of 8 at 135, resting several minutes between sets. (Sets of eight because I want to try a little bodybuilding, see if I can get bigger legs!) Sets of eight reps kind of feel “no fair,” because I’m used to being done at five. I think this is good.

Today’s WOD was based on “Ensign” from crossfit.com:
AMRAP 3 minutes 3 power cleans, 6 push-ups, 9 air squats;
Rest 1 minute; 5 rounds. I used 85 lbs for the cleans and I did the push-ups with my hands on dumbbells. I got 16+ rounds. I spent some of the time keeping an eye on the two clients in the gym.

I used dumbbells for the push-ups so that I could get lower into a similar position to the ring dips I’ve been doing. The push-ups felt stronger. I think the ring dip bottom-position holds are a good strength builder. I’ve also felt more internal rotation mobility in both shoulders since I’ve been doing this mobility stretch with the PVC, reaching up with one hand and down with the other, as if to touch my hands together behind me. The PVC is the connector between the two hands since I’m not close to being able to touch them.