63 days until Canada West Qualifiers!

CF Lethbridge WOD for February 27, 2009:
Front Squat

I love Fridays for two reasons... 1) It's the end of the week and I finally get my rest days, and 2) It's the day of the week everyone in the gym loves - "LIFT DAY"! I'm very pleased with my results today. I managed to beat my old 3 rep weight by 20#!! Great day! Right now all my maxs are going up for every lift, which is exciting.

This will be my last weekend at home for a while... the next three weekends after this one will be spent in Calgary. Coaching in two gymnastics competitions and then the CF Level 1 Cert March 21-22 which I am CRAZY EXCITED FOR! Planning on hitting up the CrossFit Calgary HQ when I'm in town March 12-14, so any crazy Calgarians send me an e-mail and maybe we can hook up for a WOD there.

64 days until Canada West Qualifiers!

CF Lethbridge WOD for February 26, 2009:
On the min for a max of 30 min:
5 Pullups
10 Pushups
15 Squats
17 Rounds

Goal going in was more than 20 rounds. Managed to keep my first 12 rounds between 30 and 38 seconds, but after that those darn pushups killed me. I'm probably the only one that ever wishes that all the named WODs had more pullups than pushups. I'll still shoot for 22 rounds of "Cindy" the next time it pops up though!

65 days until Canada West Qualifiers!

CF Lethbridge WOD for February 25, 2009:
KB Swings (35#) 10/10/10/10/10/10/10/10
Row (cal) 4/4/4/4/4/4/4/4
WB Shots (14#) 12/10/8/8/6/6/6/8
Box Jumps 22/20/14/14/14/9/10/14
50ft Shuttle Runs 5/4/4/3.5/3/3/4/5

Couldn't get anymore than 10 on those darn KB swings, but was really making sure I was going to full lockout at top on every rep. Same with the row... no matter if I rowed hard or a little bit more relaxed I still got 4 cal. Could try a higher damper next time and see how that turns out. Crashed and burned on those box jumps. Usually one of my best movements, but performing two of my weaker movements beforehand really made me fatigued. Hoping I'm able to keep my box jumps above 40 the next time I go after FGB.

66 days until Canada West Qualifier!

CF Lethbridge WOD for February 24, 2009:
10 Thrusters (65#)
5 Pullups
9 Thrusters
6 Pullups
8 Thrusters
7 Pullups
7 Thrusters
8 Pullups
6 Thrusters
9 Pullups
5 Thrusters
10 Pullups

Right before figured the rep scheme was the same as "Fran". That made me a little bit more nervous and tried to match the intensity on this one as "Fran". Wasn't quite there. Rested too much before I hopped back on the thrusters. Wanted to make sure that if I was going to clean the weight up that I could do them all unfractioned. Next time I won't attack it like that. Stupid on my part as I was hoping for a time in the 4 min range. Live and learn!

67 days until Canada West Qualifier!

67 days... Checked the Canada West Qualifier web page today and registration is open. I jumped on that one right away! Email is in, payment in the mail. It's official with only 67 days left. That's 48 more days of training... WOW! The competition sure is creeping up on us quickly.

CF Lethbridge WOD for February 23, 2009:
Pushup Ladder (1-11) 2:54
Knees to Elbows Ladder (1-10) 2:57
Ring Dip Ladder (1-10) 6:06

Had to put your feet down between ladder rungs. So you had to do 1 knee to elbow, put your both your feet down before you could do the rung of 2, and so on. If you fractioned a rung you had to redo it. So if you were on 9 and couldn't touch your elbows (on K2E) or touched the floor, you had to stay on 9 until it was successfully completed. K2E were fairly easy... boy I am glad I was a gymnast for WODs like these. 10 K2E seem like nothing when we had to do 25 straight leg toes to bar every day when I was younger. Those ring dip though were a killer though! Major rashes and bloodied arms from rubbing on the rings. Usually I'm smart and wear a long sleeve, but it completely slipped my mind today.

BIG shout out to all my amazing little gymnasts! They had a competition in Medicine Hat, AB over the weekend and brought home the hardware! Between the 8 of them they brought home 11 golds, 7 silvers, 2 bronze, and 7 top 10 finishes. Along with 3 overall trophies. They're starting to be the ones to set the standards in our province.

70 days until the Canada West Qualifications!

