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 Day 58 & 59

Good week at CrossFit.  It’s one of those activities which can seem SO HARD one day, then not so bad the next.  It’s all about the movements in the WOD and whether it hits your list of strengths verses weaknesses.  This is the reason as to why it’s so important to KEEP GOING, even when you are feeling bad or as if you aren’t making any progress.  The very next workout may be the one that YOU knock out of the park. 

Day 58 – Push Press 5×3 – 73#

Tabatas for Total Reps – Keep track of your reps throughout each of the 8 sets of a movement. 

  • Kettlebell Swings – 35#s – Dang that KB is soooo heavy.  As indicated by my crazy face below.

Kettlebell Swings

  • Ball Slams – 20# – Another super heavy item! 
  • Hand Release Push-Ups – Not a good move for my spaghetti arms.
  • Rowing for Calories (something to count for the total reps)

Day 59 – Back Squats – 5×3 – 83#s – Moved up in weight!!

5 Rounds

  • 15 Front Squats with a 35# KettleBell – Yep, still heavy.
  • 10 Sit-ups
  • 5 Burpees – Dare I say these are almost manageable in increments of 5? 

Then we stretched, rolled & worked on our Double-Unders!  Good week!

** Keep Pushing, Even When Progress is Indiscernible ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

CrossFit Day 54 & 55

I’ll be honest, this far into CrossFit, it shouldn’t seem so hard EVERY DAMN TIME.  But it is hard.   I’m not sure if that is good or bad.  I want to be stronger but just don’t feel as if I am getting where I want to go.  Maybe because I only go twice a week?  Maybe because I’m in the middle of a pretty fast training cycle as I am trying to get these legs to start turning over QUICKLY again?  Maybe because I’m overeating and have gained weight?  Maybe because I’ll be 40 in a little over a month?  Obviously, I’m not sure what the missing part of the equation is, for me, but I’m pretty sure I can put the blame on the crap that I’m stuffing in my mouth my food intake.  I eat well 90% of the time.  But apparently that 10% WEIGHS me down.  I need to get it together!!  I need to be more disciplined.

What You Want Now vs What You Want Most

So I’m taking a break to go fill my water bottle and peel my banana ………

Now onto the WODs from last week.  I’m still going.  I’m still trying.  And when I get tried, I tell myself that I need to keep pushing because that’s what will make me stronger.

CrossFit Day 54 – Push Press 5×3 (73#s) & Tabatas

Tabatas – As you probably know by now, this is the 8 sets of each movement with 20 seconds on and then 10 seconds off (rest) between sets.

  • Ring Dips – Super hard.  My spaghetti arms aren’t showing much improvement, plus I’m not coordinated enough for the ring dips.  I’m very shaky and even with the assistance of the band, this is a difficult move for me.
  • Ball Slams – 20# ball.  We’ve recently moved up in weight in all our “balls”, and even the kettle bells.  I know this is a positive thing but it makes everything SO tough.
  • Sit-ups – Actually something I can do.  Yay me!
  • Wall Balls – 14# ball
  • Rowing

CrossFit Day 55  – Front Squats 5×3 – (73#s)

Partners – Each person does half of the prescribed WOD (workout of the day).  Items can be divided in any way you choose (sometimes we just do half each, sometimes we have to break it down more.  EX – burpees we did 10 each x2, then 5 each).  Timed workout, so please bust it so your partner isn’t waiting on you for too long!

  • 50 Burpees
  • 100 Sit-ups
  • 50 Box Jumps – Super tall box this time!!  I  normally use the 18” and this was maybe 24”, I could definitely tell and had to be careful to make it up and not misstep.
  • 100 Kettlebell Swings – 35#
  • 50 Wall Balls – 14#
  • 100 Ball Slams – 20#

Last week was a tough week.  I was tired.  But I still went.  If I go into every workout “fresh” and ready to rumble then I’m not pushing myself or improving.  While it’s important to know my body and know when I NEED to rest, it’s just as important to realize when I get to the mid to 3/4s point of a tough training cycle, everything will be tired.  And this is the most integral point of the cycle when I need to keep pushing so that I can make the most progress.  I “get it” but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like crying sometimes tired.

