Kettlebell snatch PR!

After almost nine years of CrossFit it is gratifying to get a new stunt or PR every once in a while. Today our skill was kettlebell snatches, and as soon as I saw that on the program I made up my mind to snatch 24 kg at noon.

I’ve used 20 kg for snatches in a WOD but only a few times and not recently; but I noticed, when I did, that it was only a little harder to manage than the 16 kg that I was accustomed to. And the main place I felt the difference was that the descent portion was harder on my grip and wore out my palm worse than the 16 kg. Today if I snatched 24 kg, it’s not like I would have to do tons of reps. So I worked on it along with the five people in class, working up in weight, and ended up doing about five snatches on each side with the 24. Later, I did it again to get a video! Couldn’t resist.

After the noon class I wanted to work out with front squats, handstand holds, and toes to bar at low reps so that I could string them together. I did five sets of 5 front squats at 120; handstand hold for a count of 30; 5 toes to bar FAST; and 3 muscle-up attempts. Never got close to a muscle-up. Did pretty well on the handstands in that I could press my feet together, tighten up my butt, and come off the wall in balance for several seconds. The toes to bar went well. Just in the past month I’ve been able to string them together in small sets because of a tip from Kyle: get as high as you can, and string those together, however high they are, even if the toes don’t touch the bar; then work on making them all higher and touching the bar.

These are hard on my right shoulder in some way, so that before the handstands I had to lacrosse-ball roll my shoulder blades in order for them to work right. So this five sets took me more than 20 minutes. It was a strength and skill work out and there wasn’t really much point in timing it. Honestly I just wanted to have something to put on the whiteboard as a justification for posting my kettlebell snatch PR!

Last week

After “Murph,” maybe it was on Tuesday. Back squat 10 reps at 135 (bodyweight); 35-second handstand hold. Five sets, no timer. I had done this before with front squats at 125. ¬†Fifty squats at bodyweight really adds up and the handstands feel great. The first handstand hold was more like a minute and a half, because I’d accidentally set the timer for 35 minutes instead of seconds.

Partners “Murph,” etc.

Last Saturday I shared the Murph workout with Erin. We ran the mile together at each end, and took turns getting through all the squats, push-ups, and pull-ups in order. I’d forgotten that we could partition them if we wanted! It took us 41:47. That’s a fun workout to do with a partner(s). I remember last year splitting it with Sue and Bethany and that was great too.

Tuesday (two days ago), I did the combo that I like, of squats and handstands. 10 back squats at 135, 35-second handstand hold, five rounds, not timed. I just caught my breath between each thing and then did the next one.


Yesterday. Back squats up to 1 x 5 at 165 lbs. then 3 x 5 at 175. Then loads of handstand kick-up/balance practice with three consecutive CrossFit classes. Fun and super tiring. I didn’t do “Nancy” with them because I was already beat.

Today’s rings workout

Gold Medal Bodies Rings 1 phase 2, above the rings: Jump to dip (like a jump into a muscle-up), assisted tuck shoulder stands, and tuck sits. I did two sets of about 10 of all three–they are hard!–and one muscle-up and two skin-the-cats for good measure. This assisted tuck shoulder stand is the first time I’ve gotten both feet off the floor and hung there for a single second. To nail this drill is one of my goals for this quarter.

As far as muscle-ups go, today’s was I believe my 12th one ever, and the first one I ever did when alone in the room. Here’s a video sample of the exercises minus the muscle-up.

Yesterday, today


Overhead squats up to 92 x 3. Should have done more sets! I was running out of time. I wanted also to do my rings workout before the noon class. So I did that. It was my first day on phase 2 “above the rings” which consisted of jump to dips (rings at shoulder height) with negative dip; attempts at the difficult assisted-tuck-shoulder-stand; and tuck sits.

Later I did the workout of the day with the 6:30 class: Every 30 seconds, 1 power clean, 1 hang power clean, 1 push-jerk, 85 lbs, 20 rounds (took 10 minutes). I could have gone slightly heavier. Super bummed because the restaurant manager, Bart, came down to say we were shaking the dining room; so I had to have the big guys refrain from dropping their weights.

Today, Fight Gone Bad-format: rowing, ab wheel, box jumps, wallball, doubleunders. Score 366. I increased my reps each of the three rounds by speeding up on the ab wheel and doubleunders, while keeping the same numbers on the other things.


Rings workouts, Lurong workouts

I repeated the scaled “Randy” and the scaled “Lurong Original” (burpees and kettlebell swings) this week. Today’s Lurong Original burpeefest: 12:23. Last time: 14:04.

Thursday’s “Randy”: 4:02. Last time: 5:51.

Also in the past week — not having been able to do any more muscle-ups after two on Oct. 28 — I’ve started working my way through the Rings 1 program from Gold Medal Bodies. I’ve done three workouts 48 hours apart. The format for each workout so far is either above the rings or below the rings, or what I’d call pushing or pulling. Doing 3 x 8 or 3 x 10 reps of each of several fundamental or assisted exercises is surprisingly hard. I think this will improve strength in end-ranges of motion and strength-endurance in my shoulders and torso in general. My goal is to be able to do (at least) a single muscle-up on demand. The less kip I need, the better, because that’s the part I haven’t normally been able to get right.

This coming week I’ll be doing the repeat of “Christine,” the same scaled version as in September, and I’ll be doing another heavy deadlift workout as I try to zero in on my goal of lifting 260. I’m confident I can do that by the end of the year if I stay focused on it and don’t drift off like I so often do.



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.

Last week muscle-up work

On June 16 Tom and I were at Carl Paoli’s gymnastics seminar and got to work on hollows, push-ups, handstand push-ups, pistols, pull-ups, muscle-ups, burpees, and rope climbs. I didn’t get a muscle-up, but on one of the following days I almost did, here in our gym. Gavin was here and egging me on to head-butt him. I used a false grip and managed to kip up over the rings and hold for a few seconds, let out a scream, and come back down. I got over the rings one more time but my left hand flew out. On following days, including today, I haven’t been able to get up again. Working on muscle-up drills is VERY taxing and makes my bones hurt in my forearms, and my arms hurt all the way from my shoulders to my hands. My hands get so weak I can’t pick up a weight plate to put it away. I have to try these just a few times at a go and then lay off.