CrossFit Endurance – Week 3

This was the third week of CrossFit Endurance.  However, we only had class on Tuesday this week due to a scheduling conflict.  So week 3, session #5.  No, it’s not getting easier in case you were wondering.

CF_Going Back For More

Tuesday – 5:30am

Warm Up – 1000 meter rowing.  Sounds easy right?  Yeah, not really.  There is some sort of secret rowing technique that I’m unable to grasp.  They tried to instill it in me at CrossFit New Lenox too.  But I’m not on board.  I feel like one of the kids by saying, “I just don’t get it”.  Yeah, that about sums it up.  I like to row but my technique is wrong.  I’m open to doing it correctly but apparently don’t understand what my body is supposed  to do.  I’ll keep working on it though.  I WANT to get it right.

Hip Distractions – This really stretches the hips, hamstrings & glutes.  A good warm up for runners.

Strength – Sumo Deadlifts.  These are getting better.  We spent 10-12 minutes on this, which is a lot of time.  2-3 reps at a time.  35# bar w/ 30#s each side.  95#s total.

Met Con – 3 rounds:  20 Russian Kettle Bell Swings, not sure on weight.  10 Burpees.   The Russian KB Swing was new for me.  It’s an extension of the squat movement we have been working.  Squat.  Swing.  Stay tight.  Let arms be dead.  They shouldn’t be lifting, so KB only goes up to about chest level.  Not a full swing like I’ve done in the past.

CF_Russian KB Swing

Burpees.  Yeah, we all know what these are, don’t we?  Still not fun.  I could do burpees every day for the rest of my life and I’m sure they will still be hard for this long body of mine. Great image below from RecaptureFitness.

CF_Burpees_RecaptureFitness

CF_Burpees Quote

I personally think that everyone would eat healthier if we were all held accountable with burpees.  I mean, if I had to get down and do 130+ burpees before each craft beer was released from my fridge, I bet I’d stop buying/drinking craft beer.  How about you? 

     Burpee Calculator

So that’s a wrap on Week 3.  I’ll see you next week! 

What else is up besides CrossFit Endurance?  I have a Garmin Marathon giveaway going HERE, drawing is on Christmas Eve.  And I’m running the Huff 50K tomorrow.  More on that next week.  I’m not nearly as prepared for Huff as I normally would be but I think I can make it thru the 2 loops.  To be continued on that saga.  Smile

Have a Great Weekend – Amanda – TooTallFritz

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CrossFit Endurance – Week 2

The past week has been a blur.  Michael brought home the flu last week and I’ve been sick on and off since last THUR night.  When my alarm rang on Tuesday morning at 4am, I was not feeling good but decided to go to CF Endurance since it only meets 2x per week.  I REALLY did not want to miss it.  I want, no, I NEED to regain my strength.  It’s important to me for a lot of reasons.  In my world a strong body is way more important than a thin one.  Ever heard the quote, “Strong Is The New Skinny”?  Strength, both emotional and physical, that’s what motivates me.  What motivates you?

Dont Wish It Were Easier

Regardless of what I wanted, heading to CF Endurance on Tuesday was not the smartest move.  I choked on just about every aspect of the workout, including the warm up.  I was absolutely exhausted, had zero energy and just about as much focus.  I look back at the pic of Tuesday’s white board and can hardly even remember anything other than how fatigued I felt.  Thank goodness I was back on track today!  Here is a recap of what CrossFit Endurance at CrossFit Tactical Strength in Ft Wayne, Indiana looked like for Week 2.

Week 2 – TUE 5:30am

Warm Up – Squats – 30/20/30  – Initially with bands around our knees, no weights, then we added in a weight bar.  I think.  I was already exhausted by this time and we hadn’t even gotten started.  I remember that we counted.  Out loud.  Together.  And I didn’t want to even do that.

Strength – Box Squats – 10 minutes.  We started with the bar only, 33#s for my group, then did a back squat onto a box (or bench for those of us who are extra tall).  Progressed by adding weights, 10#s each side, 53# total.  The first graphic shows the movement, the second shows the form better on the back half of the movement.  Goal being a good squat and to load the glutes & hamstrings, not the quads.

CF_Box Squats   CF_Box Squats2

Sumo Deadlifts – New skill for our newbie class.  Bar only.  Progression on the squat movement.  It was a bit of a struggle for me because I’ve only done traditional deadlifts.  So I wasn’t keeping my feet far enough apart or getting my knees out enough.  Here is a great explanation from PeakPerformance365 on the difference between the two deadlifts.  Graphic below is from the same source.