The Moment You Want To Quit

** Keep Pushing, the Results Will Be Worth the Effort ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

P.S. – The giveaway for the FREE Entry to the Corn Fed Spartan Crucible obstacle course, mud run is still going on!  Enter HERE.

More Wintery Workouts + CrossFit Day 52 & 53

This was a good week, workout wise.  I’ve been in a bit of a wintery rut and decided to kick that to the curb by starting to focus on one of my favorite races, the Shamrock Shuffle 8K!  This brought the realization that I was NOT ready to run fast and I needed to start reintroducing some speedier run sessions so that I don’t hurt myself in the Shuffle!   

why should i practice running slow

Source – Emily Zatopek

As a result I started a fresh training cycle via the Run Less Run Faster app on my iPhone.  This forced both a speed workout AND a tempo session this week that I was dreading but then actually enjoyed.  While the initial speed session didn’t go perfectly, I feel as if the tempo session was decent.  No perfect, but good.  Which means that my pace isn’t that far off, I just need to get used to spinning these long legs a “little” faster! 

I also managed two StairMaster sessions, which I am dubbing as “hill work”.  Since I’m running on the treadmill, and since its super hard for me, I just zone out with a 1% incline.  All the time.  No hills.  No fun iFit live workouts thru some mysterious mountainous areas.  Nope, just flat running with a teeny-tiny incline of 1%.  I’m hoping the StairMaster workouts will give me a tiny bit of strength for whatever hills I might encounter in Little Rock.

I also was able to brave the snow and our drifted roads to hit both 5am CrossFit sessions this week. #WINNING

CrossFit Day 52

Push Press – 5×3 – 73#s

Tabatas – Perform 8 sets of the particular exercise before moving to the next station.  Each set is timed and you do as many reps as possible in the allotted time.  The time frame for Tabatas is 20 seconds “on” for the movement, 10 seconds rest = 1 set.  Repeat x8, then rotate to the next station.

  • Kettlebell Swings – 26#
  • Hand Release Push-Ups – Super hard.  My arms are weak even though I want them to be strong!
  • Sit-Ups
  • Rowing
  • Ball Slams – 20# – Whoa, my pencil arms were tried by this time.  Tough but I got it done!!

CrossFit Day 53

Front Squats – 5×3 – 73#

WOD – 5 Rounds

  • 10 Kettlebell Squats – 35# – HEAVY!!
  • 10 Ab-Mat Sit-Ups
  • 10 Burpees – Whew, I think we all know how I feel about Burpees.  I hope they eventually get easier, just a tad easier!  This all goes back to my pencil arms being weak too.  Sad smile

Then we finished off the day with 2 minutes worth of planks.  I had to do 5 different sets to get the full 2 minutes:  40 seconds, then 20 seconds x 4.

DONE!

I’ll be pounding miles on the treadmill this weekend!  I hope you have a plan to get in your workouts too!  It’s so much easier when I have a plan and stick to it. 

**  Making It Happen, Even During the Snowiest Winter EVER ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Winter Workouts + CrossFit Day 50 & 51

Just like you, these cold wintery days are taking their toll on my good humor.  I’m not sure why because I do most of my workouts inside since hubby changed jobs in August of 2013.  Yes, it’s been a long ass 6 months, in case you were wondering.  My outside runs are few and far between and yes, I may have just signed up for another marathon so that I’m guaranteed at least 1 outdoor run within the next six weeks.   So if you are heading to the Little Rock Marathon on March 2nd, LOOK FOR ME!!!!

Last week brought back “real” workouts for me.  A couple short runs on the treadmill and the return to CrossFit.  This week, I’ve been at both the TUE & THUR CrossFit sessions PLUS I ran 7 miles on the treadmill Monday night AND I hit the StairMaster on Tuesday night.  Yes, I’m feeling like a total stud for making the most out of my indoor workouts.  Plus I love the StairMaster and it’s nice to have an excuse to use it rather than just pounding out miles on the treadmill.  Say HELLO to me in my dining room home gym as I stair away.

StairMaster

On to the week’s CrossFit workouts. 

CrossFit Day #50  – Back Squats – 6 x4 – 73#

WOD  for time – 200 Single jump ropes, 75 Kettlebell Swings (26# – and DANG was this hard), 50 – 10# medicine ball “side to side” sit-ups, 25 handstand push-ups.

