“Fran’s Fave” revisited

Today’s strength workout was back squats and I got 4 at 190 lbs. I’ve now done a 3-rep max or close enough on all the basic lifts, so I can work out based on an estimated 1-rep max and try to make progress again for a while.

Today’s WOD: a kettlebell complex from a long time ago at CrossFit North. I had done this one several times and named it Fran’s Fave, and also used it on my kettlebell class at CrossFit Seattle. When I did this one in 2007 my finish time was 15:25. Eight years later I’m slower at 17:42 with 16 kg.

“Fran’s Fave”:
kettlebell 1-hand swing, clean, squat complex x 10 reps
10 squat-jumps with no weight
10 rounds for time.

I *think* my faster time so long ago was also with 16 kg, because I remember the first time we did this in Dave’s class, I had the 16 and the 12 kg kettlebells out because I thought I would not be able to do it with the 16 — but then I did. So it was memorable.


Today: shoulder press up to 4 at 81 lbs (85% of 1-rep max) then a multi-part WOD.

Max kettlebell snatches (16 kg) in 5 minutes: 107; rest 1 minute
Max burpee box jumps 20″ in two minutes: 16; rest 1 minute
AMRAP 5 minutes: 5 thruster (55 lbs), 5 toes to bar: I got 5 rounds 7 reps

Later I ran a mile in 8:00 around the neighborhood.

I’m especially happy with the 107 snatches in 5 minutes. I was required to do 100 in five minutes for the RKC. At age 50 that requirement would be for a 12-kg kettlebell, but I can still do over 100 with the 16 kg. It was easier this time than when I did 100 of them with Tom earlier this year. I was less spent afterward.



Push-jerks, etc

Saturday I took Tom’s class. We did push-jerks for sets of 3 and I finished at 103. I could have done more pretty easily but we were out of time.

Then we had a kettlebell version of the workout called “DT.” It was 12 deadlift, 9 cleans per side, 9 push-jerks per side, 5 rounds for time. My time was 8:50 with a 16-kg kettlebell.

Sunday I had two of my karate friends in the gym to deadlift and bench press. That was all we did except for a few pull-up progressions in our warm-up.

Each day I’ve been running 1 mile. Today (Tuesday) I ran mile 37 in 8:20 from the restaurant front to Spectrum and back. I tried every so often to speed up for a while, and it paid off, though I equalled but did not improve on my record time for that route.

Today (Tuesday): Bench press. I was working by myself so I didn’t want to go heavy. I benched 100 lbs for sets of 10, 8, 6, and 5 without failing. Then I ran the mile, then did the workout of the day: ascending ladder for 10 minutes of burpee pull-ups and dumbbell squats. I used 25-lb dumbbells, varied between strict-ish pull-ups in which I jumped off the ground and kipping pull-ups in which I also jumped off the ground, and got up to a complete round of 8 of each plus one additional burpee pull-up. (That is, doing a burpee and when jumping, grab the pull-up bar and pull up.) We ended with two minutes max doubleunders, and I got 110 with a rope that was somewhat heavy and didn’t spin well at all. Hard!

Catching up

My last post was on June 7! I have no idea what I did between then and June 15.

Sunday June 15: back squats up to 3 x 5 at 190 lbs.


But before I back squatted, I tried the old RKC snatch test, the version I took in August 2009: 100 snatches at 16 kg in under five minutes. I used the clock to help me make sure I did 20 or more per minute, and I finished at 4:28 with 15 reps in that final 28 seconds. I had hit 50 reps at 2:00. This was really gratifying! But it about killed me! My glutes didn’t know what hit them. I was afraid to lie on the floor or sit down for fear I would not be able to extend my hips one more time to stand up.

I waited a while before doing the squats. When I started on them, I got out of breath and tired on my first set — with the empty bar. I rested a lot between sets and felt normal by the end — normal for heavy squats, that is.

Monday June 16: bench press up to 115. I wanted to do several sets of five, but after all those snatches and squats I was too tired. My sets were 4, 4, 2+3, and 3+3. The ones with the + mean I did not get off the bench but only rested 30 seconds or so to break the set.