• Conventional deadlift. Conventional deadlifts place more emphasis on the back and spinal erectors (posterior chain). If you have a very strong lower back there is a good chance that you will be able to deadlift more using a conventional stance. (Body structure will also come into play)
• Sumo deadlift. Sumo deadlifts shift some of the emphasis to glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips and upper traps. If you are experiencing lower back issues, or have a history of lower back problems, sumo deadlifts may be a better option.

Traditional deadlift pictured on the left.  Sumo deadlift on the right. 

CF_Sumo Deadlift

Accessory Work – Jump Ropes – Skips – Foot work

Metabolic Conditioning – AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) – 3 min.  10 Sumo Deadlifts, 10 Push Ups.  Rest 1:30, repeat.  Yeah, I was exhausted way before this.  I “lucked out” and got the bigger bar for deadlifts, so that was already 45#s, then I had to add 10#s per side.  Not my idea, ok.  And I didn’t use my words and say this was too much for my ailing body.  My bad.  So I was 65#s with the Sumo Deadlifts and I didn’t do well.

Week 2 – THUR 5:30am

Feeling better today and we are finally starting to move into some real workouts.  I was super happy about our WOD today, or the “Met Con” section as they call it at this box.  This was our 4th class and it’s good to see that we are getting somewhere, slowly but surely. 

Warm Up – 4 Rounds – 10 seconds ea:  Jumping Jacks, Air Squats, Mountain Climbers, Lunges.  All traditional things, only twist was with the Mountain Climbers.  We had to take our forward leg OUTSIDE our arms.  Made it way tougher and very awkward.  Great image from CrossFit Oakgrove below to show the exaggerated movement.

CF_Mountain Climbers_CF Oakgrove

Mobility – Hip Distractions with a slight variation to work on additional flexibility to ankle.

Strength – Push Press.  12 min.  33# bar, progress to 10# weights on each side.  53# total.  Yay, something I recognize!  Graphic below from CrossFit Gardendale.

CF_Push Press_CF Gardendale

Metabolic Conditioning – 3 Rounds – AMRAP in 1:30:  Sled Sprint + Max Ring Rows.  Rest 1:30, repeat x3.   Working on anaerobic threshold.  Short burst of intensity to exhaustion and it worked.  I couldn’t breath after pushing the sled.  And I could barely pull myself up for the ring rows.  Plus they wanted us super low on the ring rows so it was even harder.   Sled image first, we used one 25# plate and that was plenty.  I liked this graphic because the lady is pulling her knees up high (like a sprint), which was what we were supposed to be doing.  Ring Rows second, old pic of me at CrossFit New Lenox when I was thinner and stronger.  We were lower today, or supposed to be closer to the ground with out feet out further.  Tough.

CF_Sled Sprints   CF_ring rows_me

And that’s a wrap for Week 2.  So far, I’m super happy.  This is definitely different than what I did at CF New Lenox but it’s good.  The current Endurance course is like a cross between personal training, physical therapy and CrossFit.  We are spending a lot of time now trying to get critical movements to become second nature as our muscles build memory.  After that we can build with more skills, or add onto the basic skills for more complex movements.  I look forward to where we are headed!  How about you?  Crossfit?  Love it or Leave it?

** Trying to Get Strong (AGAIN) ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

CrossFit Endurance–Week 1

Tuesday, December 1st was my first day back to CrossFit in a VERY long time. 

CF_What Is

According to CrossFit.com:

CrossFit is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity). CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective.

I’m currently in a CF Endurance class at CrossFit Tactical Strength in Ft Wayne, IN.  According to CrossFitEndurance.com:

CrossFit Endurance is an endurance sports training program dedicated to improving performance, fitness and endurance sports potential. We inspire, coach, and provide our community with the most aggressive and proven fundamentals of sports science, exercise physiology, nutrition, and athletic training protocols.

The difference between a traditional CF course and an Endurance course is all about fundamentals.  The Endurance class spends a lot of time on stretching, trying to activate muscles, think glutes & hamstrings, that are dormant in the bodies of most endurance athletes.  We focus on movement and doing things correctly.  We spend more time talking and practicing moves verses just banging out WODs.  Ultimately, the endurance based CF class will not only increase strength but focus on reducing volume of endurance based training while increasing the quality of workouts.  It’s a process.  Strength, nutrition & flexibility seem to be key to our impending success.  I hope you’ll follow along and see how CF Endurance impacts my running and triathlon adventures in 2016.

Week 1, TUE 5:30a Class

Brand new class.  Fresh group of endurance athletes ready to get strong!  From left:  Me, Amy, Sheryl, Adella, Jaime & Brandy.

CF_group

Warm Up:

1)  Plank Series:  Front Plank, Superman, Side Plank Left, Side Plank Right.    Hold each for 10 seconds, rotate to next move.  3-4 rotations.  Week 1 was rough for me, even the warm-ups.  I have shaky arm syndrome from being weak.

