Muscle-up!

Finally I got my muscle-up! I did two of them on Sunday, 10/28. Tom got the second one on video. We were in the gym taking pics and having fun with some of our paleo challenge participants, and one of them, Tom H, did his first muscle-up. I somehow got my mini-kip just right and popped up as if I’d been doing it all my life. I screamed so loud and made such a fuss that Stephanie said she’d never seen me so excited about anything. Now of course since that day I haven’t been able to do another! But when I was working with Cody today I got pretty close. I need to nail that kip so that I can get high enough every time. When I did it, and my second one a few minutes later, it was just unbelievable how easy it was.

Cody’s assignment for me: PK roll, jump up to rings, muscle-up, come down, run to safety vault, roll, and I’d add a hip-over on the bar. Cody wants me to work on transitions between movements. I need to work on my skin the cat too, so that I can rotate the hands the right way (external/backwards), get low, and still come all the way back. That and being able to do a muscle-up on demand are two good goals that I’ll try to get in the next two months. And my lifting goal is a 260 deadlift; resurrecting that one. I need to design a program for myself and stick for the most part to targeted workouts until I get these.

Barbara got a picture of me right after I did my first muscle-up–I’m not sure if I’ve ever been so excited:

Lurong 4 and more

Monday, Oct. 22
5 rounds for time
15 kettlebell swings 16 kg
15 power cleans 65 lbs
15 box jumps 20″
Time: 14:56. I did a little coaching at the same time.

Tuesday
MovNat with Cody
Balance, PK rolls, skin the cats (getting better). Lots of bumps and frustration on the rolls. It turned out I was getting a migraine. I took my medication after 1 PM and a short nap.
Later same day: Lurong performance WOD 4 of 5. As many reps or rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:
30 burpee box jumps, 24″
30 overhead squats, 80 lbs
30 toes to bar
10 muscle-ups
I got almost all through the toes to bar for a score of 86. At the moment I’m in 40th place overall for women 45+.

Today (Friday) Lots of PK rolls. I’ve started doing them on only a yoga mat for the first time. I’m doing much better rolling on my left shoulder today than on my right, which keeps getting bumped. Pretty sure I got lots of bruises today on shoulder, spine, hip. I’m not using momentum well at all, especially on the right, and in a video it’s super obvious.

Gymnastics/MovNat

Today:

Hip mobility
Shoulder mobility
Skin the cat x 5 attempts
Balance: elevation changes (walk to crouch to crawl and back) x 10 minutes
Parkour rolls x 5 per side (still using two mats in a big square, because I’m still not ready to work on accuracy! Just on which way to roll and where to put my head!)
Skin the cat x 5 attempts
Jump off box and roll x 5 per side (which shoulder to roll on)
Shoulder press (fatigued from this and the HSPUs recently; shoulder press wasn’t very productive today)

Also I showed Tom and George my handstand push-up without using the super wide stance; I was able to go down to one AbMat. When my shoulders and arms aren’t sore any more, I’ll try no AbMats with the less-wide stance. I think I can do it. Tom reminded me that often the super wide stance isn’t allowed.

My PK rolls are still so tentative! I do not worry about direction/accuracy because it’s still all I can manage to think “look over the opposite shoulder than the one you’re going to roll on,” and to remember that I’m to roll over the same shoulder as the forward foot. I’m starting to be able to think about my leg positions at the finish in order to come out of the roll into a run, instead of into a stationary squat. Jumping off the box and rolling, despite my slowness, still takes a lot of guts. But it’s getting better and I’m getting less disoriented from it.

In the skin-the-cat, I’m trying to open my chest, get my feet lower, and be able to pull back through. I’ve improved in four sessions (two with Cody Moss and two on my own) but I still can’t pull all the way back through if I’ve gone over as far as I can. Strength at the end of the range of motion is what I need more of, just as we do in any lift.

Here are some pics of me (plus video) and Tom working/goofing off in the gym. Did I say I love having our gym? George was there today and helped us take pics and put together the new dumbbell rack and arrange all that stuff by the windows.

MovNat workout on my own

On Wednesday I did the hip mobility drills on the floor; shoulder mobility drills with the wall, band, and holding something behind me, plus low dip holds; various rolls on the mats; going from walk to crouch to crawl on the balance boards or straight line on floor; and then rolls again.

Other things I need to practice: skin the cat after shoulder mobs, same for the muscle-up, gotta get that for next week if I can! Vault-overs and vault-over and roll.

Luronging again

Today was their “Diane” ladder. As many reps as possible in 7 minutes in an ascending ladder: 155 lb deadlift and handstand push-ups.

I was going to do this workout scaled since I “can’t”(?) do handstand push-ups. Then I remembered I’d done them in the past, and more recently had been able to descend to an AbMat or two, and besides now I know about the ultra-wide-hands “cheater stance,” which is legal, so I thought today I’d just take 7 minutes and see what I could do. For the Lurong Challenge, getting just a few reps Rx ranks better than more reps scaled.

I ended up doing 17 reps. 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-1. I was so psyched to find I could do the wide-hands HSPU twice. During the WOD I was unable to succeed by kipping up, but afterward when Kyle was there, I did kip one, so then I had him make a video. Let’s see if I can embed it.

MovNat training

What I should practice:

Anything resembling a ball-up. Any stretch/flexion that helps me ball up tighter and/or pull knees closer into chest. Examples: seated rolls onto rounded back, into candlestick position, rocking pistol without worrying about standing up out of it.