Thursday June 19: weighted pull-ups. We were doing them more as stunts than as a workout during the 5:30 PM class, doing one and then making it heavier. I did manage to do one full pull-up with the 24 kg kettlebell attached to me, to the astonishment of the men and to my tremendous satisfaction. Perry got it on video.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 2.53.14 PM

Saturday June 21: karate.

Tuesday: Front squats up to 2 x 5 at 155. I wanted to do that day’s workout too, but I have a cut on my ring finger from Sunday night the 22nd that was still easily aggravated on Tuesday evening.

Yesterday, Weds. June 25: karate class with sensei Aleeta. I’m slowly getting better at a lot of things though I wouldn’t say I’m good at anything. I like practicing under supervision.

Today, Thursday, June 26: Shoulder press to 82 lbs. I managed one set of five unbroken, which was my goal, then did 3 smaller sets not to failure for a total of 18 reps. This is towards my June goal of pressing 100 lbs for 1 rep. I may attempt that on July 1 or 2.


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.


Two workouts today – must be a Monday

Lately it seems I work really hard early in the week and go easier at the end, and now I have karate on Thursdays and Saturdays so that will be a good pattern to keep. Today I did a strength workout of alternating sets of presses and pull-ups, with a goal of five per set even if I broke up the set. I was really happy with being able to do these heavy pull-ups; and 93# on the press is two pounds away from a PR.


Later in the day I worked out with my 6:30 PM class. Good mornings up to two sets of 8 at 80. These are really hard for me – better do more of them! Then the workout of the day was from Jeff Martone’s book Kettlebell Rx. Squat thrust, clean, 1-hand swing, clean, repeat with other hand, every 30 seconds for 10 minutes. I’d done this one before and felt that it wasn’t that hard, so when Mike said I should use the 24 kg, I was ready to try it. I had snatched 24 kg before (on one occasion only so far), and cleaning it is so much easier than snatching, so why not?

The hardest thing is setting down the cleans at that weight. You want to be rid of it so bad but you want to pay attention to your back position on the way down. I love it when after all this time I’m able to do something heavier in a WOD than I’ve ever done. Feels great! Then George and I both got in the lake for a minute to cool off. Had to ride the scooter home with wet shorts on and it felt good — it’s so warm out.


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!

TGU, stiff-leg deadlift

Yesterday: 5 x 5 pushjerks at 85, not much of a workout.

Stiff leg DL, 115# x 5 then 3 Turkish get-up per side, 12 kg, 2 sets.
Stiff leg DL, 125# x 5 then 3 TGU per side at 12 kg, 1 set.
Stiff leg DL, 125# x 5 then 3 TGU per side at 16 kg, 2 sets.
1 more set of stiff leg DL at 125.
Ran out of time. The 16 kg get-ups felt great. Do I have the nerve to try it with 20 kg?

This week


10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 power cleans (from the floor) and push-ups. Rx weight was 3/4 bodyweight, which is 101 pounds for me, but I used 95 lbs. My time was 10:49. I’d like to do it with 101 lbs soon.

Today (Wednesday):

:30 on, :30 off, 4 rounds through for reps: dumbbell snatch right, dumbbell snatch left, ring-rows, dumbbell thrusters.  CrossFit Football, where this originated, prescribed 100 lb db’s for men and 50 lbs for women! Jeez. We just put on our board, “heavy.” I wanted to go heavy, so I used a 35-lb kettlebell for snatching because KBs don’t wrench my wrists and elbows like dumbbells do at that size. For the ring rows I kept my toes against the wall. These are so hard! And for the thrusters I used two 35-lb kettlebells.

My score was about 180. Hopefully I’ll see my score later when the whiteboard photo is put onto Facebook. I felt great about getting through this WOD with those weights, and by myself, AND getting vertigo when I got horizontal for the ring rows! The thrusters were the hardest thing. I typically got 13 snatches on each side, about 10 ring rows, and 8 thrusters.

Prior to the WOD I deadlifted up to a set of five at 205. It felt very difficult but safe, and no doubt during the set as to whether I’d finish.