Too Tired to Lift?

By Mike

So here is an update for the last few days of training.

Sunday marked the start of a new training block, and I started it off with gymnastics. I’m working on a strict muscle-up and at the same time trying to figure out how to time my kip properly to better assist kipping muscle-ups. Right now, even my ring dips are strict because the kip is not helping me at all. It’s a timing thing.

I also worked on handstand push-ups, which are coming along a lot better. I still can’t push up out of the bottom without a kip, but the strict reps will come. Afterwards, I worked on butterfly pull-ups which I now plan to incorporate into my WODs, as well as chest-to-bar pull-ups. At the end of the workout, I tried a 40-lb. weighted pull-up and almost got it—just couldn’t quite squeeze out the last couple of inches. I’ll definitely be trying this again when I’m fresh! It would have a 10-lb. PR!

Monday was a heavy high-bar back squat, and I hit 220 lb., which was a PR. It’s hard to wrap my head around the difference between a high-bar and low-bar squat, but I have to accept that the numbers are going to be different because the movement is not the same. Next was 1 set of 5 heavy deadlifts. I worked up to 270 lb., but I only managed 2 reps. It was disappointing, but that’s all I had on that day. I finished with kipping toes-to-bar, and I’m happy that these are feeling a lot easier with practice. Ideally, I would always want to kip these in a WOD to save a lot of time.

Tuesday I started the day with a 1RM push press. My previous record is 131 lb. Today I barely managed 115! I had nothing, and instead of getting frustrated I just carried on. Strict ring dips were next, and I managed to do 5, 4, 5, 3 followed by bar dips in 2 sets of 8. Next, I did triceps extensions, 2 x 18 reps, using the rope at the cable station, and 2 x 18 front-delt raises on a straight bar at the cable station. I finished up with 3 sets of 20 GHD sit-ups and 3 sets of 15, 12, 12 of incline leg raises.

I’ll be hitting a chipper tonight at bootcamp, so today will be stretching, eating and napping.

The last few training days have indicated to me that I need to find more time to sleep. I have that “tired behind the eyeballs” feeling, and it’s affecting my ability to lift heavy. There will be days when my training suffers because of school and work, but I need to manage that better than I’m doing right now. It means going to bed earlier whenever possible, and once in a while (like today) taking a day off of school to train, eat and shop at lulu!

Handstand push-up work

5 rounds of:

Max burpees

Max pull-ups

Max sit-ups

Limit rest to a maximum of 30 seconds between rounds.

If you can do more than 30 burpees each round, do tuck-jump burpees or jump to a target.

If you can do more than 30 sit-ups each round, do V-ups or use weight to increase difficulty.

Today’s workout is in honour of Josh’s birthday!

Tuesday, Nov. 30

Tuesday was an awesome day in the gym. I hammered a WOD I saw on the Again Faster website: 5 rounds of 15 sumo deadlift high pulls and 15 thrusters, both at 55 lb. My approach going in was to try and do all of my rounds unbroken and take 15-20 seconds of rest in between rounds. I was mostly successful, as I managed everything unbroken until the final round, where I had to do 10 and 5 for the sumos.

My time waster was the rest portion, because I definitely exceeded the time limit I had set for myself. I finished in 9:42. I can honestly say I crushed 55 lb.,  and I was super pumped with this result!

Afterwards, I worked on muscle-ups and stretched.

Wednesday, Dec. 1

In the spirit of “rest and recovery” week, I decided to just do a 2K row today, followed by mobility work. I was feeling especially bagged after an 18-hour day and a tough workout that left my legs feeling pretty sore. The goal was to break 8 minutes, and I did with 7:56.

I feel like there is more in the tank, but for today, this was great.

Snatches and Cleans

By Mike

We spent another Sunday working on Olympic lifting, which is always a good time. My traps were still aching from Elizabeth this week, so shrugging the weight was a bit of a challenge and prevented me from doing anything really heavy.

That being said, it’s obvious at this point that I have fixed a lot of small errors in the snatch. I’ve stopped jumping forward and T-rexing the bar, but most importantly I am way faster under the weight. The following weeks will be filled with snatch balances—and more snatch balances. My current record is 126 lb., but Mike thinks I should be drilling 150 no problem considering I can overhead squat 180. I agree! I’m excited to see where this takes my Olympic lifting.

I also worked on some cleans, but the combination of soreness and tightness in my upper body stopped me from getting my elbows around fast, and everything looked ugly. It felt ugly too. We have decided based on my schedule and how the last few Sundays have gone, that Sunday will be used for gymnastics, skills and speed work. The heavy stuff happens mid-week. I’m happy with the adjustment, and I think I’ll see some gains as a result!

This week is a light and fun recovery week. I’m planning to hit some CrossFit WODs I’ve seen on the Rogue and Again Faster websites. As well, I’m thinking about taking a run at Grace. I’ll keep you posted on the results!

So today I decided to take a run at Elizabeth, and realistically today would have been the first time as RX’d. The last time I did it, many of the ring dips should have been discounted for not being locked out at the top, and some of them were jumping dips. Today that was not the case.

I didn’t really have a strategy for attacking this WOD other than to simply to do it as fast as possible–under 20 minutes? Mike and I knew going in the ring dips would hold me up and I could crush the cleans, and that was exactly what happened. The first set of 21 cleans was fast, and I only broke once to re-grip the bar after losing my hook grip. After my first 3 ring dips I knew it was going to be slow, and I looked at Mike and said, “I can’t do this”. He was encouraging but firm when he told me to bag the attitude and get back on the rings even if it was only for doubles and singles. And I did.

My resolve returned and I finished in 19 minutes. The cleans went well: the sets of 15 and 9 were fast and unbroken (a pause to re-grip in the 15s). The ring dips were slow and steady. If I tried to get back on any faster than my body was ready for, I would fail and miss a rep. And these missed reps mentally and physically worked me over. I was stuck standing staring at rings, willing my triceps to do the work my mind was telling them to. It was infuriating that I simply could not get the work done any faster. When all was said and done, I gave it everything I was capable of, and I walked away with a new RX’d WOD under my belt.

Afterward I worked on pistols and kipping toes-to-bar. There was a time when these movements completely eluded me, so it truly excites when I bounce up from a pistol. I still need to use an 8-lb. weight on my left leg, but I’m giving myself until the new year to get that done.The workout finished with weighted GHD sit-ups, 3 x 12 with 15 lb.

Tonight I am heading out to a wedding social for some fellow CrossFit [204] athletes. I hesitate a lot when it comes to “going out” because I’m always worrying about the next day and how it will affect my training. Having a bit of fun in moderation can only make me stronger. Besides, I can use the ice cubes at the bar to cool down the burning rash of missing skin on my arms from the ring dips.

Goood times!