April 2017

Recent benchmarks:
1 rep max bench press two days ago, 135 lbs.
Squat, 2 sets of 5 at 200 lbs last month; 215 1-rep max in December 2016.
Deadlift, 205 x 5 last month.

I’ve been having a lot of fun since I closed the gym. I work out sometimes at CrossFit RE and (for the past two weeks) mostly at Columbia City Fitness Jackson St. The thing I wish I could change about the Columbia City Fitness class is that I’d like to have a lot more systematic, methodical weight lifting progression. I like the coach (Bull Stewart) and the other trainers a lot. They are high energy, always positive and glad to see us it seems, and they are fit, competitive weightlifters who practice what they teach.

The barbell lifting, though, is just treated as the first “hard” part of a “hard” workout. Sometimes it’s relatively heavy, sometimes it’s high volume. I feel that I’m generally in better shape than I was in for, say, the year 2016, because I am working out on a real and frequent routine, and I’m very active on days when I don’t do a hard workout. I’m really, really happy to find that I’ve gotten a bit fitter instead of softer without owning the gym any more. And I’m happy to feel confident and to be having fun. And on top of that I’m happy to be training with several of my Fitness Within Reach trainees (who I taught to lift and do CrossFit style hard circuit workouts) and with new, fun, inspiring trainers. I am so grateful to have found this place for all those reasons and because it’s always refreshing to try something that isn’t CrossFit. CrossFit will always be there for me. What I’d really like is to keep going to Columbia City Jackson and be more systematic to improve my lifts a little bit. I may be entering a meet, and especially because of that, I feel I really need a system and a plan. Of course I can do this on my own — but if I’m going there to work out, the activity there would thwart my doing it on my own. But for now, whatever, I’m having a lot of fun!

I’m also outside a ton now that it’s a bit nicer out and the days are a lot longer in the evening. I go for at least an hour walk every day that I don’t work out hard.

Sunny Monday

Shoulder press 1 rep max benchmark testing: I got a PR at 97! Then a WOD of:

25′ lunges and 20 mountain climbers (L+R=1), AMRAP 10 minutes, I got 7 even.

Three minutes rest, then three sets max pull-ups: two sets strict, one kipping. I got 9 and 6 strict, then only 6 kipping… I lost my strong “back” pull after rep 6 so I didn’t continue trying to yank myself up with my arms.

I did lots of heavy yard work (digging up stuff off of a slope) the past three days in a row as well as many other days in the past month, and have been doing karate, and whatever else I’ve blogged here, CrossFit-wise. I weigh about 5 pounds more than I should and the fit of some of my clothing¬†shows it, but I feel great and am happy with how I’m doing fitness-wise.

Kettlebell snatch

I’ve been working out and not writing stuff down! We were in Missouri for 8 days and got back the night before last. Yesterday I did a WOD involving weighted lunges with 2 x 25 lb dumbbells, knees to elbows, push-ups, and jumprope. Then I shoulder pressed later, only up to 80. I’ve been doing some heavy yard work and going to karate too, planning to test for the blue belt next Tuesday.

Today I warmed up on the rowing machine, keeping strokes per minute under 25 and pace under 1:59. ¬†Then I did 100 kettlebell snatches for time with 12 kg in 3:51, resting 3 times. I rested a few minutes and then did 50 kettlebell snatches for time with 16 kg, switching hands every five reps. This took me 2:13, resting twice. I was pretty happy with these results. In 2007 and 2009 I took the RKC kettlebell snatch test, in which I had to do 100 snatches at 16 kg in five minutes or less. I was doing lots of CrossFit, and all I had to do was practice a few times and I almost took for granted I could pass the tests, which I did. I believe now that I’ll be 50, I would be allowed to use 12 kg, but on the other hand the RKC doesn’t even exist in the same form any more. I think I’ll plan to do the 16-kg RKC snatch test on my birthday in two months. That’s very attainable as long as I don’t get hurt or something crazy.


Max lifts today

I wanted to test my max deadlift to see how close I am to my goal of a 260 1 rep max. I deadlifted 240 today and failed at 245. Then I did a sort of cursory press and squat test. I wasn’t very well focused on these, today nor in recent months, so I had no expectations. I could have pushed harder today. I pressed 85 and quit because it seemed we’d spent enough time on that. I squatted 205 and quit because it was almost class time and I wanted to get a coffee. (I coulda squatted 215! Honest!) Unofficial total: 530

December 2011 CrossFit Total results: Squat 210, press 95, DL 235. Total: 540
May 2008 CrossFit Total results: Squat 222, press 89, DL 255. Total: 566.
March 2008 CrossFit Total results: Squat 192, press 89, DL 242. Total: 523
August 2007 CrossFit Total results: Squat 187, press 66, DL 242.5. Total: 495.5


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:

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.

Catching up

Last night with 3 other people:
AMRAP 20 minutes: 5 thrusters, 7 HP cleans, 10 sumo DL highpulls, 65 lbs (Rx), 9 rounds + 1 thruster.

Last week on Tuesday, by myself:
Overhead squat up to 5 at 92 lbs (a recent PR)
“Fire Truck” AMRAP 12 minutes:
5 dumbbell snatch per side 25 lbs
15 kettlebell swings 16 kg
8 pull-ups
I got 6 rounds.

At CrossFit Carbon, in Illinois, May 25, I front squatted 175 x 3 and did a 10-minute wallball/sit-ups ladder up to 14 of each in 10 minutes.

Max snatch 92 lbs

Had a great time practicing the snatch at CrossFit Lynnwood today with coaches Jesse and Abi, plus Emily, Lisa, Melissa, Drew, Catherine, and others. Abi’s feedback for me was: Lead with the chest more to avoid the hips rising too high; practice snatch pulls to get more consistent hip extension; and practice drop snatches to get more consistent at finding the bottom when receiving the bar. My max lift was 92 but it was an ugly power-snatch-press-out. My best lifts were around 75 to 85 pounds. We were using a 10-kilo women’s training bar. This lift in the video has 25 lb plates and, I think, 1.25 lb plates, so this is 74.5 pounds.


Gotta Tabata

Last night we did weighted pull-ups. I used the 12-kg weight and got 4 reps my first round, then did a few rounds of three reps. Then I did one very slow negative with 16 kilos–I had someone hook it over my foot after I pulled up, then I came down slowly and tried to pull back up again every so often. I’d gain about an inch and start down again.
Then we did Tabata squats, push-ups, sit-ups, and kettlebell swings (20 kg). My scores:
It doesn’t seem like all that much until you’re the one doing it.
After I rested a while, I decided to try some kettlebell presses. I’m working on presses regularly right now because now that my shoulder is so much better I want to make it as strong as I can. I’d been doing presses with 16 kilos for a while and last night I pressed the 18 for several singles. A couple of days ago I found I could press a 35-kilo barbell for at least two reps. I thought I could have done three but decided not to take a chance on failing at it. Failed presses feel terrible! My next short-term goal is to press a 40-kilo barbell.

CrossFit Total

Today I got to try the CrossFit Total for the first time. Total your best attempt at three lifts–squat, press, deadlift. You get three attempts at each one. Convert the total to pounds for your score.

Squat: 187 lbs
Press: 66 lbs
Deadlift: 242.5 lbs
Total: 495.5

CrossFitTotal 2007
About the CrossFit Total
CrossFit Total rankings
I also reached a new deadlift PR of 111 kg after completing the total with 110.