Cert, Training, & Thoughts

Last weekend (April 23-26th) I joined Jeff Tucker in Saskatoon, SK to assist in a CF Gymnastics cert. I am always so grateful to be given the chance to help out and provide fellow CrossFitters with my knowledge of 'gymnastics' to better assist their training. Each cert is completely different. The strengths and weaknesses of each participant pretty much dictate how in depth we have to go with certain skills and if we can throw in some more advanced elements. The group of people in Saskatoon were rock stars! Each and every participant had a good strength base and understanding of the concepts we were presenting, which allowed us to spend a little more time on the front and back levers, planche and planche progressions, and EROM Handstand Pushups.

The hosts of CF Saskatoon were amazing; offering Tucker and I rides to and from the hotel and the gym, bringing us lunch to the cert while I busted my butt in workouts during the break, and pretty much offering anything they could to make our stay the best possible. Thanks to Ian and Chad for that!
On the second day we shot a couple of videos for the CrossFit Journal and CrossFit.com. During the warmup for Day 2 we led the participants through the progressions for planche. We covered ALOT of material... basic frog stand, advanced frog stand, tuck planche, tuck planche on paralettes, and moving into the straddled planche. Then during the lunch break we grabbed a couple of the Saskatoon girls and covered muscle up progressions and ring dip depth for a second video. Keep checking back on those two websites for these videos! I'm pretty pumped to see how they turned out.
I managed to sneak in a workout during the lunch breaks... "Barbara" on Day One. That one has to be my least favorite workout. Give me "Angie", "Cindy", "Chelsea", etc any day over "Barbara". Round times were as follows: 2:40, 3:29, 3:56, 3:58, 3:59 for a total working time of 18:02 (PR). Pushups are what killed me! Maybe it's in my head but I am finding ring pushups easier than standard pushups these days or maybe it was just the fact that I save time on the pullups by doing those unbroken each time, thus making the pushups more difficult.

Other than the workouts themselves, I did ALOT of demoing over the course of the weekend. This stuff is not easy even for a gymnast. Each and every skill presented in the CF Gymnastics Cert requires concentration and effort each and every time. I compare hitting the perfect tucked back lever to fighting for a 5 pound PR on the deadlift. Eye popping, breath holding, muscle shaking effort! Pretty proud of the nice flat backed back lever I hit with Tucker in the picture.
Always sad to have the weekend come to a close. The people are always so great and I only get the chance to hang out and visit with Tucker when he comes up North to Canada, which is usually only once every 3 months. And with Regionals and Games coming up we are both busy with preparing for those... as an athlete and a host.
Interesting Fact of the Day: It takes seven seconds for food to move from the mouth to the stomach!

My Life

It's been a busy couple of weeks. I've been meaning to sit down and update my blog, but something comes up that is more important and posting gets pushed to the side.

Couple of items from training lately:

Visited CF Lineage last weekend while I was in Edmonton for my athlete's Provincial Championships... "Grace" was the workout of the day. Before then, I had only ever done "Grace" once and it was pretty difficult for me. My time before was 4:06 with the majority of the jerks performed split jerk style and alot of drops from over head. That day at CF Lineage was different though... I was in the zone. Nothing could distract me and I had my mind focused on the task at hand. Typically in high rep count weighted exercises my mind wanders and I find myself focusing on my breathing and how tired I am rather than the task... not this time! Busted out a BLAZING 10 reps unbroken right out of the gate and ended up with a time of 2:04!! Very stoked about that one!!

Also did some nice grueling hill sprints yesterday. I'm not typically happy when I have to run. I usually find it boring and I don't exhurt myself as much as I should because I would rather be doing something else. But that wasn't the case yesterday. I warmed up with a 10 min trail jog out the back of our house to the steepest coulee hill I could find. Not too hard to find a steep hill in Lethbridge. The location and scenery was so beautiful that I couldn't NOT enjoy myself. 8 sets of 25 sec hill sprint followed by 3min 35sec rest. During the rest time I walked back down the hill and managed to snap some pictures on my BlackBerry to post.


So this morning we woke up to no power. Well actually, Chad came to bed late last night and said the power was out. I didn't think anything of it because I thought it would be back up and running by the morning. Not the case. ZERO power in the entire city of Lethbridge. No power since 1:00am meant the water treatment plant could not process any clean water, so we are working off of the reserves... that should only last 12 hours before the taps run dry. WOW! Never in my life did I think I would experience this kind of chaos!

But as I write this, Chad shot me a text message that we just restored power back at our house at 4:30pm! Today was pretty interesting with no power. I left at 8:00am to see if any of the grocery stores at the other end of the city had power so we had something to eat... nothing and the roads were pure madness!! I shot a text to a friend to see if they had power on the west side... power was restored at 9:15am on that side. I thought that was perfect I could head over to the ONE grocery store with power. No such luck... they had power, but none of the tills were working and it would take a while before they were up and running.

So for breakfast, I had the brilliant idea of cooking on the BBQ. Boil some water on the side burner to make two cups of the FABULOUS Starbucks Instant Coffee and scramble some eggs in our new medal handled frying pans. Probably the best tasting breakfast I have ever eaten. The eggs were amazing! Chad worked his butt off to boil that water on the side burner, because the crazy Lethbridge wind blowing at 60-75km/hour kept blowing out the flame.

We watched the first 1/2 of The Hurt Locker on my netbook before the battery died. Then decided if there was nothing else to do I better get my workout done.

A.) Overhead Squat @4211; 3-5 reps x 5; rest 4 min
115, 120, 130, 135, 140# all for 5 reps

B.) Snatch Balance; 3 reps x 5 @ 80% effort; rest 90 sec
80, 95, 105, 115, 120#

C1.) DB Back Extensions @1010; 20 unbroken x 3; rest 90 sec
10, 15, 15#

C2.) Powell Raises @3011; 6-8/arm x 3; rest 90 sec
15# for 8/8/6 reps

AMRAP Burpees in 30 sec x3; 90 sec rest
18, 15, 14

I video taped my 3 rep snatch balance with 120#, which I will upload later tonight when I get home from work.

How Much Longer Will This Continue...?

Saturday, April 10, 2010
A.) Work up to a heavy 3 rep Deadlift (NOT a 3RM) = 210# (PR)

B1.) Power Clean @ 12X1; 3-5 reps x 5; 120 sec rest
95(5), 105(5), 110(5), 120(5), 125(3)... I'm pretty sure I could get the 125# probably even the 130# had I found my chalk bucket (it's been missing since th Sectionals and I KNOW I brought it home). Power cleans, heck any Olympic lift is crazy difficult with these small hands and no chalk!
B2.) Rings Dips @ 31X1; amrap (-1) x 5; 120 sec rest
10, 10, 10, 9, 8

C.) Fit ball hamstring curls; 15 reps x 5; 90 sec rest
Subbed these for GH Raises as I have no access to the GHD quite yet

Rest 20 min

4:28 (PR)
New PR by 4 seconds... surprisingly I am not as sore as I thought I would be this morning! Huge bonus!

Two workouts today as well, but those are going to have to wait. I'm teaching at a gymnastics seminar for recreational coaches all day today. Have time for some skill practice during lunch then will kick it tonight!

Not What I was Expecting

My favorite Olympic Weightlifter, Melanie Roach... Why is she my favorite? Well she used to be a competitive gymnast before turning to the sport of Olympic Lifting. She is the first American to Clean & Jerk two times her bodyweight!!

Today's workout was exactly the reason why you can't make your game plan based on the numbers and scores other people are posting!

10 Rounds of Time:
(cannot push the weight down until one arm is complete)
Right SA DB Power Snatch 30# x1
Right SA DB OHS x1
Right SA DB Split Jerk x1
Right SA DB Thruster x1
Right SA DB Front Squat x 1
Left SA DB Power Snatch x1
Left SA DB OHS x1
Left SA DB Split Jerk x1
Left SA DB Thruster x1
Left SA DB Front Squat x1

I went in thinking that this one will obviously get harder as the rounds go by... simply not the case for me. My balance was good with the one DB overhead in the OHS and both arms were equally balanced in terms of strength. I rocked this one!! I really enjoy these weight complex type workouts (well at least when it is a weight I can manage).

Welcome Back to PR Land!

One of my idols, James FitzGerald. He has the "complete package". He has the best talent, work ethic, and mental focus I have ever seen in an athlete. People know when he walks into a room and without knowing anything about him you can tell he is a great athlete.

James "OPT" Fitzgerald from CrossFit Central on Vimeo.

Today was my first day back at training after taking a much needed week off to rest the sore quads from Sectionals. I should have been back on Saturday, but I was busy with my gymnast's competition in Edmonton (The Triple Flip Wild Rose International).

A.1) Back Squat @40X0; 2-3 reps x 6; rest 2 min
All 3 reps: 145, 150, 155, 160, 170, 175# (PR!)
A2.) Weighted Chinup @21X0; 1,1,1,1,1,1; rest 2 min
25, 35, 42.5, 47.5, 52.5, 55# (PR!)

B1.) DB Russian Step Up; 10-12/leg x 4; rest 60 sec
12 reps/leg and 20#/hand for all
B2.) Vertical Plane Chinups; 25 reps x 4; rest 60 sec
All sets unbroken

C.) GHD Situps; 2121; 25 reps x 3; rest 120 sec
No GHD at home, so I subbed three different situp styles... Swiss ball, Janda, and V-Snaps

Legs felt strong today, which was surprising actually because of the beating they took at the Sectionals and how weak my back squats were the week leading up to the Sectionals. Played with a different bar and hand position for the back squats. I need more practice with this as my shoulder flexibility is a hinderance here.

The Right Thing at the Right Time

Seek and you shall find...

My Research Project

Ever since graduating from the University of Lethbridge with a degree in Kinesiology, I've wanted to perform the following research study: The Corelation Between Limb Length and Rope Climbing Speed (with and without foot assistance).

Well.... good news!!! This week I'm going to begin my research. I have over 20 of my own gymnasts between the ages of 5 and 12 years to measure and record results. After recording my athletes, I will ask the coaches of the Norfort Gymnastics Club in Fort McMurray to assist me by providing the results of their athletes.