Tuesday, January 20, 2015

one on one: day thirty-eight

Today's session with Joon is with my having three days off from any sort of CrossFit or training, not ideal. This morning I really wasn't feeling like working out and it took a lot of my energy to get up, eat, and get ready to go. But once there at the gym, I started to perk up a bit. Jumping on the rower help me as well. Now that I am following a starter program for Olympic Weightlifting, Joon has restructured our sessions to compliment that and help me in other areas that really need some help and are on my goals list. This is what we worked on today:

Warm-up: 1500m Row
Extended Warm-up:
   KB Ladder 25# Swing/Goblet Squat 5/10/5 Reps
                      35# Swing/Goblet Squat 5/10/5 Reps
                      53# Swing 30 Reps x2

Ring Work- played with just hanging off of the ring in a hollow position and with my knees up.

The Jefferson Curl 10x

V-ups 20x
Banded Pull-ups (no kip) 5x
V-ups 20x
Banded Pull-ups (no kip) 5x
V-ups 20x

Cool-down on AirFit for 5 minutes

The KB work felt more like a workout than a warm-up and I am amazed that I swung a 53# KB. All of the KB work was to be done without putting it down. On my last 30 of the 53# swing I broke it up into 3 random splits as my hands and lower back had enough. I need to chalk up as the KB threaten to fly out of my hands and my back wanted a time-out. The ring work was fun, other than ring rows I have never actually played with the rings before. Doing a hang from the rings was far easier than doing it from a pull-up bar, I will keep practicing these on my own. I am not sure how to explain what the Jefferson Curl is, but let me just say it is absolutely amazing and completely feels great on the spine! The v-ups just plain suck, I'm not good at them. I think it is mainly because for a very long time I couldn't do them because it would be too painful on my tailbone. But today it didn't bother my tailbone at all. It was still hard though, my form was awful. Practicing a strict pull-up is hard, even with a band. I have gotten so use to using a kip to help me that I haven't really helped the necessary muscles that will get me to do a pull-up. Another thing I will be working on.

Overall it was a good session and I feel great. My hands are killing me, especially after going back to CFST tonight to work on my program and practice the ring hangs again. I want to say that my hands are getting use to the abuse but they aren't yet. I do have some calluses building up but the pain hasn't lessened one bit. I am looking forward to a day when it becomes tolerable... cause it will happen, right?!

This photo was taken from Pinterest.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

week one: completed

It has been an incredible week, and yesterday I made some amazing advances with my lifts! I completed my first week of the starter program via Catalyst Athletics, with much to be happy about and a better understanding of where I am weak. I have been moving non-stop since Sunday and I am not as sore as I was expecting to be. I know it is not from a lack of pushing myself, as I did weights that I didn't think I could do and supplementing my program with other "work in progress" stuff. My shoulders and lats are probably the most sore, but even than I could go lift more without any hesitation. I feel that becoming strict with myself with stretching and mobility work everyday is a huge reason why I am feeling better than just ok.

Yesterday, the last set for week one was finding my single heavy (1RM) of the Snatch, the Clean & Jerk, and the Front Squat. Firstly, the Snatch is where I am weakest, actually any movement where I have the bar over my head and having to squat is a weak movement for me. I know that the very last time I did a Snatch was on September 16, 2013 and I could only do 55#. Now for those of you reading this that do not know what these movements are, a Snatch is where I lift a barbell from the ground to overhead as fast as I can while receiving it in a squatting position. This takes a lot of control and balance, and as you can imagine the heavier the weight the harder it becomes. Because we do more Power Snatches and Muscles Snatches in the WODs (no squatting), I never get enough practice with the movement. This is by far the most challenging and the hardest of movements but I know if I keep at it I will get better at it. Anyway, I managed to PR my Snatch exactly 16 months after doing it last time and got 65# and if felt really good. I didn't struggle to get the bar up or hold it in the bottom of a squat. I did try to do 70# and just couldn't get the squat to stick without dropping the bar.

My next movement was the Clean & Jerk. I have never done the Clean & Jerk until I started this program. In our WODs we only ever do the Power Clean & Jerk, and even this is a rarity. I didn't even know there was a difference between the two until I went through the videos on Catalyst Athletics. I had no idea how much I could Clean in general and I knew that the heaviest Split Jerk I have done in the past was 105#. Combining the two together was going to be interesting. Earlier in the week I did the program with 85# and last night I established my 1RM being 105#.  I feel that the Split Jerk can definitely go heavier but given that my Power Clean 1RM is only 115# and I couldn't even Clean that amount, I think it will take some time before I can get past this weight.

The last movement was the Front Squat. My last PR was in September of last year when I did 115#. And because I know I let the weight mess with my head, I worked up to 105# and than began adding weight without calculating how much was on the barbell. I kept adding the weight in increments of 10# so that I didn't waste time or tire myself out before reaching my true 1RM. In the end I ended up having a 35# PR at 150#. I honestly think I could have gone further but by this point my wrists and elbows were done and I didn't want to risk hurting myself. I am beside myself and incredibly proud of my accomplishments.

