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