Balancing on a hand and foot while extending middle arm in front and counterbalancing with middle foot in back, ie, balance on right hand and left foot while reaching forward with left arm and backward with right leg. Do this on a balance board/beam. Breathe in the belly and relax to balance. Pick something up off the floor with the extended hand.

Heavy 1-hand farmer walk on balance board.

Shoulder rolls with “diamond hands.”

There’s more. I need to write it down sooner tomorrow after my  session.

LuRong Living Paleo Challenge

Benchmark workouts that will be re-done at the end:

“Christine.” I scaled it because of a hamstring problem that was almost healed. That means I have to scale all benchmarks at the start and at the end of the challenge. Christine was row 500, 65 lb deadlift, 12″ box jump, and my time IIRC was 11:47.

“LuRong original.” 20 burpees, 20 KB swings (12 kg scaled), 10 rounds. 14:04.

“Randy.” 75 barbell snatches for time (30# scaled), 5:51

Performance workouts that allow you to win a prize, 1 person per division and region:

Max doubleunders in 5 minutes. Can switch to singles, but if you break you have to do 3 burpees before restarting. I did 303 doubles and won a prize. Rx.

Max pull-ups in 6 attempts limited to 8 minutes total. I did 86 pull-ups and I think I’ve won a prize. Rx.

Max ladder of deadlifts and hand-release push-ups in 7 minutes, 105# scaled, doing that this week.

The nutrition aspect of the challenge is going great. I’ve eliminated nut butter, eliminated all types of fries (ie regular and sweet potato, my vice at Bing’s), and am limiting alcohol to one glass of wine a night, always at 9:30 because then there’s no being tempted later on as there would be if I had it with dinner.  I have no cheats and we’re in week 5. I’ve lost three pounds.

Bike ride, rolls, back squats

Today: back squats up to 3 sets of 5 at 175. I had not back squatted for at least a month with the hamstring problem. The problem seems to be gone as long as I do some lacrosse ball on the piriformis every day to keep it loose.

Yesterday: bike ride through south Seattle, from our house via Beacon Hill to Columbian Way and southeastward. I think the farthest south I got was about Rainier and S. Kenyon St. We’ve had such good weather for such a long time, I wish I could go for a long bike ride every day!

I stopped and practiced two types of parkour rolls from two videos I watched–the thread-the-needle roll where you reach under the body and roll onto the shoulder, and the diamond hands one where you put the hands on the ground in a diamond shape and brace against the ground as the shoulder rolls onto the ground. The diamond one works way better for me and I can now do it on both sides.

Prior to that my last workout was last Monday night, jerks from the rack, up to 105 lbs. Later that week I had a cold for a few days.

Physical confidence, CrossFit and MovNat

CrossFit has been so great for me! By staying with it for the past eight years solid, I’ve lost any perspective on what my life and body would be like without it. I am 48 years old. At my age, many people are matronly and weak, or stiff and heavy, and many also have health and metabolism compromises that are accelerating the aging process. These processes take away your vitality and agility in a vicous cycle. Don’t use and challenge your body appropriately, don’t eat right, health is compromised, it’s harder to challenge your body, the ability to move deteriorates, bad food makes it harder to access your body’s energy, you’re tired all the time, stressed, and can’t move. Would this have been me? It’s hard to imagine but it’s certainly possible.

Okay, so I learned to deadlift and squat and press, clean and jerk and snatch, and I learned to push my body through conditioning workouts that are hard for me. The stronger and better I got, the harder I was able to push, so the workouts never got easier, and I’ve stayed fit. Yes, I’ve plateaued. I’m pretty happy with my plateau in many ways. I can deadlift over 200 pounds, squat close to it. I can finish a CrossFit workout in the middle of the pack with experienced/fit/youthful people. I was very pleased with my most recent “Fran” time with the butterfly pull-ups. CrossFit-wise, I now work to stay on my plateau and that’s fine with me.

BUT: Nevertheless I have felt my agility declining for the past couple of years. As I learned CrossFit, I loved incorporating new “stunts,” such as pistols, hip-overs, one-arm barbell snatches, and bar muscle-ups. Still I found myself not bounding down stairs two at a time like when I was young, not dashing across the street to beat the cars, not choosing to walk along a narrow log to balance on because I didn’t trust my balance. How could this deterioration occur when I’ve stayed so fit?

I decided to add the MovNat method to my training. Their hip mobility drills, which are performed mostly with the butt on the ground, are helping me loosen up my whole lower body for better agility and bounding. The balance practice, on a low beam and on slightly unstable, uneven things like a half-sawn drift log, is strengthening my lower legs and feet and training me to trust my brain and feet/legs to be accurate. With just a small amount of training (three sessions so far this year plus work done on my own in the gym and at the park), I already feel like I have a younger body! So far this is not complicated or exhausting. It is a learning process.

My goals right now: be able to vault over something in a basic parcour style; be able to mount a balance beam or similar (like a bridge rail for swimming!) and comfortably stand up and walk along it, turn, and squat.

CrossFit is great preparation for this, but I see MovNat as being more about fine motor skills. The two are a great complement to each other. I want CrossFit, at least in my life and my gym, always to be about exploration and finding the fun in hard physical skills/stunts rather than being about competing in certain set, expected exercises that are all codified. That’s what I loved about CrossFit when it was new, and that’s what I see MovNat as bringing to it from the perspective of a CrossFitter.