The side to side sit-ups might be new.  I don’t remember doing them before but I envision them to be very beneficial to my spongy core.  Assume the sit-up position.  Come up to crunch position but only lift the feet slightly off the floor.  Then move the medicine ball from side to side, touching it on the floor each time before pivoting to the opposite side of your body. 

side to sides

CrossFit Day #51 – WOD “Jackie”

  • 1000 meter row – Apparently I was rowing incorrectly and even though it was explained to me, as well as demonstrated, in SLOW MOTION, apparently it was too much for my brain to absorb at 5am.  Sorry, J.  Anyhow, I limped thru it in about 5ish minutes.  Not sure it counts if I was doing something wrong but I was moving.  Smile
  • 50 Thrusters – 33#
  • 30 Pull-Ups – assisted with 2 bands and I still struggled.
  • Extra Credit cuz we had extra time – 10 Pull-ups w/ bands, 50 abmat sit-ups, 50 superman’s, 50 side to side sit-ups, 50 ring rows.

Bam!  Another awesome week of workouts and I still have a couple days to go!  What are you up to this week?

Unrelated side note – When I woke up this morning, I found this by my purse.  Aby made it for an Art Club project and I am IN LOVE!  Great job, “baby” girl!

Keep Calm and Run Faster

You’ll find this sign on one of my kitchen cabinet doors for the next year or so.  #KeepingItClassy

**  Keep Calm and RUN FASTER ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

CrossFit Day 37 & 38

Day 37 at CrossFit brought us very cold temps.  Only two of us went outside to run cuz well, some of us would rather run than do anything else.   Smile  Once we got back inside, I noticed that we had a full Murph lined up on the board.  Luckily it was a partner workout and I was able to split Murph with one of my best running friends.  Oh, and instead of the running part of a regular Murph we would be rowing instead.  Uh oh.  That added a new challenge.

Team “Rowing” Murph – 2 Person Team

  • 4 x 400 m Row – Each team member rows 400m 2x

Rowing

20 Rounds of the following – One team member goes thru a full set, then switches.  So I did one round, then waited as my partner did a round.  Each of us did 10 rounds.  I think we were all done 3/4 of the way thru but we powered thru the last 3 or 4 sets.

  • 5 Ring Rows
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Squats

Then back to the rowing machine to finish out with another group of 400m rows.  Dang that was tough!

  • 4 x 400 m Row – Each team Rows 400m 2x

Our team time was  31:33 and we were pushing.  My quads still hurt and we are two days “post Murph”.  Those “hero” workouts tend to really tear me up! 

 

Day 38 – Mile run then short workout

21-15-9 (Three rounds of the following, first round 21 reps, second round 15 reps, 3rd round 9 reps.

  • Kettlebell Swings – 26# – The Kettlebell has fast become my favorite piece of “equipment”.  It’s such a good builder of strength without actually making me feel as if I’m “lifting weights”.  I’m not a big weight lifter but I WANT and NEED to be strong. The kettlebells work perfectly for that and they just make me happy.

kettlebells

  • T2B (Toes to Bar, or Knees to Chest if your live in my world)
  • Push-Ups
  • Lunges

Then we finished out with 50 sit-ups and 50 superman’s.

** Getting Stronger – One Workout At A Time ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

CrossFit Day 35 & 36

Another great week at CrossFit!  Our 5am class has really been hopping for the last 4 weeks or so, I know everything is a process and we do get a great turnout for 5am but we’ve added some new people too! Yay!!

Day 35 – Partner Up! The good thing about having a partner is that you don’t want to let them down and work extra hard to do your best. The bad thing about having a partner is that both of you will never be amazing at everything and it bothers me when we get to a move that I really suck at need to improve upon, I feel like I’m letting my partner down.  Fortunately, my partner was a run friend and well, she’s seen me at my worst so this workout was no big deal! LOL!

10 Wall Climbs – Each partner does half of the workout (may be broken down into small units if necessary.
20 Pull-ups – Assisted with two bands
60 lunges (in places – alternate legs)
60 Push Press
60 Sit-ups
60 Squats
4×100 meter sprints

20131108-113325.jpg

Susan & I finished in 15:20. I totally slowed us down in a few areas, like the wall climbs and the push presses and the pull-ups. But I ran fast, hope that counts for something! Side note – CrossFit is constantly adjusted to each person’s fitness level. The other CrossFitters are always encouraging to everyone else. It doesn’t matter if I’m first or last, the support is the same. And for that, I am always grateful and it’s one of the many reason why I love CrossFit.

