Getting Back to CrossFit and Making It Happen for 2015

I took about 9 months off strength and CrossFit workouts.  Some women could have had a baby in that time, me, I just couldn’t manage to fit it into my schedule.  Initially when hubby moved to Indiana ahead of the family, I tried to do CrossFit at home.  I called them my “home grown” CrossFit workouts.  I had a 36# Kettle Bell and a few other pieces of strength equipment. I tried to make it work.  But let me say, with kids and dogs to trip over, moving thru one of these home grown workouts was difficult at best.  Plus I was either making the workouts too easy or too hard.  It was a giant flop.  Fast Forward 9 months and I’m trying to get myself back together.  I’m focusing on strength once again.  I’m knocking off the weight I gained last year due to stress and the move.  I’m eating right.  I’m drinking water.  I’m trying to avoiding alcohol.  As they say, muscles are made in the kitchen, not the gym.  But we all know they go hand in hand.

abs-are-made-in-the-kitchen

So muscles are made in the kitchen, not the gym.  And we can’t “outrun” a bad diet, right?  Right! But for those of us who have been “on the run” for a long time, running just isn’t enough.  The body settles into a holding pattern and running becomes normal.  What to do?  Something different!  Use different muscle groups, add in speed workouts to your routine, spin, swim, CrossFit or circuit train.  We can’t do the same thing we’ve always done and expect different results than what we’ve previously recorded.  You want to change something?  You want to run faster?  You want your pants to fit better?  What are you going to change to make it happen?

Make it happen_dale adams

So basically 2014 was a year that I just “let things happen”.  And I didn’t like the results.  Yes, I had a stellar year and ran a lot of races but I gained 23 lbs, if I’m being totally honest, and well, what the hell is left now but honesty?  So in 2015 I’m going to make things happen, not LET them happen.  I encourage you to join me in this journey.  Know that things don’t happen immediately but start thinking about what you want, no what you NEED to change.  Now make an action plan and follow thru with it.  Make it happen. 

For me, I have to get my foot and body in a healthy spot.  I’m working on that and have a plan of action and for the first time in a very long time, I actually confident that I’m going to be healthy sooner rather than later.  Secondly, I’m going all Food Nazi, and yes, I can say Nazi cuz I’m like 100% German.  I’m currently doing the  AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge and I’m KILLING IT.  Third, I’m moving back to high intensity workouts like CrossFit.  However, this time, I don’t have a “box” and a CrossFit coach (miss you Jared!) but a normal gym where I’m making it happen each and every day. 

My high intensity CrossFit workouts for the week occurred at the YMCA of DeKalb.  Normal gym, right?  Let’s look at what I did.  

1)  5 Rounds: 15 – Knees to Chest (or abs if you are me!); 15 – Squats w/ weight bar only (33#s); 30 – Double Arm Battalion Rope Waves; 15 – KB Swings (20#s); 15 – Bicep Pulls (each arm – 17.5 #s).  Time – 25 minutes

2)  5 rounds: 15 Knees to Chest; 8 thrusters – 33# bar only; 20 – side to sides w/ 12# ball; 15 – 20# KB Swings; 30 Double Arm Battalion Ropes Waves.  Time:  24:44

3)  5 Rounds: 20 – Medicine Ball (12#s) Bounces off angled trampoline; 20 – Ab Baskets (12# ball); 20 – Side to Sides (12# ball); 10 – Hand Release Push-Ups; 15 – Squats w/ 25# Kettle Bell; 30 – Double Arm Battalion Rope Waves.  Time:  24:55

I will say that the Y purchased a Synrgy 360 and this piece of equipment has been integral in my workouts.  If you have one at your gym, don’t be scared, try it out.  It’s fun and very useful!!

Synergy 360_3

Synergy 360_1  Synergy 360_2 

Get after it and try something new.  Get that metabolism blazing and confuse those muscles.  Move it and Make It Happen!