CF Lethbridge WOD for February 20, 2009:
5-5-5-5-5 Front Squats immediately followed by max Double Unders in 30 sec
Score = total weight (lbs) lifted in front squats x total double unders (no misses allowed)
Score = (115# x 5) x (62+58+59+60+60) = 171,925

Managed to increase my front squat weight. 115# was my previous 3 rep weight last time we did weighted front squats. Going back to front squats after max double unders was more difficult than I had thought. After the first "round" I thought I could increase the front squat weight, but didn't trying to play it smart so I didn't trip up in the double unders. Glad I didn't increase the weight, as by the 5th round it was pretty difficult.

Short post for today... leaving soon for Medicine Hat. My athletes have a competition there all weekend. Good luck to them (and let's hope they don't stress me out too much)!

71 days until the Canada West Qualifiers!

CF Lethbridge WOD for February 19, 2009:
As Many Rounds as Possible in 20 min:
350m Row
8 Pushup Burpees
8 Thrusters @ 50%BW (55#)
5 Rounds +150m Row

This was a rough one for me today. The burpees and thrusters were fairly "easy". I feel for the people who have to do heavier than RQ thrusters based on their body weight, but sure am glad I got to lift a bit lighter today. Those darn rows each round just killed me... I just couldn't breathe. I was inhaling but no air was getting in! Tough one to get through mentally and physically.

On a good note though... Old dogs can learn new tricks! I learned a double back flip off the "pit bar" last night after work. Spent 10 years in competitive gymnastics, but was too chicken to even try it UNTIL NOW! Post a new trick you've learned recently to the comments!

72 days until Canada West Qualifier!

CrossFit Lethbridge WOD for February 18, 2009:
5 Rounds for Time:
10 Wall Ball Shots (14#)
10 Chest to Bar Pullups

1st shot of the first round cost me some time, as it hit the wall above the line but didn't get a very good bounce off of the wall. I had to quickly move forward to catch it and stumble back to throw again. Then fractioned the set of 10 WB Shots in the 4th round... blood throat was starting to set in. Other than that everything else was unbroken. I wanted to come off the bar so bad in the C2B pullups. My arms were burning from the WB Shots it was more difficult to grip the bar, but I just wouldn't let my self stop.

Throughout the workout different thoughts kept popping in: "don't let go of the bar", "as hard as to can the entire way through", "your arms are starting to hurt just put down the ball", "this ain't so bad", "gosh I hate wall ball shots"... Today I was able to overcome those negative thoughts that seem to always creep in (it always helps to have your coach screaming at you), but when the workout is really difficult for you how do you keep those thoughts out? Strategies?

I'm going to suffer the rest of the day with a nasty blood throat cough. The thing is though that when I get blood throat it doesn't just affect my throat. My lungs BURN! I've figured the only thing that soothes it a bit is to alternate the heat of beverages throughout the day. A couple of glasses of ice cold water, then a nice warm cup of tea, ice cold water, tea, etc.

73 days until Canada West Qualifier!

Counting down the days... it's going by faster than I expected! Checking the CrossFit Calgary website everyday (host of the Canada West Qualifier), to get details about registration, format, etc. Still nothing.... I'll keep couting down and checking the website as long as it takes.

February 17, 2009 WOD:
5 Rounds for Time of:
5 Handstand Pushups
5 Deadlifts with increasing weight (155# +10# per round)

I flew through the handstand pushups. That was the easy part. Those darn heavy deadlifts though. The last two rounds were completed as singles and they felt HEAVY! That's another one of my main focuses for improvement. Be able to do heavy deadlifts in metcons. I can lift heavy (230# deadlift = 2.13xBW), but in relation to some of the crazy CF women out there it's not enough. It's going to be tough competing against those girls and I'm doing my best to get better at the weighted stuff, but I'm praying there is alot of bodyweight stuff this year. Especially since last year's Games seemed to focus on the heavy weights.

Now for a big rant... Maybe it's my gymnastics background or my belief that good form/technique is a must AT ALL TIMES, but people, if you don't know how to teach a handstand JUST DON'T and be honest to your clients about why they are not learning them. I've seen some pretty scary falls and almost falls that could have been completely avoided if the people were taught the proper progressions of the handstand. If you can't kick up to a free standing handstand, bring your feet completely together and have the ability to step out or roll out of it, then you have no business doing a handstand against a wall! For the beginner, kicking up as hard as they can against a wall and hoping to stay in handstand or be able to do a handstand pushup because they can overhead press so much weight, is crazy. Their arms will likely give out as a result of not understanding what to do, they'll tuck their chin (to protect their face) and will be stuck against the wall on their neck. If the picture to you right doesn't look bad, well imagine 200+ lbs falling hard into that position in less than 1 second. OUCH!