2)  Hip Distraction – Let’s open up those hips and stretch the glutes and hamstrings.  We were instructed to hold the stretch on each hip for 2-3 minutes.  It takes 2 minutes for a change to occur in how our muscles work.  Apparently, if we hold for a minimum of 2 minutes we create a new muscle memory.  I can’t say one way or another because our version of this stretch had our back knee on the ground and both of my knees are injured from falling a couple weeks ago.  So I tried to do this but couldn’t hold it very long because I couldn’t tolerate the pressure on my knee(s).  I like the version in the picture and will try this next time.

CF_Hip Distraction

Accessory Work (Kinda like Physical Therapy for all of us laymen) – Banded Hip Bridges – 3 sets of 10-15.  We did it without additional weight.

CF_Banded Hip Bridges

Skill/Strength:  Air Squat & Box Squat.  A silly thing like a squat and we spent a lot of time on it this week.  Being a long time endurance athlete, it’s hard for my glutes & hamstrings to activate.  Spent a lot of time on proper positioning and getting our form correct.

Metabolic Conditioning – Mostly anaerobic for us since we get enough aerobic condition from the run, bike, swim.  Tabata (4 minutes – 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeat x8) – Rowing for Calories, Pushups.  One group was rowing for the 8 rounds, other group did Pushups.  Then we switched.

 

Week 1, THUR 5:30a Class

Warm Up: 1)  Plank Series (Front Plank, Superman, Left Side Plank, Right Side Plank) 3-4 rounds of 10 seconds each.  2)  Banded Walk with Squat.  Once again building on that squat.

CF_Banded Walk w Squat

Skill/Strength:  Deadlift (first image) & Push Press with Kettlebell (second image)

CF_KB Deadlift  CF_KB Push Press

Metabolic Conditioning (WOD for normal CrossFitters):  21-15-9 Reps for Time of Kettlebell Deadlifts, Kettlebell Push Press & Situps.  3 rounds, 21 of each move the first round, 15 of each second round, 9 of each last round. 

Accessory:  GHD (Glutes Hamstring Developer) Hold.  This was super hard for me.  I have zero core strength and all my weight was on low my quads.  It hurt.  I didn’t do very well with it.

CF_GHD Holds

That’s a wrap for Week 1!  I learned some new moves.  I was humbled by how weak my body has become.  And I realized exactly how damaged my poor knees are from the fall.  I’m in rough shape right now.  But onward & upward, right?

**Disclaimer – I write about my workouts for informational purposes.  I personally need to do CrossFit & High Intensity workouts in a gym/box with supervision so that my movements are monitored to avoid injury.  In the past, people have suggested that these moves are easy enough to do at home.  Not for me.  I share my journey with you so that you can see what these programs are like and have the courage to try them for yourself if you have an interest.  Under the supervision of a trained professional.  If you attend a CF class and are not constantly being hounded about your form and movement then 1)  you are perfect or 2) your CF instructor doesn’t care about your safety.  Please keep that in mind.  I’ve had good luck with the facilities that I have attended but I’ve also heard horror stories about CF in general.  Make sure your instructor cares about you and helps you to avoid injury thru proper movement and form.

** Working on Strength & Conditioning ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

A Return to CrossFit ….

Call this a week of new beginnings.  It’s been approximately 612 days since my last CrossFit session. My CrossFit days came to a screeching halt in the Spring of 2014 as we learned that we were moving from IL to IN.   Hubby had received a very sudden job offer for a position that I believe he had been interviewing on for over 7 months.  We had about 2 days to decide if he should take it.  Then we had another 2 weeks of mania before he left to start the new job, 200 miles away from where we lived in IL.  It was a crazy time and to be honest, I still am not sure I’m settled in Indiana.  Although I love the new area and being close to my family and old HS friends, it’s been nothing but a long period of adjustment, struggle and pure chaos, which is far from over.  It hasn’t been fun but I’ve made a real effort to get back to basics and focus on my food, weight and regain my lost strength (both physically & emotionally).  That’s what I focus on each day.  I make the choice to eat well and be strong.

daily changes

I’ve been looking for a CrossFit Endurance type program since I moved in August 2014.  But it wasn’t that easy.  The area I’ve moved to is much smaller.  I’m now in a suburb of Ft Wayne, Indiana NOT Chicago.  Slightly different market.  There are very few CF boxes here and only one CF Endurance program within a 40 mile radius.  That Endurance program was a cruise from where I live AND it’s an evening class.  As a wife and mother with a full time J.O.B, evening classes don’t really happen for me.   Ever.

So I visited a couple CF “boxes” (AKA “gyms”) looking for a CF class somewhat close to my new home.  It didn’t go well.  One box owner told me I was out of shape, overweight, and due to my history of injuries, I would need to be personally trained before I could possibly even go to one of their CF classes.  Great.  I knew all that but couldn’t afford a personal trainer or a bigger wound to my already damaged self esteem.  So I tried to do home based CF workouts.  I talked to some of the trainers at my local YMCA to see if we could get some CF equipment at the Y.  I was making an effort but ultimately failing because I wasn’t even sure if I was doing the CF moves correctly.  I knew I needed to regain my strength.  I wanted to do Strict Presses, Push Presses and Dead Lifts, etc but I didn’t have anyone watching to make sure I wasn’t screwing things up.  So I basically gave up til recently when I once again started searching for options.  And bingo, one of the CF gyms had just moved to the north side of Ft Wayne. 

CF_logo

513 Incentive Drive, Ft Wayne, IN * (260) 310-5360 * anthonyshefferly@gmail.com

I went for a visit.  Can’t say I had a ton of hope.  We still haven’t managed to sell our IL house and things are not good for us financially.  I pretty much assumed that I couldn’t afford anything they were offering.  But looking and talking are free, right? 

Long story short, we set up a CrossFit Endurance Class on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 5:30am.  Offering a one month trial period for December 2015.  Very low cost (almost free). Trial period for any runner, triathlete, endurance athlete who may be interested in seeing if this is something they want to pursue.  Trial period for CF Tactical Strength to see if an Endurance class will work for them and if there is a real interest/need for this type of class.

December 1st was our first class.  Stay tuned for more info on my first week back to CrossFit tomorrow! 

P.S. ….. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a FREE Entry to a Spartan Race of your choosing.  Go HERE to enter! 

** Happy Running & Enduring WHATEVER Your Heart Desires ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

How to Stay Motivated Thru The Winter

I can already see it.  It’s happening to my group runners at the YMCA of DeKalb County and it’s happening to some of my friends.  The Winter Blues are moving in and the snow has yet to fly in NE Indiana. 

brrr

I know that the time change put a real damper on things.  It seems like it’s dark ALL THE TIME now.  But that doesn’t mean that we give up until spring.   As always, let’s focus and make a plan to combat those winter blues!!  First, consider trying a new fitness activity or class.  Use the winter months to get stronger, leaner and even more amazing.  Make this winter YOUR B*TCH. 

summer bodies

I’m taking #1 to heart this year!  I’ll be starting a CrossFit Endurance class on December 1st.  Tuesday & Thursdays @ 5:30am.  Feel free to join me if you are local and want to make 2016 your best year to date!  I’m going to get strong AND stay ahead of those winter blues!!!

  • CrossFit Tactical Strength
  • 513 Incentive Drive, Ft Wayne, IN 46825 
  • (260) 310-5360 

CF Tactical Strength 

Second, I think it’s important to not only do some different activities during the winter months but reconnect with what you really love.  For me, running is my game.  I love it.  But pounding the pavement gets BORING.  So I really try to mix it up in the fall and winter months.  The way I do that is by hitting the trails.  I leave my music at home.  Grab my 4 legged running partner and we run.  If I get tired, we walk.  If a hill is too steep we walk.  I don’t have a mileage goal, we just run and enjoy the amazing environment.  Bonus:  the trees provide a wind break on those blustery days!  Secret:  Running in the fresh fallen snow is invigorating and gives a sense of peace.

snowy trails

Third, don’t go too long without a real plan.  I know you just killed your fall races.  Nailed some amazing goals, maybe even got the big BQ.  Bask in the glory!  Take some time off!  Put your feet up in the recliner and cuddle the little ones.  And then figure out what’s next so that you have a definitive point to get back to work.  I find that putting a spring marathon on my calendar keeps me honest thru the winter months.  I can be lazy like anyone but sometimes I need a reason to get my butt out in the cold to move my body.   My 2016 Spring Marathon will be the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.  May 1st, 2016.  Far enough ahead that I get some down time.  Close enough that I don’t get lazy. 

flying pig

Think about how you want your winter to look this year.  Think about what strides you would like to make while others are spending time in hibernation.  Think about the goals you have on board for 2016 and how you can get one step closer by focusing on improving yourself in the off season! 

After the Thanksgiving holiday, I’ll talk more about CrossFit Endurance and how to train for the Flying Pig Marathon DURING THE WINTER.  For now, I’m pretty focused on the Route 66 Marathon this weekend and the fact that I’m speaking on the blogger panel Saturday at 3pm, Expo Stage.  If you are at Rt 66 this weekend, find me and tell me how you plan to make this winter YOUR B*TCH. 

** Stay Motivated THIS Winter ** Amanda – TooTallFritz