I am taking today and tomorrow off, giving my body a much needed break but still focusing on stretching and mobility work. I want to be prepared for next weeks program where the reps will go up and possibly some of the weight will too.

This photo was taken from Pinterest.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

feeling good

I officially have two days down in my first week of programming for Olympic Weightlifting. I'm not as sore as I suspected I would be but we'll wait to see how I feel after Friday. Today I worked on the Snatch, it's been a very long time since I've done a regular Snatch. I went sort of light since I am not sure how much I am capable of doing. I will find out this Friday, but I am sure I will PR the Snatch and I am hoping the Front Squat too. I am feeling quite strong today.

I have also been working on my planks, and I am pleasantly surprised by how quickly I have gone up on my times. Today I accomplished a 1 min 20 sec plank, and this with something being placed on my back for about 20 of those seconds.

I am learning a lot already just from the Catalyst Athletics site alone, than you add the info I have been getting from others and it is incredible how much there is out there. My session today with Joon ended up being an hour long talk about my new objectives and goals. It was a very productive talk and it most certainly inspired me and gave me focus. I am looking forward to what is to come and to see progress!

This photo was taken from Pinterest.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

starter program: d1 of w1

Last Wednesday in class we were looking for our 1RM in Power Cleans. When I first started CrossFit both Deadlifts and Power Cleans were my favorite movements. But now the Power Cleans have become a source of frustration for me. I know I'm not the only person whose experienced this with either this movement or another. And I know this is only a temporary scenario. None of that though makes it less frustrating. I have been stuck on the same weight for some time now and can't seem to get past it. I know most of it is mental, but I believe I also lack enough hands on experience.

I had a conversation with a fellow box mate who has been doing a weightlifting program on the side. I wanted to know why and how she started the program. Watching her has been inspiring and motivating for me. The weightlifting portion of CrossFit is what made me fall in love with it to begin with. And though I love going in and doing WODs with everyone, I really want to begin focusing on the areas that I feel I am weak in. So I have decided to begin a Starter Program from Catalyst Athletics that will hopefully prepare me for another weightlifting training program. The starter program is for 4 weeks and I started it today.

Day 1 of Week 1:
Clean & Jerk 5 x 2 +1
Clean Pull 3 x 3
Back Squat 3 x 5

Day one has already been an educational day for me, as I learned that a Clean is different from a Power Clean (we only ever do Power Cleans in WODs), and I did Clean Pulls for the first time. I'm suppose to use the same weight for all three movements, it has to be challenging but below my max effort. I warmed up with 65#, not knowing how much I could do my Cleans at. I bumped it up to 85# and decided to stay there for the Clean & Jerks, especially since I haven't done Split Jerks in about a year and wasn't sure if I could do anything heavier. The drawback to this was that I know the Clean Pulls should be heavy and 85# isn't a very heavy Back Squat for me. I think my day two of this program I will have to adjust the weight so that it is challenging across the board.

After I was done with todays program, I rested a bit and then worked on my Plank. If I want to get better in other movements I need to strengthen my core. Time to get my Plank time up, I gave it a go three times:

1- 45 sec
2- 30 sec
3- 35 sec

I wasn't feeling my strongest today, but I am pleased that I got this started! Here's to a learning experience and progression!

This photo was taken from Pinterest.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

one on one: day thirty-seven

I'm back!!!! Today was my first session with Joon since November 18th! It has really been that long, between his schedule, my schedule, life, holidays, etc etc. we just couldn't make anything work. But today, we got back on it and you know what? I HURT! I'm still sore from Friday, Saturday, and Monday's WODs, than I add his session into the mix and every muscle in my body hates me and him. Oh and I have lovely bruises forming, it's been a while since that happened. Thanks Joon! Alright, so this is what he had in store for me today:

800m SkiErg
200m Row
600m SkiErg
400m Row
400m SkiErg
600m Row
200m SkiErg
800m Row

KB Complex 2 minutes:
1 Swing + 1 Clean + 1 High Pull + 1 Snatch

Mission Test 5 minutes:
2 Cleans + 1 Press + 3 Front Squats

Ok, that warm up part was sheer torture as I hadn't done anything with the SkiErg in a long time. During the 800 and 600m sessions, I must've stopped a time or two trying to catch my breathe and shake my already sore body out. What a rude awakening that was for me. The KB work was fun and challenging. My hands have been bothering me lately, I have been trying to work on my grip work on the bar and trying to get my kipping movement down. So holding the KB today was a real pain, I had to chalk the hell out of the KB and my hands just to get through it. After a while the hands became the last thing on my mind as I could feel my muscles scream at me. A few times I hit myself with the KB and knew I'd be feeling that later, well I am. Bruises are forming and I am sensitive to the touch.

This evening I had Coach Tony check my body fat, that is the other thing I am getting back into. I am really disappointed that I gained all that I lost the last time plus some. I could blame the holidays all I want but no one forced the crappy shit down my throat. Thankfully I am back on track and will fix this situation, fast!

All in all, it feels good to be back. I will also be posting more often again and keeping everyone up to date with what is happening. Thank you again for all the positive feedback! <3

This photo was taken from Pinterest.