Day 36 – Tabatas. 8 reps at each station. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.
Ball Slams – 10# balls
Supermans
Step-Ups – 18″ box
** 1 Minute Rest **
Rowing
Sit-ups
Push-Ups

** Get Strong ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

CrossFit Day 22, 23 & 24

This will cover three different Crossfit sessions but since most of the moves are pretty standard at this point, this will be quick and painless at least to read.

image

Day 22 

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

  • Ball Slams (10#)
  • Pistols

CrossFit_Pistols_Train with Heidi

  • Ring Rows
  • Weighted Sit-Ups
  • Push Press (Bar Only – 45#)

This sequence was a bit different than any other that we have done previously.     Remember, my class (5am TUE/THUR) is for lightweights with the run club and we are more focused on increasing strength to look good for endurance so it’s a little different than the average CrossFit class. 

The number sequence added a twist.  The workout was completed in list order BUT each round the number of reps changed.  First round, we did each item on the list 1x, second round 2x, third round 3x, etc. up to 10 reps for each move for the last round.

This workout taught me is that we can’t count.  I know I can’t count and apparently my box-mates aren’t great at it either.  We rely on SOMEONE to know where they are and that totally backfired on us this time.  I ended up doing round #8 twice and I added some reps on the other rounds too.  My brain wasn’t working!

Day 23

  • 25 Pull-Ups
  • 15 Wall Climbs/HSPU – Hand Stand Push-ups ( I did HSPUs x 30)
  • 5 Recline Rope Climbs (I did 15)

Reverse Rope Climb_Me  Reverse Rope Climb_Me2  Reverse Rope Climb_Me3

This was more of a strength workout and I really enjoyed it.  I’m not great at pull-ups, even with the bands but managed to knock them out.  Then I opted for the HSPUs instead of the Wall Climbs cuz they are cool my elbow has been sore and I thought it would be less stressful. 

Handstand Pushup

We finished up with Death By Push-Ups.  Awesome.  Okay, not really.  They aren’t fun.  I made it thru 12 rounds (78 push-ups in all).  Death by anything uses the clock, in one minute intervals.   One minute per round, go as many rounds as possible.  First round started with 1 push-up.  Do the 1, then rest til the minute ends.  Then 2 push-ups in the next minute.  Then 3, etc. until you can’t go any longer.  OUCH!

Day 24

3 Rounds – 1 minute each station

  • Wall Balls (10#)
  • Ball Slams (10#)
  • Box Jumps (18” box – I did step-ups)
  • Burpees
  • Rowing

Good workout but I was low on energy today.  We stayed at each station and did as many reps as possible in one minute then moved to the next station.  After we completed one round of all the stations, one minute rest.  Repeat x3. 

** I Still Hate Burpees ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

CrossFit Day 21–Tabatas

The WOD for the 5am TUE class was Tabatas.  A Tabata workout always focuses on a group of exercises, normally 5 to 6 different moves.  Each exercise is set up at a particular station.  You are assigned to a station and perform 8 sets of the particular exercise before moving on to the next station.  Each set is timed and you do as many reps as possible in the allotted time.  The time frame for Tabatas is 20 seconds “on” for the movement, 10 seconds rest = 1 set.  Repeat x8, then rotate to the next station.

TUE 5am Tabatas:  Rowing, Hand Release Push-ups, Kettlebell Swings (25 lbs), Reverse Rope Climb & Squats.

Remember, each move requires 8 sets before moving to the next item on the list.   Most of these are things we do a lot.  However, the Hand Release Push-ups were new as well as the Reverse Rope Climbs.

Hand Release Push-Up – Just a drill to get us down and dirty all the way to our bellies before “pushing up”.  Normal push-up stance, go down to belly, lift hands  up (release hands from floor), then push back up.  Great photo of a lady from SnoRidge CrossFit doing the release here:

Hand Release Pushup_snoridge crossfit

Reverse Rope Climb – Way harder than it looks.  I was so relieved to realize that we didn’t have to climb UP the rope that I didn’t think about how difficult it would be to go backwards, or in reverse!  We leaned back holding the rope til it was taunt, then slowly moved down the rope.  In theory, we would get all the way down to the ground where our backs would be touching, then climb back up.  Super hard.  These ladies from CrossFit Camden are really rocking it below.  Let’s just say that I didn’t look as graceful.  “Smile

Reverse Rope Climb

Then we finished the CrossFit session with 25 Knees to Chest.  This is obviously our newest and most favorite move.  We will be rockin’ some serious “abs of steel” by spring so watch out!  I may even get out that pull-up bar that I wasted money on purchased earlier this year and do a few of these at home, on my own.  Maybe.  Or maybe not.

knees to chest

** Working Hard to Get Stronger ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

CrossFit Day 15 …. Tabatas

Tough workout for me today.  My back is still jacked up.  According to Dr. Alexis I have swelling in my sacral cap if I’m even remembering the correct terminology.  Regardless, my normal back “issues” have just been taken up a “notch” so we had to modify some of my CrossFit moves today.  I can’t bend very well, or reach, or sit, or stand.  Yep, just a few modifications.  Smile

A Tabatas WOD is always a group of exercises done in rotation; however, each rotation is done for 8 sets before moving onto the next exercise.  20 seconds on for the movement, 10 seconds rest = 1 set.

Day 15 brought us:  Pistols, KettleBell Swings, Rowing, Sit-ups, Air Dyne (stationary bike) and Wall Balls. 

Pistols are a new move for us and almost impossible if your back is crabby.  I used a much higher box than everyone else.  Sorry everyone, I know you were envying my taller box.  While the move doesn’t seem difficult, it was tougher than it looked.  One leg up, squat down to sit on box, stand back up with same leg out.  Then change legs.  Repeat til time is up.  Photo below from Train With Heidi.

CrossFit_Pistols_Train with Heidi

KettleBell Swings also not ideal if your back is jacked up.  I had to move to a lesser weight about half way thru. 

kettlebell-swings

Rowing – Loved this!  We used a Rowing machine.  Not easy but not difficult either.  Nice change of pace.  Pic below from CrossFit 204.

Rowing

Sit-ups, Air Dyne (Stationary Bike) & Wall Balls are all standard moves that I’ve previously mentioned.

After 15 sessions, I think it’s time to do a cost analysis.  Is CrossFit worth the cost?  First, our “box”, and I use the term box lightly cuz it just seems super hardcore, is pretty low dollar compared to others in our area.  Thanks, Jared!   When I started, the cost for our group was $10 a session or $80 a month (for 2x a week).  I have seen Groupons for our location but did not purchase one.  So there is an option to try it out for less.   That being said, $80 a month for 2x a week is still a lot of $$ for me the normal person.  If I had a gym membership I needed to maintain, or had other out of pocket fitness costs, then I wouldn’t be able to do this.  But I really don’t.   My fitness budget goes mainly to compression socks race entries.

I think we can all agree it’s pricier than a regular “gym”.  However, the individual attention, the daily modifications to make each workout “work” for the individual, and the group atmosphere which pushes each of us to be better is more beneficial {to most} than just hitting the gym.  Plus, it’s hard to cheat when you are always racing the clock for time.  In my case, the benefits outweigh the cost.  I never did strength work, no matter how good my intentions.  I had a weak core, still do but it’s improving.  I was having constant neck/shoulder/back issues from getting old old sport injuries which have caused permanent damage.  Now?  Things are starting to improve.  My back has been much stronger and I’ve had less pain until I tried to step over the dog and the kid tweaked it getting out of the shower on Tuesday.  So I know that CrossFit is helping my body.

Is CrossFit helping my running?  I don’t want to jump the gun and say that it is but I will say that my 18 miler last weekend “didn’t suck” and that’s an improvement in my world. Plus I’ve started to nail my speed work and tempo runs and that’s an improvement in my world.  I am even starting to have a glimmer of hope that I may be able to throw down some fast times this fall both in the half marathon and 5K distance.  Only time will tell but thus far, yes, I do think CrossFit is worth the cost and I believe that it WILL help my running.  Now, if they could just drop a pool in the parking lot, I would be “happy, Happy, HAPPY”.  LOL!

Do you have a fitness habit that “may” be a bit pricy but worth it in your opinion?

** Amanda – TooTallFritz **