** Make It Happen ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

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CrossFit Day 60 & 61 …

CrossFit_going back

Needless to say, I’ve been sore this week.  Little Rock, or more specifically the weather and the hills, beat me up badly.  I was sore in places that never hurt.  However, I knew if I didn’t haul it up and out to CrossFit on Tuesday morning that my recovery would be stalled.  I needed to stretch a lot and get the blood flowing to heal those micro tears in my muscles.   But it wasn’t easy getting “up and out” the door because quite frankly, I was exhausted between the race and the driving and my little man who thinks sleeping is boring.  But I went anyhow and I was glad that I did because I started feeling better!

Day 60Substitute instructor {insert total panic} – However, The Sub was told “about” our group a couple times.  We aren’t hard core CrossFitters, we just CrossFit for cross training and strengthening.  We are “special”, and we are loud, and we are a lot to handle at 5am.  Kudos to The Sub for managing the class without totally freaking out about our stupid questions.

Strict Press – Press up over the head w/o any bounce or use of legs.  Super hard.  5×3 @ 63#s

Tabatas for Total Reps – 8 sets of each movement, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, keep track of reps.

  • Air Squats – Just regular squats but the title freaked me out cuz I was thinking I needed to do like a jumping squat in the air.  And I knew I wouldn’t be able to get those tired legs 2” off the ground.  So it was a win in my court when The Sub told us that they were just regular “unweighted” squats.  Very doable.
  • Abmat Sit-ups
  • Burpees
  • Ball Slams – 20#

Day 61 – Welcome back Jared!  Don’t leave us again, you scared us badly. I realize that you too need to vacation but we were were afraid The Sub was going to hurt us! 

Push Press – 5×3 @ 73#

EMOTM – Every Minute On The Minute – 20 minutes.  You have one minute to do the first move.  After completion of the required reps, rest until that minute “dings”.  Then switch to the second station and complete the required reps within one minute.  The buzzer dings every minute to signify the switch.  You will work for 20 minutes total, 10x at each station.

  • 10 Kettlebell Swings – 36#
  • 10 Ring Rows

Good week at CrossFit and I’m now loosened up enough that I should do a short, slow run tonight.  Next up, the Oak Forest Fleadh 5K on Saturday March 8th.  12 degrees with snow and ice expected.  Can’t wait!  Okay, I’m exaggerating by a lot but trying to be positive.

** 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 31 & 32 and the Barbells For Boobs Fundraiser

Since the marathon, I’ve been CrossFitting a couple times a week, and doing some light running and working the J.O.B. a lot.  I’m trying to be smart and let my leg muscles heal without going down to zero activity because that’s not good for my mental health.  Last week, I actually did 3 CrossFit Workouts.  There was a bonus WOD fundraiser on Saturday and I was actually in town, not racing, and free so I wanted to go and help out as much possible because my schedule is pretty wicked and I normally miss a lot of the fun stuff!

Before we get to last week’s WODs,  I’d like to say, I realize that not everyone is interested in CrossFit.  I realize that there have been some comments that I should move onto a new activity and give CrossFit a rest.  I realize that a lot of people are still intimidated by CrossFit even though it can be scaled and tailored to each individual’s fitness level.  However, CrossFit is helping me not only get stronger but equalize the muscle imbalances in my body that have been causing me pain and injury.  For this reason, I will be CrossFitting for as long as I personally see a benefit AND as long as I enjoy it.  It may not be for everyone but it’s been very beneficial for me personally.  I encourage each and every one of you to keep searching for an activity that you enjoy and are able to benefit from both physically and emotionally.  Fitness is a journey and the path is different for each of us.  Find your path!!

No Elevator to Success

CrossFit Day 31 – 3 Rounds, 1 minute rest between rounds.  1 minute at each station, then rotate.

  • Wall Balls
  • Ring Rows
  • Box Step Ups (or Jumps) – 18” box
  • Push Ups
  • Supermans

CrossFit Day 32 – Teams of 3, divide each exercise equally (if possible) between teammates.

