Well I am still reeling from Fight Gone Bad 6. Had a HUGE PR today, scoring 337. I came in feeling OK but not great with a sore shoulder and coming off of a week of poor sleep, so I figured I’d be happy to just break 300, as my previous PR was 313. My strategy was simple: come in at 25 or above on my strengths: wallball, sumo deadlift high pull, and rowing. For my weaknesses, gut out at least 20 on box jumps, and hang on for dear life on push presses for whatever I could do. I also decided to take a 50 seconds work / 10 seconds off approach on each exercise, provided I could meet my minimum goals (except for the row, which is the last exercise before the rest). This would allow me to control my rest, get set up correctly for each exercise, and avoid going into a max heart rate situation until the end.
What I found was that this worked perfectly, especially on the wallballs and SDLHPs, where I was able to squeeze out some extra reps and inch the score up. While I consciously did not blow it away on any one exercise, I was able to remain highly consistent and controlled except for the last segment of push presses. On the rowing, my goal was to keep it at 1500 calories pace, but not greater than 1700 in order not to totally smoke myself. I used a heavy drag factor (140) and a low rating (30) and focused on consistency, which delivered between 23-26 calories per piece.
Not sure if I can ever replicate it, but happy with the results for today!
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It’s been a rough summer here in New Jersey – a week of triple-digit heat, floods, an ?earthquake?, and now Hurricane Irene. Lots of anti-rowing things happening, so Crossfit has been my salvation. Now I am both happy and sad to report that the original Crossfit Ignite has been done in by the flooding from Irene, and we are moving to a new location nearby which is dry, much bigger, and much better. The original location got flooded with more than a foot of water AT LEAST 5 times this summer due to a change in the water management policies at a nearby reservoir, and we are close enough to having the new box ready that we are just throwing in the towel. I look forward to the new incarnation of Crossfit Ignite in Park Ridge, NJ in time for Fight Gone Bad 6 on September 17!
The weather back east has been terrible this April and it’s been hard to get a lot of single sculling in. What I did notice, however, is that I was able to get right back on the water after a rough winter and was able to be at full pressure, race ratings within 2-3 sessions. This is unusual – it generally takes a while to get back to a comfort level of rowing at race intensity. While most people are still “getting back into it,” I am already able to start race rehearsal. What is the value of this? How many sessions of high intensity training am I gaining on a competitor who is still testing out full pressure at 24-26?
In discussions with my coach at Crossfit Ignite, I came to the following realization. I’d actually bet on this as the most important effect of Crossfit Endurance training: I probably take more strokes at or above race intensity in a single CFE workout than most masters rowers take in a whole week of traditional training. As an example, the shortest workout of all is the 8×20:10 Tabata series, which is 4 minutes end to end. In reality, this is the equivalent to rowing a 1000 race at above race intensity, at the intensity normally only reached during the first 5 strokes of a race. How often do most rowers actually do that volume of start-intensity work?
Usually I spend months training for a 3:45 minute race, and there’s a lot of pressure to perform when relatively little time has been spent rehearsing the 130 perfect strokes needed to win, at the intensity actually used during a race. But when every workout is done as race rehearsal, you develop a physical comfort level with the pain and a steely psyche, and the race becomes almost routine. This is key for me – CFE is extremely specific to the competitive event.
Having done Crossfit for about a year, I was approached by the gang at Crossfit Ignite to join the Crossfit Games Open team this year. I was apprehensive about it because there are still certain movements that I cannot do as prescribed (handstand push-ups, muscle-ups, and heavy overhead work). Others I am pretty good at and can kick in the competitive engine from rowing to drive them pretty hard. So I figured, why not?
It’s been a mixed bag but fun to be part of a team with a wide range of abilities. I don’t ever expect to compete at the Games as that is not my focus, however it’s great to see some of the amazing work others can do. It will be interesting to see if they include any running or rowing in the competition workouts with 2 more weeks to go.
Thanks to the Trotter Family YMCA in Houston for hosting me tonight and basically being the friendliest people on the planet! I was on a business trip which involved a team cooking activity at Sur La Table, at which I made a modified Emerald City Salad and enjoyed doing “Iron Chef” with a bunch of colleagues.
So after a long day, I decided to stop in at 10PM for a short late-night WOD to restore mental sanity. I missed doing the Bear Complex at Crossfit Ignite this week, so I decided to try 5 rounds of 7 reps of the Bear, followed up by a chaser of back squats at 205 and 215.
What’s the Bear Complex? An integrated movement incorporating:
- Power Clean
- to Front Squat
- to Press
- to Back Squat
- to Press
I decided to test the video capabilities on my Windows Phone 7 Series, and check my form. I found that the WP7 video is equal to or better quality than a Flip SD camera, which is awesome. The drawback is that you can’t yet send your video to the cloud automagically like you can with pictures. Hopefully this is coming in an update.
My form, on the other hand, could use some work! For one thing I am integrating the power clean with the front squat instead of separating them. And my presses are still a little squishy. Oh well learn and do better next time.
Here’s the vidcap from the final round:
A big thanks to Steven and Heidi at Crossfit Affliction in Fort Lauderdale for welcoming me during my recent business trip down there! I really appreciated the intensive coaching on snatch technique, which is one of my (many) weaknesses. I probably performed 50 snatches during a skill session and WOD, and a lot of it was about feeling out incremental improvements rep by rep, so thanks for the patience! I think that as a rower I always mentally default to exploding with the quads vs. exploding with the hips, and I just need to practice the movement over and over in order to feel it out. I now have some good visualizations that I can write down in my WOD book to focus on in the future. I hope some of my rowing advice helps out in your upcoming cert, and I look forward to wearing your cool shirt around up north. I was amazed to see that you have more Concept2 rowers than most boathouses! You have a great facility, friendly people, and most importantly great weather! If you are ever in the New York / New Jersey area look us up at Crossfit Ignite !
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Today was Crossfit Ignite’s Barbells for Boobs workout to fund breast cancer research. It was a tough WOD for me – 30 clean and split jerks at 115lb. in 4:55. I just can’t get the Rx weight of 135 overhead for more than 2-3 reps yet.
But what a great idea. This is Crossfit’s version of Row for the Cure. But these Crossfit fundraisers are soooooo easy to participate in…online signup and donation, WOD execution at your local box, swag delivered to your door, social networking used to promote it. Takes like 5 minutes to sign up, then you put the pain into the workout, not the administrivia. No extra waivers to sign, you don’t have to create an account with a company who is registering/timing the event, and you don’t have to drive anywhere. Fight Gone Bad was the same way – the easiest donation I’ve ever made that didn’t involve cash in a jar.
I can imagine what a company like Concept2 could do with their online logbook infrastructure and their worldwide reach. Anyone, anyone?