I strongly recommend that you get ahold of a local gymnastics instructor if you want to learn a good handstand. Tell them WHY you need to learn a handstand and ask for an instructor that has lots of experience in teaching adult gymnastics. One session isn't going to cut it either! Too many times have I spent an hour in the gym teaching CrossFit folks handstand drills, games, techniques, etc and they think they should have this awesome handstand and should be able to crack out endless handstand pushups. Gymnastics coaches aren't miracle workers! It'll take more than 2 hours of coached practice per week for a couple of months before you'll see very noticable changes.

Handstand Step 1 - THE LUNGE: must be solid. Back leg straight, front leg bent but muscles engaged. Arms by ears.

Handstand Step 2 - THE KICK: front leg remains bent, back leg remains straight. Arms go down to the floor at the same rate as the back leg goes up. Notice here that my arms to back leg are in a straight line. Chin is in the neutral position, eyes staring at where I want to put my hands.

Handstan Step 3 - HAND CONTACT: notice my back leg and hands are still in a straight line. My bottom leg has just pushed off the floor and is on it's way to the vertical to assemble with my other leg. All muscles are engaged... but is squeezing, legs are straight, arms are straight, toes are pointed, core is squeezed (much tighter than you would for an overhead squat). Eyes are looking at my hands.

Handstand Stage 4 - FINAL RESULT: Again all muscles are engaged. Each joint is assembled on top of each other. What I mean by this is that if you drew a line from my wrists to shoulders to hips to knees to toes, the end result would be a straight line.
Now to get out of the handstand count down the steps 4 - 3 - 2 - 1!

74 days until Canada West Qualifier!

Family Day Holiday WOD (February 16, 2009):
5 Rounds:
- 350m Row Sprint
- 2 min Rest

1) 1:24.3
2) 1:28.4
3) 1:33.0
4) 1:33.8
5) 1:29.8


Technique work:
Clean & Jerk 1-1-1 @ 125#
BW Overhead Squat (105#) got up to 10 reps before I got off balance and the weight fell. I'm almost at the 15 rep standard.

77 days left until the Canada West Qualifications!

One fewer day of training, but was able to get another good bunch of baseline scores to compare my improvements to.

February 13, 2009 WOD:
AMRAP Pushups (no stopping allowed, full lockout, chest to deck) = 29. Could have done a couple more... don't know why I stopped but I did.
100 Situps for time = 2:27 Didn't fraction... first 60 and last 15 were top speed all out. This is the only way I'm going to improve my "Annie" time.
Max Burpees in 30 sec = 17. Goal was 15 and I met it. Did Max burpees in 1 min about a month back and got 27, hoping that I can get 30 in 1 min now.
500m Row = 1:58.7 PR! First time under 2:00! Last 500m row was 2:00.1, so I'm extremely happy with that effort. My goal for rowing this year is to achieve 1:50 before Games, as that's where I feel I need to be in order to stay competitive if a row pops up.

I've posted a video of my row, feel free to make comments and help me get faster. I feel like I had decent technique until about 250m and then completely died off.

Feb 13, 2009 - 500m Row

78 days left until Canada West Qualifications!

Time is surely flying by! ONLY 78 DAYS LEFT!!! As each day goes by I get more and more excited, yet nervous as heck. The Canada West Qualifications are held in Calgary at their new location that isn't open yet. I'm hoping that some time in the near future they are up and running and I can stop in for a workout to get used to the surroundings.

I'm also going to the CF Level 1 Cert held at True Fitness in Calgary March 21-22. That should be a good time... hoping to get some good coaches there and be able to see what I'm up against and how much more I have to push in training to get to where I need to be for May (and July if I make it).

CF Lethbridge WOD - February 12, 2009:
1-1-1 Back Squat
Max Chinup Hang

Back Squats were performed "Total Style", 175#P, 185#F, 180#F. Pretty happy with the 175#, as that is a 5# PR for me. Even more exciting is the fact that I was able to record a new PR with my hip injury. The hip is completely fine, but really flares up when doing heavy squating exercises. I've completely stopped doing near max back squats and front squats, as those two really hurt! It's tender right now, and will probably be sore until Monday but at least I made it through.

Max Chinup Hang performed with legs together and pointed "gymnast style" with chin just below the lip touching the bar in reverse grip. Managed a 1:32 here, should have been much higher but I wasn't mentally prepared for the effects it would have on my abs.