  • Deadlifts – Worked form, added weights multiple times before starting WOD
  • 60 Pushups
  • 60 Kettlebell Swings (35#)
  • 180 Jump Ropes
  • 60 Abmat Sit-ups
  • 60 Ring Rows

Ring Rows_me

Barbells For Boobs Fundraiser for Breast Cancer– Clean Nancy – 5 Rounds:  400 meter run, 15 front squats (bar only for me).

Initially I didn’t think I’d go to the fundraiser because I was intimidated and didn’t want to embarrass myself with the “real” CrossFitters but the workout they used for the fundraiser was in my opinion a “runners” workout so I thought I could probably hold my own, even if I wasn’t squatting the weight that most were using.  So I went.  Great turnout!!  55 people did the actual WOD and as of Saturday, they raised $3700+ at the event and donations are still being accepted HERE.  Photo credit:  CrossFit New Lenox.

Barbells4Boobs_group

The first group takes off for the first 400 meter run of the Clean Nancy WOD.  I’m in the pink top and pink compression socks on the far right of the photo.  Photo credit:   Integrated Physical Medicine.

Barbells4Boobs_run

We ran 200 meters out & back, then hit the squats.  I must say that I was surprised at how fast the “real” CrossFitters took off for that first 400 meters.  I wasn’t exactly in easy mode but it was cold, I’d already ran a fast 4 miles with Aby and the wind was blowing hard.  I may have been a bit too conservative initially and I was definitely thinking that I had probably made a mistake by showing up to do the WOD.  Maybe I should have just donated and stayed home?  Too late now!  On to the squats, I’m on the way up (pink shirt & pink socks) and Jeni H is on the down (in the black skirt with pink ruffles).  Photo credit:   Integrated Physical Medicine.

Barbells4Boobs_squats

Then things started thinning out fast on the run.  My unweighted bar gave me a huge advantage over those who were squatting with weights.  I believe the front squat weight options were 115 & 75 lbs for the RX or 85 & 45 lbs for the scaled.  I was using the 45# bar without any additional weights in the scaled division.  So it wasn’t too bad on my legs like it was for everyone else.  And yeah, I’m  a runner so 5 x 400 meters was fun for me while it looked like hell for everyone else.  It was a good day to be a light lifter and a runner!  I was also happy because the last time I did this workout, it was in the dark at a 5am class.   That day the  WOD took me almost 15 minutes, I think I was 14:44 actually.  However, on Saturday, just a few weeks later with some added daylight, I finished in 11 minutes & change.  Maybe 11:36, if I remember correctly.  So I was happy the daylight made such a huge difference, or maybe it was the extra people?  Regardless, fun day and ultimately I was happy that I had the guts to show up and play with the big dogs, even if it was just for fun.  Smile

** Be Strong, Mentally & Physically ** 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 19 ….

I’m a bit tardy on this post but wanted to record it before hitting class tomorrow.   Day #19 was last Thursday, I’ve just been busy! 

We are still working on form for proper lifting, getting used to “real” weights verses the machine variety that most runners use when they hit the gym.  So we spent a bit of time on front squats, technique – bar only, then 7 x 3 of bar + two 10# plates = 65 #s.

Front Squats – 7 “rounds” of 3 – Demo from CrossFit the Rack.  No way that I got as low as the chick in the photo but I gave it my best effort.  Kinda fun.  Different.  I’m still not all up on “weight lifting” but do see the benefits and don’t mind it in short burst like this. 

