Deadlift, front squat, WOD, karate

Thursday, April 17: In the open gym that day with Mike B and Taylor and Kyle, I saw Mike deciding to try a 1 rep max squat, and I was deadlifting, so I decided to try a 1-rep max. I love being in open gym with a few other people (virtually always guys) and supporting whatever each other is doing. I never played sports, so that is a new experience. I’m really glad I decided to have open gym times. On that day I ended up deadlifting 240, which is only 20 pounds off from my all time max from more than a year ago. Kyle got a video of me lifting 230. It’s on my phone and I need to make sure I don’t lose it.


This morning I did a WOD with one guy in the intro class (no new people had shown up). It was 30 weighted step-ups, 50 strict pull-ups, 100 stiff leg deadlifts, partition as desired, for time. I made it easy because I was going to karate right after that — I used a 16 kg kettlebell and a 12-inch box. My pull-ups were all good, at first five at a time and then 3+2 at a time, and my workout time was 16:16.

I stayed to front squat with Tom’s class and did 2 x 5 at 155, which was hard, but not in doubt. Then went to karate. I reeeeally needed a nap this afternoon!

Saturday – Monday

Last Saturday, karate. Yesterday, Monday, with the 7:30 AM class I did cleans and a WOD that had running, box jumps, push-ups, and 33 lb thrusters and cleans. I am not fast. Last night I went to karate and as usual struggled with roundhouse kicks. Maybe a few of them don’t completely suck… but only a few.

CrossFit champ and celebrity Annie Thorisdottir is featured in Vogue. It’s a well-written story. But it ends with this: “She also wants to inspire women, especially young girls, to focus more on what their bodies can do than on how they look. ‘I’m not preaching that everyone should try to become a CrossFit champion,’ she says. ‘But I want to show them that training can give them more confidence—and that being strong is beautiful.'” On one hand, strong is beautiful is a positive belief, but on the other hand, what happened to focus more on what your body can do than on how it looks? Teresa observed that Samantha Briggs seems more driven to be a champion at this point than Annie, so maybe the story should have been about her… BUT, she doesn’t look like a model as Annie does. Vogue is about looks, after all, and maybe Annie is planning a career as a model.

Meanwhile recently someone sent me a link to a promo video from a new CrossFit. It featured three extremely beautiful athletic women in tiny clothes, working out, high fiving, and doing some really cool looking training exercises. It was very well made. And for sure, who would not want to look like those women. Yet there is so much smugness in it. People have no perspective on things being a phase of their life that will pass, which is both bad (if you’re talking about youthful beauty and athletic prowess) and good (stressful times).They think women are just “starting to like CrossFit now,” which is ridiculous. Women made up half of CrossFit going back as far as the first affiliate, if not to the original CrossFit, and I have that information at first hand.

And then there’s the statement that “I can be strong physically but can still be feminine.” Duh. What is feminine? It’s everything that makes you a woman. Did you really think, before, that if you were physically strong, you’d be less of a woman? If so, you’re a cliché. What makes a woman feminine is everything that makes her female. Personal style has nothing to do with it. I’ve been training people long enough, looking at trainees as systems of levers and pulleys and shifting loads, that people look different to me than they used to. There’s nothing a person needs to do or not do to be feminine or masculine except, I suppose, refrain from taking the hormones of the opposite sex!

It’s true that CrossFit is extremely empowering for women. I love that men and women train and compete together. One of the good things about this video is that it wholeheartedly celebrates women, even though *some* of the ways it does it made me cringe. The worst is when one of these young, gorgeous women says “At one time, I’d look at a girl and think, oh she’s so pretty, I hate her. But now it’s like, ‘That bitch has got nothing on my overhead squat.'” … betraying that she’s just traded one shallow insecure judgement criteria for another.

Meanwhile it seems almost every strength coach and fitness trainer on social media is trying to differentiate himself/herself by cutting down CrossFit. For most of the past year or so it was very open. Now suddenly in the past few months, it’s very veiled. People talk about methods they don’t like, all their friends and admirers pile on / suck up about how right they are, and in the course of a comments thread it is transparent that they are talking about CrossFit. Recently this has been veiled by phrases such as disliking “metcon” or 5:00 AM “group training classes” (as opposed to personal training, which apparently is fine) or advising followers to “skip the kip” (the kipping pull-up that CrossFitters like). I can understand the frustration of trainers who see CrossFit as a magnet sucking up all the potential clients in the neighborhood (even though it’s probably not), but they should work harder to differentiate themselves positively.


Wednesday I ended up not going to karate. I was tired. It’s hard to go on Wednesday nights because I get up at 5:00 AM that day. If I get a nap, it’s easier, but yesterday I didn’t take a nap.

Yesterday – Thursday – I did one of the workouts Kyle programmed: 8 x 3 explosive back squats at 95 lbs. Five-minute AMRAP of 1 wall walk with 5-sec hold; 3 toes to bar with straight legs; 5 dips. I got 4+ rounds. I’m not as strong at dips as I think I used to be. We rested five minutes then did another 5-minute AMRAP of 30 doubleunders and 10 kettlebell swings (16 kg). I got five rounds. This set of workouts wasn’t very hard, although of course if I’d been stronger at dips, I could have done more, and it would have been harder. Then last night I went to karate.

Today, Friday: Another Kyle design: 8 x 3 explosive bench press at 55 lbs (easy). Ten-minute AMRAP of 3-6-9-12-15-etc squat-jumps and dumbbell clean and jerk (25 lbs). I got through 15 of each, 18 squat jumps, and two clean and jerks. Hard.

I’ve worked out Monday through Friday this week. I definitely don’t do this every week though I’m always active.

Yesterday and today

Yesterday: snatches, up to 3 at 75 lbs. I should practice them more often. Then, Tabata rounds of kipping pull-ups, kettlebell swings, ab wheel, and doubleunders. I had a high score only because of being good at doubleunders.

Today: Shoulder press up to sets of 3, 2, 3, 2 at 80 lbs. Two minutes work on tuck sits/L sits. Run 500m for time: 2:17. In a few minutes I’ll go to karate class. Also I did an hour of yard weeding and clean-up. It’s sunny today!

Karate and CrossFit

Over the weekend were two practice sessions for karate and one performance session, the Spring Demo at Miller Community Center. It was mostly kids and teen boys, with also several performances by adult women, including two I was a part of. With one other woman I performed the first kihon kata and with four other women I did a pinan kata that I assume is the most basic one. I don’t know how to spell them and I don’t know the difference between pinan and kihon. It was fun participating in the event. I had been ambivalent at best, assuming it would be child-chaos, each child assuming he is the center of it all, with cursory attention to the adults at best. But actually it was disciplined and I felt that every group was equal. And I even enjoyed being part of an event with kids since it was well controlled. I really wish more adults were in the school, though.

Today, a WOD I was slow at (not unusual). 5 rounds for time:
Run 250 m
12 dumbbell push jerk (2 x 25 lbs)
10 burpees
Time: 15:53 iirc
Later, front squats up to 2 x 5 at 150. I felt that I was barely able to lift it. But I got through both sets so that’s what matters.

20140407_131755 20140404_161327

CrossFit Games Open 14.5

Although I didn’t sign up for the Open this year, I couldn’t resist doing this workout for some reason. 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 thrusters (65 lbs) and bar-facing burpees. I was so slow! Slowest female at our gym by far, in 21:50. I didn’t get all that sore from this workout, maybe because I was so slow! Mainly the burpees were really slow. The thrusters I broke into three sets each round, which I think most people did. Anyway, soreness or no, I was fatigued all week, and only today (Friday) did I feel  like I could have really worked out. Yesterday I had an especially bad migraine. Today I had other things to do, including get a massage.

I was at karate on Monday and Wednesday, and will be there tomorrow and Sunday for the spring demo event. Practicing for this event is not a workout but a skill practice. In general the karate classes are a mild workout with lots of skill challenges. The two parts of my body that do end up feeling like I worked them out hard are my feet and the outsides of my hips. I like that a lot. Next week I plan to dive back into barbells and CrossFit.

Someone posted on Facebook how they think “metcons” are so bad unless used very sparingly. The thread turned into a conversation about the badness rather than about the benefit when used right. With also lots of masked or unmasked anti-CrossFit sentiment. I know these trainers must be so frustrated at what a client-magnet CrossFit has become. But they should differentiate themselves in a positive way rather than just saying “metcon” is idiotic. What do you offer instead? Specifically? Anyway, I was tempted to post that I love “metcons” because they make me sleep so soundly, and that I only do about two a week, with karate and barbells in between. But I didn’t. It amazes me that CrossFit got so big as to have such a big backlash. I have a morbid curiosity as to when and how CrossFit will fade. I love what we do in our gym and I learned it all through CrossFit.