Recent workouts and West Plains

We went to visit Aunt Tommy the week before Thanksgiving in West Plains, MO, home to 10,800 people and TWO CrossFit gyms. On the Wednesday we went to CrossFit West Plains. We warmed up with calisthenics and mobility and then did “Elizabeth,” 21-15-9 cleans (75 lbs) and ring dips (with a band). My time was 11:13. Afterward I was asked to help two women learn better power cleans, which they did, and it was lots of fun to work with them because they were very interested and kept saying, “It’s so much easier this way!” (When you jump!) And we finished with 5×5 overhead squats. I got up to five at 75 lbs and Tom made a video so we could show my aunt.

The next night we went to CrossFit SoMo, did a long version of the Burgener warm-up with Rodney who had recently come from Coach B’s certification, and then did a WOD he made up:

50 double-unders
50 squats
40 double-unders
40 sit-ups
30 double-unders
30 push-ups
20 double-unders
20 pull-ups
10 double-unders
10 burpees
My time was, I think, 9:20-something. I did all my double-unders unbroken. Later we all helped each other work on butterfly kipping pull-ups. The group was really fun. It is such a blast to try other CrossFits, especially far from home!

We came home from vacation feeling great and I woke up Monday morning with the flu. Puked all day, mostly better on Tuesday, worked on Wednesday but tired, fine on Thursday. Yesterday (Saturday) in our gym I did 5×5 front squats up to 140, then “Christine” (body weight was down to 125) in 15:01. I felt completely unmotivated before going to the gym and wanted to stay home and read, but of course I felt great after accomplishing what I had decided to do.

Workout blog catch-up

Last Wednesday, August 5:

Deadlift your body weight, or thereabouts, for as many nonstop reps as possible. (Less experienced lifters would not go that heavy; it takes several tries and a lot of deadlifting sessions to know what is a good challenge for this workout.) I used 70 kg and got 22 reps. I didn’t go to failure but only to shaky legs. I’ve seen shaky legs lead to failure too quickly for people because it is so hard not to let go of the bar and stand… just for a second… whoops, the set is over. I need to try to do that to literal failure. But can failure be defined as a bad back position, even if the lift succeeds? Should a trainer stop a trainee’s set if the back rounds and the lift is completed? In my opinion, yes, and that’s how I’d define it for myself. If the next rep leads to injury, it wasn’t worth continuing.

Next we divided into teams of four and each person did 150 wallball. We took turns doing 30. I used the blue ball. Our team was not fast compared to others throughout the day that were on the board – we took 22:12. Love it! I broke up only my last two sets and only for a breath here and there, not for long.

Friday, August 7: “Elizabeth” (21-15-9 full cleans and ring dips) I used 30 kg (Rx is 40) and used dip bars; no jumps on the dips. My time was 8:44.

“Elizabeth,” scaled

On Dutch Loewy’s video on programming for CrossFit gyms, and in a commentary I heard on CrossFit radio by someone whose name I’ve forgotten – Paul Eich, maybe? – I was reminded that CrossFit is scalable for a good reason, and we should not forget to use scaling in order to make people work at high intensity. Going as prescribed or close to it is appealing and can give a great sense of accomplishment, but if there is too much resting during the workout, it’s not really the same workout as prescribed anyway.

I decided I wanted to do “Elizabeth” in under 10 minutes, having done it recently in some long slow time that I’m not going to look up now. I used 25 kg for the cleans (full cleans) and did jump-assisted ring dips. I never stopped moving and finished in 6:50. Next time I’ll do it just a little heavier.

Later I did back squats, 5 x 5 at 75 kg. I used to be able to squat heavier than this. Right now I’m best at agility stunts and not as good at really heavy lifts. I can’t seem to be at my best at everything at once, but I guess that’s reasonable.

“Elizabeth” in the basement

They did Elizabeth in the gym on Monday but I wasn’t able to work out that day, so I did it the next day in our basement. I knew my ring dips would be bad but made up my mind to do them even though I’d have to do one or two or three at a time.

21-15-9 reps of:
Cleans (40 kg)
Ring dips, no jump
My time: 20:49

This is really slow but what the heck, I got through it as prescribed. I took video of the final (9-rep) round in order to see how my cleans are looking when they’re heavyish and I’m tired. Am I able to keep my arms straight until the last instant? Am I shrugging and extending with a bit of layback rather than going forward? I’m going to put together some video today to compare to the one from about a month ago, “Clean Up Your Cleans.”