Front Squat

WOD

  • 20 T2B (Toes to Bar)
  • 20 Squats
  • 20 Sit-Ups
  • 15 T2B (Toes to Bar)
  • 15 Squats
  • 15 Sit-Ups
  • 10 T2B (Toes to Bar)
  • 10 Squats
  • 10 Sit-Ups
  • 5 T2B (Toes to Bar)
  • 5 Squats
  • 5 Sit-Ups

Another simple workout.  If you’re tired of used to focusing on workouts with times/paces, then this is a welcome and refreshing change.  The most difficult move, by far, for this WOD was the “toes to the bar”.  Of course, I couldn’t do it and we had to modify it to “toes to chest”, which was still a big “not happening” so for my own purposes, I’ll call it “knees to chest” but that too would be generous. 

Here is a perfect demo from Folsom City CrossFit:

toestobar

Knees to chest  example (source unknown b/c someone pinned the photo):

knees to chest

It was amazing to me, how much wear/tear this put on my hands.  This is a very hard move when you are a large frame person with wimpy muscles!!!  I know, I’m working on that but it was very difficult to even keep hold of the bar, let alone crunch my knees to my chest.  Super tough.

More CrossFit tomorrow!!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

CrossFit Day 13 – Handstand Push-Ups!

Great quote on the white board this morning.

“Even if you are dead last every single WOD, remember that you finished the same WOD as the person who finished first.  Yell “TIME” loud and proud, you did it!”

Love that.  CrossFit, and any fitness activity, is about improving oneself.  Push hard and compete against you. Try to do better than yesterday and move forward with a good attitude, being confident that the person you see in the mirror tomorrow will be stronger and tougher than the one you see today.  This is all about you, don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or how quick they may be doing it.  It doesn’t matter if your activity is walking, running, biking, swimming or maybe CrossFit.  Do it for you.  Compete against you.

Today’s workout began with two new moves.  Handstand Push-ups and Kettlebell Swings.  Yay!  I’ve wanted to work my way up to handstands since I first saw my friends and fellow F’N Runners in this photo below (April 2013).  From left:  Jeni H, Amy C & Tina B.

Handstands_CF NL

I saw this photo via Facebook months before I started CrossFit.  I was green with envy.  These ladies are normal people.  They aren’t big and muscly and nobody would probably pick them out of the crowd as being overly “strong”.  They are moms who run.   Ladies I know.  Regular people like you and I.  If these ladies can do it, so can I.  So can you.  But as with everything, we have to put in the work.  These ladies obviously did that.  Wow.  This photo is what convinced me that CrossFit was something I needed to add to my life.  I’m not saying that I’ll ever be coordinated and/or strong enough to replicate this move but I’ll never know if I don’t try.  I learned a long time ago, never say never.

Handstand Push-ups – They are just as they sound.  Kick up into a handstand, then dip down to do a push-up.  Took me a few times to be confident enough to actually kick up with enough force to actually stay up but it was something that became more comfortable with each attempt.  The goal was to do the handstand, then 10 push-ups, then kick down.  Here I am below.  Yes, I always wear my Aspaeris Pivot Compression Shorts and Pro Compression or SLSTRI  Compression Socks to class.

Handstand Pushup  Handstand Pushup 2  Handstand Pushup 3

I couldn’t dip down very far for the push-up but it’s a start.  I also wasn’t able to complete all 10 before I lost my balance and had to kick out.  I did make 9 on one attempt though!  Super excited!! 

Kettlebell Swings are super fun too!!!  Demo below.  I added the last photo too because the range of motion isn’t complete until the kettlebell is above the head.  Sequence from Todo Entrenamientos and then the lady in blue is from South Coast CrossFit.

kettlebell-swings    kettlebell swing_vertical_South Coast Crossfit

After the new moves, we did a quick “2 minute AMRAP” (as many rounds as possible) workout of:  Box Jumps (12” box), Abmat Sit-ups, Squats & Ring Rows.  2 minutes on each activity, doing as many as possible in the 2 minute timeframe. 

Done.

Anything you are excited to tackle in your upcoming workouts?  Maybe your first 20 miler of marathon training?  Handstands in CrossFit?   It’s a beautiful things to watch the progress of a good training cycle.  Be proud!!

** Getting Stronger ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **